Treasure Guards (2011)

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“Three lost souls. Two lost treasures. One huge adventure.”

Directed by Iain B. MacDonald
Starring Anna Friel, Raoul Bova, Volker Bruch

Hunky ex-priest Angelo (Bova) is part of a secret organisation within the Vatican that protects relics which have been “touched by God.” His brother, Luca (Bruch) is a scoundrelly art forger and ne’er-do-well. Archaeologist Victoria Carter (Friel) is searching for relics and running out of money.  When she discovers the possible location of the Seal of Solomon — and, by implication, Solomon’s diamond mine — she reluctantly joins forces with the bickering brothers to track it down, cooperating or competing with her archaeologist father all the while.

What’s wrong with it?

Obviously, the premise is ludicrous and the plot is simultaneously contrived and uninteresting. The male leads could be anybody — generically good-looking, moderately competent. If Angelo had said “I smoulder with generic rage,” I wouldn’t have been surprised.

The whole thing has that sort of general air of bland, made-in-Europe TV-movie inadequacy about it.

What’s right with it?

It knows what it’s about. The first five minutes of this thing have a heist, a fight, a chase, a secret conspiracy base, gratuitous nudity and a speedboat getaway.

How bad is it really?

It’s not terrible — it’s just completely and inexplicably unnecessary.

Best bit (if such there is)?

Probably the beginning, which promises a rollicking old-fashioned adventure. Sadly, there winds up being a lot of guff about Victoria and her dad that is just 100% stock, the same as every other damn movie that feels like its characters need some kind of personal conflict to make them interesting.

What’s up with…?

  • The Vatican having a top secret base for its Treasure Guards, and Angelo just showing Victoria right in as soon as they decide to be chums with her?
  • Victoria trying to persuade the church to help by focusing on how this is, you know, a relic, the thing they’re supposed to be preserving, and them just blowing her off, but when she mentions that there’s a crapload of money in it, them changing their minds? That is a pretty cynical view for a film in which the church are supposed to be the good guys.
  • Angelo’s dart gun? I am pretty sure that if you put four tranq darts in a dude, he doesn’t just sleep four times as long.
  • The filmmakers expecting the audience to get more excited about a bunch of money than a mythic artefact?

Ratings

Production values: Not bad, in a TV kind of way. Lots of sand and some fights – 12.
Dialogue and performances: Anna Friel is pretty good, but she doesn’t have much to work with. Everybody else is just exactly OK – 12.
Plot and execution: “Derivative” would be softening the blow – 14.
Randomness: Predictable is the opposite of random, right? – 13.
Waste of potential : It’s a knock-off TV movie – 12.

Overall 63%

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