movie review

October 16th, 2015 Movie – Allan Quatermain And The Lost City Of Gold

allan quatermain and the lost city of gold

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to any of you that I also have the sequel to yesterday’s movie but let me give you a brief bit of background on the subject matter. You see, If you try to read the books involving Allan Quatermain, you might get a bit confused. See, the first book that Henry Rider Haggard wrote about Quatermain was King Solomon’s Mines, but in the chronology, it is the 11th story. The second book that he wrote, which is the basis for today’s movie….in a loose sense, is the last story. Future books would be set earlier in Quatermain’s timeline, but there would be a problem reconciling some dates throughout the books. So that is your random bit of knowledge for today. On to today’s movie, Allan Quatermain And The Lost City Of Gold.

The plot: After the events of the first movie, Allan Quatermain and Jessie Huston are now living together and engaged to be married, a wedding that Jessie is planning on having in America, though Quatermain is reluctant to leave Africa. As they discuss the suit that Jessie bought for him, Quatermain is surprised by the appearance of his friend Dumont, who is seriously injured and being chased by two masked men. Quatermain fights with one of the men, who gets away but leaves a strange knife behind, then goes back to the house to check on his friend, who is delirious but mentions a city of gold and Quatermain’s brother. That night, the masked me return and kill the man so the next day, Quatermain heads into town, to talk with a man named Swarma, who tells Quatermain what he knows and where to start looking for his brother. When Quatermain tells Jessie that he won’t be going to America as he wants to find his missing brother and friends, she gets upset and goes ahead and leaves without him. Quatermain seeks out a friend to help put an exploration party together but nobody is willing to go until they meet Umslopogaas, an old friend of Quatermain’s that has five Askari warriors who accompany him. They meet Swarma, who says that he feels compelled to accompany them, then rescue Jessie, who had a change of heart and chose to accompany Quatermain to help save his brother. After a lengthy journey, they eventually come to The Wall of Jalpora, where they discover a golden disk embedded in the wall. When Swarma tries to take the disk, it triggers a trap which causes the pathway to open up, exposing a deep pit beneath their feet. Two of the Askari warriors fall into the pit, and the remains of one of Quatermain’s friends are discovered, before Quatermain is able to push the disk back into place. Using canoes to continue their journey down river, they are forced to fight their way pass an Eshowe tribe, which kill one of the Askari warriors, but when a spear hits Quatermain but doesn’t harm him, they believe he is a devil and let them pass. They continue traveling into an underground cavern, losing the last two Askari warriors, but eventually wind up in an antechamber, where various languages are carved into the rocks. As Jessie begins to translate some of them, she falls into a pit where she finds some gold blocks as well as another of Quatermain’s friends but as they try to pull her up, they are attacked by strange worm-like creatures but manage to escape. Eventually, they make their way out of the cavern, and see the lost city in the distance. When they reach the city, they find it inhabited by both black and white people, all of whom are friendly. They also find Robeson, Quatermain’s brother, who is alive and well but before they can continue to catch up, they are interrupted by the high priest Agon, who says they violated their sacred code when they killed a lion, which they consider a sacred beast, outside the city. They are brought before Nyleptha and Sorais, sisters who share the duties of queen in the city. Agon says that one of them must die, and opens a pit in the floor, which Jessie almost falls into. As Quatermain grabs her hand, he shoots an approaching guard, that is dressed similar to the two men that killed Dumont. Agon throws a spear at Quatermain but when it bounces off his chest, he says he is either a god or devil then leaves with his guards, followed shortly by Sorais. Nyleptha apologizes for their welcome and offers to let them relax. Later, Robeson tells Quatermain that Agon used to be a slave trader but used the people’s fears to make himself into the high priest, a position which allows him to take control of the gold and smuggle it out of the city. Agon has Swarma brought to his hidden smelter, where he offers Swarma gold in exchange for telling him Quatermain’s secrets. Back in the city, Nasta, a warlord that “protects” the city at Agon’s request, arrives and challenges Quatermain to see who should protect the city, a contest Quatermain wins when he destroys a stone bench with dynamite. Nyleptha asks Quatermain to destroy a sacrificial altar that Agon had placed in the temple so, having run out of dynamite, Quatermain pretends to give power to Umslopogaas’ axe, which he uses to destroy the altar. Agon has Nasta assemble an army of Eshowe natives and they prepare to attack the city. Quatermain tries to help the peaceful villagers defend the city but as the Eshowe break through the gate, he has the villagers fall back to the temple and, using Umslopogaas’ axe, channels the lightning to melt the gold roof, covering the attacking army with liquid gold. Seeing Nasta enter the temple through a secret passage, Quatermain jumps through the roof and begins to fight with him. When Sorais opens the pit underneath them, Quatermain manages to avoid falling into the molten gold by holding onto Nasta, who is balanced over the opening. Sorais tries to kill Quatermain herself, but she ends up on top of Nasta, who is unable to hold on and the fall into the pool of gold. When Quatermain leaves the temple, Agon tries to kill him but Quatermain maneuvers him underneath the flow of melted gold and Agon winds up becoming covered in gold, turning himself into a statue. With the battle over, Robeson says they are welcome to stay in the city but Quatermain and Jessie decide that they have another adventure to go on.

So…any of the good points that were in the first movie didn’t exactly follow into the second. Still, this was one of those stupidly entertaining movies that were all over the 80’s. The acting was about the same as the first movie, although Sharon Stone (Jessie) was pretty ridiculous at times, such as when she decided to join Quatermain on his journey and started taking off her clothes so she could change into more suitable attire. Henry Silva (Agon) had probably the most over the top performance out of all of them. The story was pretty good and I actually liked it better than the first movie. The special effects were pretty bad, in that cheesy 80’s type of way. You should never attempt to take this movie seriously, but instead just enjoy the silliness of it if you decide to watch it.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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