Posted: 11/27/04
© 2004 Filmmonthly.com
The Librarian: Quest For The Spear (2004)
by Sandra Ray

TNT's latest stars Noah Wylie in an Indiana Jones style caper.


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I think every woman in America would jump at the chance to review a movie starring Noah Wyle (ER).  Since it's his last season with the television hit, plenty of people are wondering just where he'll end up next.

TNT snapped him up for their television movie The Librarian: Quest for the Spear.  Although the plot's been overdone with other action films, it has its own funny quirks.  Ever since the Indiana Jones movies made action flicks famous for the "good guys," everyone has their own version of this popular plot.  Librarians aren't high on the list of professions that I would give the title of "Hero," yet there is something to the overall storyline that makes it funny enough to pass the test.

Wyle plays Flynn Carsen, a bit of an oddball who still lives at home with mother while earning 22 college degrees.  When a professor unceremoniously kicks him out of school and tells him to get a job, an invitation to apply at the Metropolitan Public Library appears.  This library, however, doesn't just house your everyday books.  A few artifacts, such as the Ark of the Covenant and Pandora's Box, are housed in the underground archives. 

Other stars add comic relief, such as Bob Newhart (The Bob Newhart Show) with his first-ever fight scenes.  Jane Curtin (Third Rock from the Sun) works at the library too and is the perfect addition to Newhart's sense of humor.  Kyle Machlachlan (Sex in the City) and Olympia Dukakis round out the cast.  Even though Wyle's co-star Sonya Walger isn't a stranger to television, most of her work is overseas and relatively unknown to the crowd expected by TNT.  I wish Walger's and Wyle's chemistry would have shown up a little more during the action parts of the movie, but they still complement each other nicely.

Parents of older children will be pleased that this movie contains little profanity, and none of it on the lewd side.  The fight scenes are relatively benign also.  I don't know that I would classify The Librarian as a family show, but it's much better than most of what's out there today. 

Even though the plot was a little too predictable for me, it would make for a nice jumping off point to a series.  I'm not sure if Wyle's ready for another series after finishing up with ER, but this one could fit his style nicely.  His boyish charm and looks fit the clueless librarian perfectly.  Overall, I have to mark this one in the win column.

Sandra Ray is a freelance writer living in West Texas.

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