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Diane, a young and attractive archaeologist, gets to know Dr. Neal Hogan in the secret archives at the Vatican. Both of them are interested in the great mystery that Diane's father, the famous scientist Dr. Shannon, must have uncovered in Africa -- because since that time her father has not been seen by a living soul. Nevertheless, Diane is absolutely convinced that her father is still alive: he was looking for the "tower of the first born", which according to ancient records is supposed to lead to "great wisdom". Ignoring her friends' warnings, Diane decides to travel off in search of her father and find the legendary tower. Also in search of the monument -- which has contained secret knowledge about space and time for millennia -- are a sheik's horde of wild desert riders, as well as a heavily-armed group of soldiers under the command of the brave officer Léon. Together with her protector Rashid, an mysterious prince of the desert and old friend of her father's whom she knows from ... Written by
I just watched this movie, after finding it in a video store and choosing it as my 'random' movie of the week, so to speak. I was hoping for something like The Mummy or Indiana Jones: serial adventure with an Egyptian theme, which is what the box sells the movie as. This is not entirely true, and I will tell you that when I started the film, and it had that slightly unfocused TV look and weird audio qualities, I was feeling rather...disappointed. More than once in the first two or three scenes I considered turning it off, wondering if its apparent quality and my lack of energy made it not worthwhile.
I was wrong. This is a movie that rather sags at the very beginning and very end, but the middle is, in honest truth, quite good. The actress playing Diane looks and acts her part; the same goes for those portraying Rashid, Neil, Leon, Adriel, and most major characters. The costuming is *incredible*. The music, by the great Ennio Morricone, isn't his most standout score, but it's good. The setwork is also very, very impressive. And, though the movie is, yes, long at 3 hours, and, yes, there are reused shots and the like, if you let yourself enjoy it you will find an adventure film of surprising depth and plot complexity. The relationships between characters are quite touching and ably portrayed; the action scenes are old- fashioned but this fits the film. You will find yourself caring, very quickly, about most of the major characters. And you will experience some scenes of high adventure, nervous intrigue and skilled gambits, and intelligent humour. This film also succeeds in that it doesn't acknowledge that it is an adventure movie many will make fun of -- it is earnest, the actors don't seem distracted by the fact that they're acting, and, in the end, you will have watched a satisfying and engrossing story unfold.
I warn you the ending is a little wonky, but it's good. If you like adventure, action, camp, serials,or archaeology, you'll like this movie. There are many more good things and a few not-so-good things I could say about this, but frankly I enjoyed it immensely and would watch it again. You like Lawrence of Arabia? Beau Geste? The French Legion? Tales from 'Arabia'? The Mummy? Indiana Jones? A little metaphysical talk on the side? Give this a try. It's sincerity and compelling story will surprise and engross you. I know it did me, to my own surprise. And, probably, you will be touched as well; emotional response is rather garanteed--some of the film can be brutal, romantic, or sad. I very much liked it, and plan on making my friends watch it with me. Decide to enjoy it, and you will, very much. It's very good.
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