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Last Templar, The (DVD Review)

27 Apr, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Last Templar

Street 5/5/09
$19.95 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Mira Sorvino, Scott Foley, Victor Garber, Omar Sharif.

While watching The Last Templar, you’ll find yourself thinking about such films as National Treasure, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Da Vinci Code. There are stolen artifacts from the Crusades, a globe-trotting archaeologist (indeed, the offspring of a more famous archaeologist) trying to uncover centuries-old mysteries, and shady Vatican powers silencing everyone who gets too close to the world-changing secrets they protect. You could make a drinking game out of the similarities.

But there’s a reason this NBC miniseries drew nearly 10 million viewers when it first aired: Mira Sorvino.

Playing the resourceful heroine in this nearly three-hour long adventure, Sorvino stands out in nearly every scene, even when the story falters or her co-stars Scott Foley (“The Unit,” “Scrubs”), Victor Garber (Titanic, “Alias”) and Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia) fail to keep our attention.

Sorvino’s character is in over her head from the start when horsemen dressed as ancient Templars undertake a brazen and deadly attack on her New York City gallery, making off with priceless Vatican artifacts. Tracking down the thieves — who start turning up dead, one by one — the archaeologist repeatedly finds herself two steps ahead of a bungling detective (Foley), who can’t decide whether to arrest her or ask her out.

Soon the pair finds that the artifacts actually lead to an ancient secret held by the Knights Templar, buried (literally and figuratively) to protect the church. Obviously not familiar with The Da Vinci Code, the duo relies on the advice and direction of a Vatican priest (Garber) with dubious intentions.

A ho-hum romance is instigated because, it seems, that’s what’s expected, and the antagonists just don’t instill much fear to keep anyone on the edge of their seats. But Sorvino’s independent, wiseass, butt-kicking attitude keeps things interesting throughout.
Bonus features include an enjoyable making-of featurette.

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