‘Mr. Car and the Knights Templar’ Review: Myth and Legend Make for a Convoluted Family Film

Mr. Car and the Knights Templar 3
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The making of a family film is not an easy task. The filmmakers must find a balance where the movie can be fun, understandable, and engaging for multiple demographics. This, of course, is almost impossible, as every single one of us, the audience members, has our own taste. We just like what we like; even when we can appreciate something we do not like, it will never leave that territory. However, some movies manage to achieve that almost impossible goal and are truly remembered for it. Unfortunately, on Netflix, Mr. Car and the Knights Templar tries and fails to do so.

Mr. Car and the Knights Templar is a film directed by Antoni Nykowski, and stars Mateusz Janicki, Sandra Drzymalska, Maria Debska, Jacek Beler, Piotr Sega, Olgierd Blecharz, and Kalina Kowalczuk.

The film tells the story of Tomasz N.N. A famous historian and treasure hunter suddenly finds himself involved in a mystery concerning the ancient order of the Knights Templar, as well as a group of boy scouts who have managed to find the clues to solve the mystery. The film is a classic cinematic adventure that tries to cross generations and find common ground where they can enjoy themselves equally.

Mr. Car and the Knights Templar 2

Indiana Jones is undoubtedly one of cinema’s most important and iconic characters. While inconsistent, the original trilogy of films is the template on which every other adventure family film needs to build on top of. What Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford managed to achieve in those movies hasn’t been replicated since then. It is hard to entice a sense of adventure and imagination in kids today.

They are constantly bombarded from everywhere with constant stimuli. So, what amazed kids one or two generations in the past would feel like nothing to kids being raised today.

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Even the latest installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, the so-called “Dial of Destiny,” failed when copying itself. As we said, it is not an easy task to find that balance. It becomes harder and harder to make kids feel impressed, and also, it is harder and harder to reignite the imagination in adult minds.

Nostalgia can only do so much. If the characters and the story are weak, then no amount of references, music cues, or action sequences will save the movie. In today’s filmmaking environment, Indiana Jones should also serve as a guide for what not to do.

This takes us to Mr. Car and the Knights Templar. This is a movie that is certainly trying to draw from the Indiana Jones template. Just the fact that the main character is an art historian and also a treasure hunter should give us enough clues as to where the inspiration comes from.

This is great, as, from the very moment the film starts, you can feel that the tone will be fun and jovial. However, as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that it cannot keep this tone forever and keep it interesting. Sadly, The movie is also permeated by a convoluted plot that makes things a bit hard to follow, especially for those of us who are not initiated in these historical allusions.

Mr. Car and the Knights Templar

The Templars’ entire story is fascinating, and they have always been associated with the fantastic, the mysterious, and the forbidden. The organization makes for a perfect base from which to construct a bigger mystery, but sadly, the movie stumbles when trying to make the mystery enticing enough.

The characters are certainly interested in it, but it doesn’t come through the screen to the viewer. In part, this is the result of a main character who is quite unlikeable and who, for the most part, doesn’t seem very interested in the mystery itself. The movie tries to set up something similar to what the character of Alan Grant passed through in the original Jurassic Park, but it fails.

Mr. Car, just like Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, is trapped with a bunch of kids that have way more information, interest, and even expertise on the subject at hand. At many points in the movie, I felt it would have been better if the kids were the story’s main protagonists. They are still incredibly important, but the titular, Mr. Car, feels more like an obstacle than something that makes the movie better.

This is not to say that Mateusz Janicki is doing a bad job. On the contrary, he is quite solid. The fault falls in the hands of the writer and the director, who made the character this way.

From a visual point of view, the movie shows that it lacks the budget to challenge the big blockbusters, but it doesn’t need to. The mystery at hand feels very grounded, and so being able to film on location is enough to make this quite a wonderful movie to watch.

The landscapes are beautiful, and some sets are pretty good. The movie sells its setting and locations well, so props to the production designers who worked on it. The cinematography, on the other hand, might not be anything to talk home about, but it serves its purpose.

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As the movie keeps piling bits of lore on each other almost in every scene, the twists and turns start feeling meaningless in the big picture. I wish I could have been as amazed with Mr. Car as the kids in the movie are. I would have preferred an adventure with just them and the characters of Anka and Karen.

The movie feels like the beginning of a franchise, and I’m sure that is the idea, but let me know when the spin-off comes, as this main character seems to lack what made all those other great family movie heroes work in the first place. Sympathy.

SCORE: 6/10

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