The Midas Box of the title is an ancient object that turns anything it houses into gold. Hidden for centuries, it can be found only via the one map in existence that reveals its location. Naturally, a very bad man named Otto Luger (Sam Neill, Jurassic Park) has found the map, so it’s only a matter of time he finds the box, becomes the richest man in the world and thus brings about global financial collapse.
Like TV’s Warehouse 13, The Adventurer has an agency in place to prevent such actions and protect such objects: the Bureau of Antiquities, for which married couple Charles and Catherine Mundi (respectively, Fantastic Four‘s Ioan Gruffudd and The Bank Job‘s Keeley Hawes) operate as secret agents. This work isn’t known to their two boys, Mariah (Aneurin Barnard, Citadel) and Felix (Xavier Atkins, Snow White and the Huntsman) — that is, until Mr. and Mrs. Mundi are kidnapped by Luger. Adding insult to injury, Felix is carted away to reform school.
That leaves Mariah — Mariah?!? — to save the day, with the help of Mr. Mundi’s war pal, Charity — Charity?!? — played by Underworld‘s Michael Sheen. To do that, Mariah must go undercover as a porter in a hotel run by the purty Lena Headey (The Purge). Oh, and there’s also a supernatural monster haunting the streets at night.
While the aforementioned National Treasure tales have inspired The Adventurer as much as its true source material (a young-adult novel by G.P. Taylor), there are plenty more cinematic touchstones where that came from, including Hugo, The Da Vinci Code and Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes franchise. That’s not to say director Jonathan Newman has made The Adventurer is a copycat — more of an amalgamation. While clearly overstuffing with whiz and pow, it’s a visually rich story told on a grand scale, occasionally rousing, always kid-empowering, like Percy Jackson if he made time for tea. —Rod Lott