While searching for artefacts relating to the lost city of Atlantis MacGyver and Professor Atticus uncover a lost amulet that holds the key to the location of the lost ark which contains the flame of Atlantis. Looking for more funding Atticus is laughed out of town and strikes out alone with MacGyver's help. They uncover the ark but the theft of the amulet reveals that they are up against Lord Cyril Cleeve who seeks the treasure for himself to add to his riches and get him into the history books.
I watched the TV show in the mid/late 80's and was a regular viewer on Saturday evening here in the UK. However I cannot remember whether it was any good or not (I was maybe 12 when I watched it). However the name was enough to tempt me back to watch this TVM one lazy Sunday afternoon. If the series was as good as this movie then I can only assume that I had nothing better to do with my Saturday evenings back when I was younger!
The film is every inch a TV movie. There is little of quality and much that is cheap or mediocre. The plot is clearly inspired by the Indiana Jones video game where he searches for Atlantis, however it has better effects than this. The story doesn't always make sense and MacGyver's devices to help them are just ludicrous. The worst one is where they escape from a crater by using steam to fire a funnel (with a rope attached) up over the crater edge. The (plastic) funnel not only manages to stick on the crater edge but also supports their weight! This is the one that sticks in my mind but nothing really makes sense if you think about it.
The script is pretty poor but there are actually large sections of the film with little dialogue so we're spared apart from every other scene where the characters recap the plot for those of us not bright enough to keep up. The cheapness of the film can be seen in the sets. Most of the special sets are very plastic looking. Some of the locations (a volcano & the Balkans) look like a quarry and a disused industrial estate respectively. When the film does get a good location (the stately home) the film stock makes it look cheap.
The action is poor mainly due to MacGyver's stupid devices. However even car chases where MacGyver clings to the windshield lack any sort of tension in fact that one looks like he been strapped to the front of a car as someone slowly drives it round London! There is one good twist in the middle that took me by surprise but the film never builds on it and actually manages to diffuse whatever tension was injected within 5 minutes of the twist occurring.
The cast are laughably poor. Anderson is still stuck in the 1980's with his mullet hairdo. He never convinces in the lead and has the look of a man who is waiting for someone to take control of the film he is more suited to a good series than films I think. Blessed is having fun (and I'm glad someone did) but is very out of place. His booming voice and high spirits don't fit in at all and it occasionally feels like he's taking the p*ss. Burgress as the bad guy is woefully toothless and the only face of interest is McCormick who is more well known for his role in Casualty.
Overall this is a poor reflection on how I spent my time as a pre-teen. A real poor quality product that aspires to be an Indiana-Jones-on-a-budget film but never even manages to get to that standard of film. Not awful but just really poor, you'll forget you saw it 10 minutes after you switch it off.
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