Librarian: Quest for the Spear [2004]

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Broadcast to record ratings on the TNT cable network, this Raiders-esque adventure does not go by the book, staring with its atypical action hero and his decidedly uncool profession. Flynn Carsen (Noah Wylie from E.R.) is a thirtysomething perpetual student who still lives with his mother (Olympia Dukakis). When his exasperated professor finally ejects him into the real world, Carsen's Holmesian deductive acumen lands him a job as the librarian at the Metropolitan Library. This is not an ordinary library. It houses history's most mythic artifacts, including the Ark of the Covenant, Pandora's Box, and the sword Excalibur. The fate of the world is in Carsen's hands ("That's so sad," he observes) when the dread Serpent Brotherhood steals the library's Spear of Destiny, and Carsen must retrieve it. His reluctant, and antagonistic, partner is Nicole (Sonya Walger), who is as skilled in martial arts as Carsen is schooled in the Dewey Decimal System. Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin add welcome comic relief, with Newhart, of all people, getting into the action by film's end. The humble hero (who would rather be known as "Flynn, the rather pleasant at parties"), somewhat cheesy special effects, and corny comedy make The Librarian a fun guilty pleasure. As Carsen proclaims, "Being a librarian is actually a cool job." This looks like the beginning of a beautiful franchise. --Donald Liebenson

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