When casting for this Canadian TV movie based upon the novel of the same name, the phrase ‘My, that Mira Sorvino sure does have a cracking set of pins. We really should take advantage of that in some way’ must surely have passed the lips of those involved. I say this because they are on display for large parts of the proceedings for no apparent reason other that to point out just how lovely her legs are – and they are lovely.
But lovely long legs do not a good film make, unless it’s a porno. And even then the audience demands a bit more. This, of course, is not a porno, nor is it a good film. The central premise is sound enough following the trials and tribulations (and the obligatory slow-burning romance) of Lara Croft-lite Tess Chaykin and FBI agent Sean Daley as they embark on the hunt for the lost treasures of the Knights of the Templar. Crossing continents in their pursuit of the prize at the end of the hunt and crossing paths with the Vatican who don’t seem particularly enamoured with their quest, secrets will be out, hearts will be broken and quite a few people will die by the time the chase is up.
While the premise might be solid on paper, the execution is far less so. The film is split into two parts, the first a long character-led set-up for the the action-oriented Tomb Raider meets The Da Vinci Code second. One of the major problems the production faces is that each part clocks in at just under an hour and a half, meaning that three hours later you will have finally ended your time with Tess, Sean et al and one prescient point will leap into your head: couldn’t this have been covered in half the time? For yes, it really could and indeed should have been a sub-two hours movie.
Perhaps then the dwindling set pieces and vast swatches of often redundant and repetitive dialogue could have been cut to a minimum and the aforementioned romantic side story could have been swept aside, which would have been preferable to the nonsensical way it’s actually treated. Would you fall in love with someone you suspected to be unhinged, possibly a criminal and quite opposed to your own religious beliefs?
But then I am forgetting that she has got really, really long legs.
But as I have previously stated, lovely long legs do not a good film make and despite some decent production values, pleasant scenery and the best efforts of The Unit‘s Scott Foley and Alias‘ Victor Garber, their undoubted acting prowess simply cannot lift this from the bucket of banality it was seemingly destined to float around in until eventually some plucky viewer put it out of its misery and poured it down the gutter. Or in my case, switched the DVD off.
Still, Mira really has got lovely legs.
Extras A 20-minute making of featurette focuses on how the production came together but it’s little more than an afterthought in this day and age of feature-laden DVDs. Regrettably, there is no explanation of how Canadian actor Anthony Lemke prepared for one of the worst interpretations of the English accent since Dick Van Dyke.
The Last Templar is out now.