Peter Winther | 2004 | 92 min | US
It is a rare movie that lives up to the promise its title suggests, but oh what joy when that movie comes along. Yes, the first of the Librarian movies (its a fucking SERIES) is the perfect storm. Noah Wyle plays an overacheiving long-time student who becomes the librarian of a secret respository of the worlds mystical treasures. A repository headed by Jane Curtin and Bob Newhart. When the mystical Spear of Destiny is stolen from the collection by a gang of toughs led by a tattooed, cargo-panted Kyle Maclachlin, only the librarian can unlock the clues to retreive it. Wyle embarks on a series of low rent Indiana Jones riffs that take him from a terrible digital backdrop of the Amazon jungle all the way to a terrible digital backdrop of the Nepal mountains. Come to think of it, "Noah Wyle plays librarian Indiana Jones on cable television" is probably more than enough.
The Librarian enjoys the distinction of having Bob Newhart's first action scenes, so you can only imagine the liveliness with which they are delivered. The clumsy, glacial pace of those action sequences is only matched by the amateurish and frequently inexplicable special effects. Why does Bob Newhart emerge from the wall in a shower of gold dust? Is he magic? An issue I trust is further explored in the sequel (which is on my shelf).
This is the kind of passion project that Noah Wyle left ER to pursue. Good call, friend. So, quick name check on the other cast members: Olympia Dukakis, Bob Newhart, Kyle MacLachlan, and Jane Curtin. Was there a stock market crash in 2003? This lunatic vision is one giant interrobang after another. Necessary viewing for librarians, Noah Wyle completists.
Bonus Feature: BOB NEWHART FIGHT SCENE!