tek's rating: ½

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, TNT
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This first aired in 2004. I wanted to see it at the time, but I didn't get the chance. I finally saw it on DVD in 2015. By then, there had been two more TV movies and the first season of a TV series, all of which I hope to see someday. The plot of the franchise is kind of a cross between Warehouse 13 (which debuted about five years after this movie, but which I saw first) and the Indiana Jones movies.

So, there's this 30-something guy named Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), a perpetual college student with 22 degrees, who lives with his mother. His professor kicks him out of college, telling him to get some real world experience. Meanwhile, his mother tries to set him up with women (we see one in the movie, but apparently this is something she's done frequently before). Then he receives a letter inviting him to apply for a job at the Metropolitan Public Library. It's a pretty cool letter, because it starts out blank and then this glowing happens, and each line just... appears on the page. Anyway, he goes to the library, where there are a ton of applicants who have presumably all received similar invitations. Flynn is interviewed by a woman named Charlene (Jane Curtin), who doesn't seem to like anyone. But he gets the job, and is given a sort of orientation by the head librarian, Judson (Bob Newhart). This is where the plot starts getting Warehouse 13-ish. There's a huge, secret area of the library where all kinds of historical artifacts are kept, many of them with fantastical properties. And now Flynn is expected to become "the Librarian," whose job, I guess, is to safeguard all these artifacts.

That night, the library is raided by some villains, who steal an artifact. The next day, Flynn's first day on the job, he and Judson and Charlene check surveillance footage, which shows that the thieves were members of the Serpent Brotherhood, a splinter group that had broken off from the original library centuries ago (the one in Alexandria). And what they'd stolen had been one of three segments of the Spear of Destiny. The other two segments are hidden in different locations around the world, and Judson and Charlene assign Flynn to find them before the Brotherhood. Because if the spear could be reassembled, it would give the bearer enough power to rule the world, I guess. And it would be pretty terrible for the Serpent Brotherhood to rule the world. Before long, he's joined on his mission by a bodyguard named Nicole (Sonya Walger). She's totally badass, kind of snarky and standoffish, and she doesn't seem to like Flynn at first. But he likes her, because she's so cool (and so hot). And quite predictably, she grows to like him, too.

Anyway... they start their quest in the Amazon, where they find the second segment of the spear. And immediately thereafter, they're captured by the Brotherhood. They're surprised to find that their enemies' leader is Edward Wilde (Kyle MacLachlan), the former Librarian. It's surprising to them because Nicole had seen him killed, when she was supposed to be protecting him. It's not surprising to viewers, because we'd already seen a portrait of Wilde, and we'd seen the leader of the Brotherhood, so we knew it was him. (I do find it surprising that the Brotherhood would have so quickly accepted their former enemy as their new leader, and I'm not sure why he even felt the need to fake his own death. Seems like it would have been way easier for him to obtain great power by staying at his job and just stealing the Library's artifacts as the ultimate inside job, but whatever.) Anyway, the third segment of the spear is hidden in a temple in Shangri-La, and our heroes are forced to lead the villains there. It's pretty weird, I think, that the monks who were overseeing the temple (or at least one of them) spoke English, and also that a riddle Flynn had to solve had an English answer. But, you know... the whole movie is pretty redonkulous, and doesn't make much sense... because the movie is as much comedy as it is fantasy adventure.

So... I'm not sure what else to say. There's a bit of back and forth as to who seems to be winning, the good guys or the bad guys. But of course ultimately the good guys win. And then we flash forward a few months, to Flynn and Nicole heading off on another adventure. Anyway, it was a fairly fun movie, so I'm glad to have finally seen it.

Followed by The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines

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