The Librarian: Return To King Solomon’s Mines – Bargain Basement Raiders Clone Still Charms!

Return To King Solomon's MinesWhen last we saw Flynn Carson, he was off an adventure with his protector/girlfriend, Nicole. That was in December, 2004. Since then, Flynn and Nicole have broken up – but he's still out there, saving the world on at least a quarterly basis. The Librarian: Return To Solomon's Mines [Sunday, 8 p.m./C] finds Flynn receiving – and losing – a map… a map that leads to King Solomon's mines, and a secret that could destroy the world!

It starts out so simply: Flynn [Noah Wyle] receives a package in the mail – a map – and it is stolen. When he describes it to his mentor [and former Librarian] Judson [the inimitable Bob Newhart], he learns that it is a map to King Solomon's mines. Judson informs him that, hidden amongst, Solomon's legendary treasures, there is a book that contains a spell that gives its user the power of a god.

Naturally, Flynn heads off to reacquire the map and, yes, save the world – again! Of course, it's not as easy as it looks. Flynn doesn't have Nicole to bail him out – and he soon hooks up with Emily Davenport [Gabrielle Anwar], a woman who is as smart as [or maybe even smarter than] he is. A fellow archaeologist [among other things], Emily is like a female mirror image of Flynn – the key difference being that he knows that the myths and legends of the world are real, while she's only able to see them as metaphors in a scientifically solid world.

Return to King Solomon's Mines actually tells three stories: Flynn's acquisition of a Native American object; the story of the map, and the events that transpire in the mines. The three tales are seamlessly integrated, tied together by events in Flynn's life: a surprise birthday party [at which, his mother – the delightful Olympia Dukakis – attempts to set him with a friend's daughter, and Flynn's third cousin], and a reunion, in Africa, with his father's best friend, Uncle Jerry – silkily played by Robert Foxworth].

 

Return To King Solomon's Mines

 

As with all good swashbucklers, there are action set pieces, incredible sets and all sorts of trials to be overcome – include betrayal by someone the hero trusts. Return to King's Solomon's Mines includes all the usual ingredients, in slightly tweaked proportions. There are also a few extremely silly moments that work because of Wyle's conviction, and because they are so appropriate to the story.

Where Return to King Solomon's Mines is lacking, is in the decision to have Flynn operating, essentially, on his own. The chemistry that existed between Wyle and Sonia Walger [Nicole in the original movie] is not replicated between Wyle and Anwar – or, more accurately, where Wyle and Walger were a nuclear device, Wyle and Anwar are a hand grenade. But I have to say that the beautiful, sexy Anwar is a gamer – she does enter, wholeheartedly into the spirit of the production.

TNT's The Librarian movies are, without a doubt, swashbuckling good fun. It's always a joy to find a hero whose biggest asset is that he's incredibly well educated. To use Indiana Jones as a reference, where Quest for The Spear was Raiders, Return to King Solomon's Mines is Temple of Doom. There's much to enjoy, but it seems like it's just that little bit off. Even so, Flynn Carson's latest adventure will keep you wildly entertained and that's what counts.

Grade: B-

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