Jonathan Newman’s British adventure film boasts an all-star cast but unfortunately suffers from predictability and lack of real invention…
With a name so grand one expects The Adventurer to be a huge production that takes its characters, along with the audience, across continents and through unimaginable peril and obviously adventure. It seems like a film where the hero and the villain stand tall and chase each other around the world in order to discover their ultimate common goal. Alas, that is not the case to be. What Jonathan Newman gives us is a much more subtle film that is reminiscent of a Sherlock, Poirot or Famous Five/Hardy Boys mystery with a pace that almost never reaches a point that its title might have you expect.
Nevertheless, first impressions shouldn’t always be taken seriously. While the film lacks a majestic feel, it makes up for it by being a kid friendly suspenseful event that in this world of mega-blockbusters is a dying genre. Almost a return to the basics, The Adventurer sees young adults in primary roles whereas the adults are there to simply provide stable support.
The film follows two young boys, Mariah and Felix Mundi played by Aneurin Barnard and Xavier Atkins, who are thrown into a world of uncertainties as their seemingly everyday parents, disappear. Being followed by unknown men, it’s not long before Felix is kidnapped and Mariah is left searching for his brother and parents with the help of a family friend Charity played charmingly by Michael Sheen. The kidnapper, Otto Luger (Sam Neill showing off his evil side), is a notorious collector of age-old-artifacts and is at present on a quest to find the Midas box which has the power to turn anything placed in it, into gold.
There’s very limited action initially, and eventually all the characters end up in a hotel for the rich and famous situated atop a hill on a secluded island where kids seem to disappear and the presence of an evil beast that lurches in the night keeps the entire village at bay. Murder, mystery, historical artifacts, traps, magic, and each character holding on to their own secret, The Adventurer is by no means a disappointment, especially for the younger audience, but once again the lack of any real “thrills” might make it seem a bit slow at times.
Furthermore, there are a few inconsistencies; things that look beyond the obvious take place to bring the film to an expected conclusion. They might irritate a few, like myself, even though the story tries hard to cover them up, they are minor instances and will most probably be overlooked by the general audience. The acting is fairly moderate and no character stands out as impressive, but on the positive side there isn’t one sticking out as a sore thumb either.
The Adventurer – The Curse of the Midas Box is fanciful and nostalgic in its execution and the presence of actors like Sam Neill, Lena Headey, and Michael Sheen add a lot to its likability, but it is also juvenile which makes it predictable. Still, stick till the end, rather the after initial-credit scene, and although it gives you a clear cut hint about the sequel, it also presents the audience with the biggest and best twist of the film, which would have done the movie wonders had the makers not saved it for later.