“The Adventurer” A Cool Captivating Film (Video Review)



An intriguing mystery film The Adventurer: Curse of The Midas Box is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. The captivating film, taken from the first book in a series by G.P. Taylor, provides all the suspense that the Harry Potter books brought to the screen. It’s a great follow-up for Teens and tweens who will enjoy this high adventure of the search for a magical box that will turn anything into gold.  The movie features fine acting by the whole cast under the direction of Jonathan Newman.   While the movie targets youngsters, most parents should enjoy the story that mirrors some books from their childhood like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries.

The story opens with the kidnapping of Charles (Ioan Gruffudd) and Catherine (Keeley Hawes) Mundi who work for the Bureau of Antiquities, a government agency who deals with supernatural objects.  Before Catherine gets taken away she slips an amulet key into the pocket of her eldest son Mariah (Aneurin Barnard).  Mariah finds the key sometime later and gives half of the key to his brother Felix (Xavier Atkins).

Mariah (Aneurin Barnard) tries the magical key in the wall of a tomb

Mariah (Aneurin Barnard) tries the magical key in the wall of a tomb

The boys escape from the clutches of two henchmen who work for the mysterious Otto Luger (Sam Neill) with the help of Will Charity (Michael Sheen). Later,  Felix falls into the hands of Lugar due to a quirk of fate.  When Mariah finds out that the key opens a magic box that turns anything into gold, an exciting adventure begins.

An early England setting is perfect for a good mystery adventure and there’s a lot afoot going on in The Adventurer.  Much like the Sherlock Holmes movies of late, there’s a good storyline, many dangerous encounters, strange characters and a story of wonder. Director Jonathan Newman puts his actors through a lot of action scenes in this fast paced quest and keeps the sets and costumes in tune with the era.

Michael Sheen plays Charity

Michael Sheen plays Charity

The actors work well with their characters, especially Aneurin Barnard in the lead role of Mariah. He puts a lot of force into the boy who has just lost his parents and then his brother to a mysterious man.  Barnard keeps Mariah on point never loosing hold of the desire to find his family before anything bad happens to them.   Michael Sheen does an excellent job of playing Will Charity an Indian Jones type character who works for the Bureau of Antiquities.  He’s a master of defense and disguise, easily getting close to his objectives without being detected.  Also playing the great magician Bizmillah, he adds comedy to the adventurous film.

The cinematography, CGI, music and special effects sound are nicely delivered keeping the film daring.  London gets turned back in time with special costuming, horse drawn carriages and early trains.  When the mysterious island of Otto Lugar and The Prince Regent Hotel come into play, the scenes are drawn into an era of kings.  The staircases are amazing, rooms are lavish and all the guests are aptly dressed for all the occasions.

Costuming shown on Mella Carron as Scacha and Aneurin Barnard as Mariah are typical of the era

Costuming shown on Mella Carron as Scacha and Aneurin Barnard as Mariah are typical of the era

A “Making of Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box” is an excellent bonus feature that dissects the film.  Revealing everything from casting to production, director Jonathan Newman goes over the intricacies of putting together an amazing adventure for the whole family. Taking viewers into caves, lavish sets and the streets of London he lets his cast and crew show how it’s all done.

The Blu-ray has awesome clarity and color with near theatrical quality played on my HD Television.  Even the darkest caves, nighttime scenes and moonlit nights are lighted properly showing all the action and intrigue.  The aspect ratio of 2.35:1 is the same as the theatrical release and there’s no loss of picture on the edges.

The sound quality is excellent with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that allows for clear and audible dialogue throughout the film.  Special effects coming from the cave drilling machines and other action props can be heard from all sides of the room using the built in stereo of the TV or an upgraded sound system.

The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box has been rated PG by the MPAA for adventure action and violence, some peril and brief smoking.  Most all the little youngsters should enjoy the film when accompanied by a parent.  Harry Potter fans should be extremely attracted to the adventure.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  A very good action adventure for the whole family. (A)

Specifications and additional film information:
Cast: Michael Sheen, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, Ioan Gruffudd, Aneurin Barnard,
Xavier Atkins, Keeley Hawes
Directed by: Jonathan Newman
Genre: Adventure, Mystery
MPAA Rating: PG for adventure action and violence, some peril and brief smoking
Running Time: 1 hr 38 min
Video Release Date: February 11, 2014
Original Film Release Date: January 10, 2014
Language: English
Format: Blu-ray/DVD
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen Aspect Ration 2.35:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: RLJ Entertainment

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