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I Bet You Didn't See... Adventurer and the Curse of the Midas Box

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Directed by: Jonathan Newman

Screenplay by: Christian Taylor, Matthew Huffman

Based on: “Mariah Mundi” by G.P. Taylor

Starring: Michael Sheen, Sam Neill, Ioan Gruffudd, Lena Headey

Released: January 10th, 2014

My Rating: 4/10

Contains Spoilers!!!

This is a fun little steampunk-esc film that wanted to be more than it managed. Initially written as a series of films based on the Mariah Mundi books by G.P. Taylor. Unfortunately, Adventurer and the Curse of the Midas Box did not take off like they had hoped. I hadn’t heard of it until my partner told me about it and, being a steampunk fan, I gave it a go. It’s not a bad film, it’s entertaining and aesthetically pleasing, but it’s just not that good.

Aneurin Barnard, as Mariah Mundi

The film follows Mariah Mundi (Aneurin Barnard), whose parents have been kidnapped, joining forces with Captain Will Charity (Michael Sheen) to find them. Their investigations lead them to discover that a hotel owner (Sam Neill), running a steam-powered hotel called ‘The Prince Regent’, who is after the legendary Midas Box. Charity and Mundi make it their mission to prevent that from happening and it leads to more clues about Mundi’s parents. The reveal comes mid-credits, but unfortunately the follow up never came. The film only made $128,000 dollars on its opening box office weekend.

Michael Sheen as Captain Will Charity

It’s just a piece of fun. One of those films that slots into a niche for fans and film collectors. The film was praised for its cast, and I think that it is a great cast for a bad film. Michael Sheen plays Captain Charity with a suitable amount of eccentricity, while Sam Neill is a very good villain, sinister and untrustworthy. Lena Heading, who plays Neill’s sidekick, is always good in evil roles (yes, we are talking about Cersi Lannister from Game of Thrones here) but the story just isn’t enthralling enough for her to shine. The supposed lead, Aneurin Barnard, was supposed to get a break-through with this film (and its hypothesised series) but he just wasn’t up to the task against his co-stars. Ioan Gruffudd’s role was so small, and he would have been bigger in the sequel, but that’s never going to happen. He was a wasted talent here. It’s a shame.

Adventurer and the Curse of the Midas Box is one of those ‘give it a go’ films that some will enjoy but others won’t be too fussed by it. The real pity is that it lacked any proper publicity when it went to the cinemas and the producers seemed to assume it would do well enough to make a series out of. Ideally, you need the first film to be able to stand alone and see if it fares well at the box office so if it succeeds, you can build from it but if it flunks, it doesn’t ruin things for the existing fans.

You can see more of Ioan Gruffudd in my review of Amazing Grace.

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