The first in a great series of movies from TNT, The Quest for the Spear introduces us to Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), nerd extraordinaire and professional student who prefers the world of academia to anything else. But just when he is heartbreakingly banned from earning degree #23, a mysterious letter arrives inviting Flynn to interview with the Metropolitan Library. But this is no ordinary library, rather a huge archive of items long thought to be mere myths and legends. Housing Pandora’s Box, the Ark of the Covenant and trinkets like Excalibur, Flynn finally finds a niche where all his broad education and esoteric knowledge can be put to good use. The whole tone of the film is of a tongue-in-cheek rollicking adventure, replete with jokes made at Flynn’s expense, the dry humor of enigmatic Judson (Bob Newhart), the great Jane Curtin playing cranky pencil-pusher Charlene (“Save your receipts!”), Olympia Dukakis as Flynn’s mother who’s desperate to get her son married, and an assortment of requisite femme fatales and vile villains.
When thieves steal part of the Spear of Destiny, it’s up to new Librarian Flynn to, you guessed it, save the world. While there’s plenty of alleged peril, there’s always jaunty music playing to let you know it’s all in good fun, à la Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Full of one-liners, sly winks, references to a host of interesting historical and/or mythological tidbits, not to mention a large dollop of magic, this is a light-hearted and ridiculously fun ride that is in no way meant to be taken seriously. In contrast to hyper-emotional Hollywood dramas or mindless shoot-em-up films, it’s nice to take a break and enjoy something that celebrates intelligence, knowledge and ingenuity, where brains triumph over brawn and the once dusty librarian is re-cast as an action hero. – BETHANY
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Flynn and Nicole (Sonya Walger). “You only live once” “Unless you believe in Buddhism or Sikhism…” “I hate you so much.”
Oh dear, apprehended by a villain (Kelly Hu). You can tell because she’s dressed all in black.
Photos courtesy of Dean Devlin, Electric Entertainment and TNT