Saturday, 4 January 2014

“The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box,” Aims to Please

It’s Saturday, after the holidays, and taking a break from some medieval-ness for some Victorian, steam punk action.  When I first heard of the title the movie was under a different name, “Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box,” since then the movie has hence changed title.  The movie is based off of a series of books, the first being Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box. by G.P Taylor.  I bought all the books in the series once I knew about the movie. I am half way through the first.  Delightful!  I was immediately struck by the movie’s poster and its intriguing design.  This was something I wanted to see. 

Cast in the movie are: Sam Neill, Lena Headey, Michael Sheen, and the lovely and talented Aneurin Barnard ("The White Queen"), as Mariah Mundi, front and center. Even more reason to watch this film!

The movie opens with narration done superbly by Sam Neill. Did I say he makes an awesome narrator? It's fantastic. I did have a Jurassic Park moment then but it was more like “.. You did not keep the raptors out of the kitchen!”  Many of you will recognize him from that movie as well as Cardinal Wolsey from “The Tudors,” very talented.  His character Otto Luger is one of mystery and determination.  Next, pretty much the first major scene, we are introduced to Mariah and his brother Felix who is falling asleep at one of their fathers’ (Ioan Gruffudd) lectures while Mariah of course, is attentive and learning as much as he can.  You can immediately tell that this sibling duo is close knit, has some history behind it and is a team.

Michael Sheen wows the screen with his portrayal of Cpt. Will Charity (Jack Charity in the novel) or re-named by my 8 year old as “Chadwick”. I was quiet impressed. He is fantastic! Lena Headey absolutely charms as Monica, the hotel mistress.  Her work on Cerise from “Game of Thrones” really makes you believe the evil, secret plotting, and sinister appeal of this character.  She is just wicked to the core.  It doesn’t help that her costumes are just divine.

The costumes are one of my favorite part of this movie. Simply, the costuming is fantastic, bright colorful, and to detail, even down to the ladies bustles. And for those who fancy “Steam Punk” fashion, there is defiantly some inspiration in this film. A lot of inspiration can come from this alone. A+ here.  Major eye candy for a costumer.

When Mariah arrives at the mysterious Prince Regent Hotel, we are introduced to Sacha, delightfully played by Mella Carron. Sacha first interaction with Mariah is one to take note, as it ends on a quiet snarky note.  Spoiler here and a little background to the story; Felix becomes kidnapped as a result of both his own doing and the role of his parents in the story, but main reason is the desire of an object he is carrying, by Otto Luger (Sam Neill).  Mariah starts out to find him and ends up being a porter at the hotel which Otto Luger, owns, and where Sacha is employed as a maid and seamstress. 

After a brief exchange of looks and words, Sacha sends Mariah on his way with a warning, “I am not a boy..” Mariah states, “You are not a man either..” Sacha reminds him cleverly. Immediately, you know she has some wit to her. The two actors defiantly got along well as their candor is excellent and brings definite quality to the movie and script.

The great “Bizzmulla” I will just say is charming, magical and quite mysterious. He is alluring at first glance and you go, “Who is he?” He was a definite treat.  I will say no more. The movie has subtle sneaky “scares,” as Sacha calls them that make you jump then laugh. Aneurin is quiet good at this. Also noted and probably one of my most favorite scenes is the one with the magic gypsy cards. This was amazing! Beautifully choreographed and made. Superbly pulled off by both Aneurin and Mella. 

Overall, I was quite impressed and thoroughly enjoyed the show. If you are looking for a fun, family, yet exciting movie to watch as a family or on your own, director Jonathan Newman has accomplished this. This is a must see. Superbly acted and well put together.  So get a post-it, your iPhone, what ever and write this title down, as it is a must see this holiday season.

“The Adventurer: Curse of The Midas Box” is available for rental on:

Official release January 10, 2014.

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