Sunday, August 28, 2011

King Solomon's Mines (1985)

Director: J. Lee Thompson

Starring: Richard Chamberlain, Sharon Stone, Herbert Lom, John Rhys-Davies, Ken Gampu

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Adventure of a Lifetime

Plot: Allan Quatermain is a fortune hunter who is convinced by Jesse Huston to help her find her father, who's been lost somewhere in the African jungle during his last exploration.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Very doubtful.

This is nothing more than a cash grab trying to pick up the leavings behind the first two Indiana Jones pictures. Allan Quatermain IS Indiana Jones only with more jokes. I can't blame Chamberlain for doing it. Hell, I would, too. Free trip to Africa, ya get to play with guns, fart around in the jungle, maybe get to second base with Sharon Stone. What's not to like? Well, it's trying too hard to be a lighter version of an Indiana Jones movie. It's not that bad, actually. I rather enjoyed it but only up to a point. That point being the excessive silliness and stereotypes that you'd think would have died out by this time. It's embarrassing.

Jerry Goldsmith's score is outstanding and exemplifies high adventure. It's almost as good as John Williams's for the Indy films and that's saying something. It's easily the best part of the picture. Next to that has to be Richard Chamberlain as Quatermain. He really is having a great time and he's very likable. Stone was fine but after seeing how strong of a character Karen Allen's Marion was in RAIDERS, it's tough to get on board with anyone less than that. It's neat that they got John Rhys-Davis and he's playing the opposite of what he did in RAIDERS. That was fun. Also fun was Herbert Lom.

As a huge Indy fan I had to see this in the theater and the sequel the following year. I'm a sucker for this kind of shit. I only wish it had been better. But as far as Indiana Jones knock-offs go, it's probably the best of the bunch. I'll say this, though, it really gets me in the mood to watch the 1950 version with Stewart Granger. Five'll get ya ten it's a much better flick.

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