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Friday, September 20, 2013

'Treasure Guards:' Guards Will Not Let You Down

The wonderfully entertaining above-average 2011 made-for-TV British film "Treasure Guards," which is being released on DVD on October 1, 2013, provides "Pushing Daisies" star Anna Friel a chance to say that she had a part in a B movie and played a [wo]man from history. (Additionally, this reference provides the first chance in weeks to state "Google it millenials" in this site.)

Although "Guards" is a B movie that aired on the U.K. SyFy channel, it is heads and shoulders above the recently reviewed summer mega-hit "Sharknado"and similar fare that is typical of SyFy and other basic cable channels. In fact, it is much better than anything that appeared on the big screen this summer.

Friel plays an archaeologist who seems to be named Victoria Carter in homage to rel-life Tut tomb discoverer Howard Carter. Rather than searching for the resting place of an Egyptian monarch who was born in Babylonia and moved to Arizona (millenials know what to do), Carter's quest is for the seal of Solomon of biblical lore. The legend is that the seal provides the means for locating Solomon's diamond mine.

Carter's efforts catch the attention of the Vatican, which wants the seal for its value as the only sacred relic that has been touched by God that is missing from the Vatican's collection of those truly priceless items. This interest results in Victoria teaming up with the Vatican's newly minted Treasure Guard Angelo, whose duties include protecting the acquired relics and completing the collection of those artifacts.

The need for a goofy sidekick is filled by having Angelo's charming ne'er do well brother Luca join the pair in their hunt for the clues that will lead them to the ring with the seal.

Of course, a film of this nature would be incomplete without a surprising betrayal, an equally unexpected alliance, and competition from more ruthless rival treasure hunters.

The elements that set "Guards" apart from other modern action-adventure films is that it relies on decent acting, an actual story that contains elements of reality, and good production values rather than actors with better name recognition but less talent, any plot being highly improbable, and 90 minutes that primarily consists of cheesy CGI effects and big explosions.

The absence of any especially good scenes or particularly strong chemistry between the leads truly is not a problem; holding the audience's attention throughout the film, evoking a few smiles, and creating some interest in seeing a sequel is more than enough.

Anyone with questions regarding "Guards" is welcome to email me. You can also dig me up via Twitter through @tvdvdguy.