Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I got my DVR set for the ‘Most Dangerous Night on Television’ because you know I make it a point to watch all of those Sci-Fi original movies. I don’t know why I do this, but I do. You do to. Do you know why you do this? I can always use the excuse ‘I have to review it’ but how do you go about justifying watching this stuff? Anyway, I watch ‘Jack Hunter and the Lost Treasure of Ugarit’ and found it to be a completely palatable Indiana Jones knock off, if not a mediocre and generic one, but it ends on somewhat of a cliff hanger. Turns out this was supposed to be a mini-series, and we don’t really do TV shows here at the FCU… but it was on the ‘Most Dangerous Night on Television’ so what the hell… Plus it just might be the best Sci-Fi Original movie they’ve shown since… heck… Abominable? Minotaur? It’s been a while.

Ivan Sergei, fresh from his day job as Quarterback of the New England Patriots, is the title character of Jack Hunter. Like Indiana Jones we check out Jack the Archeologist robbing some artifacts. Unlike Indy, Jack is robbing these artifacts from a museum. You don’t really need to be an archeologist to rob from a museum, just a common thief. Anyway, Jack has stolen this tablet for his mentor Dr. Schaeffer (Sean Lawlor), even though Dr. Schaeffer didn’t require Jack to steal this for him, because Dr. Schaeffer wanted to read the inscriptions on this tablet. Note that Jack took pictures of this. The pictures would’ve worked just fine. Dr. Schaeffer believes that he is this close to finding a Syrian treasure that this tablet holds the key to. This leads us to an issue we have with this movie. Dr. Schaeffer wants to find this treasure, a weapon of sorts, so that all Syrian artifacts will remain in Syria with the Syrian people. Hmmm…. It seems that the artifact is already in Syria, thus it is with the Syrian people and actually finding this artifact will just cause all kinds of trouble. Leave it where it is.

Oh well. While walking Dr. Schaeffer’s pretty assistant Liz (Susan Ward) back to her home… waitaminute… I must digress yet again. Jack and Liz were getting hot and heavy, Jack had Liz’s shirt unbuttoned, but Jack stops himself, unable to continue. This is Susan Ward talking about here. And to think I was just telling my wife that there aren’t enough homosexual action heroes on television. So while Jack was refusing Liz sex, somebody busts in the profs office, steals his tablet and shoots him dead. Note that if Jack didn’t steal this tablet, which was unnecessary as it turned out, the prof be would alive now but Jack didn’t see it that way.

Now Jack is off to Syria to finish the professor’s work. In Syria he is teamed with Nadia Ramadan (Joanne Kelly) who, while plenty beautiful, does nothing but spit acid at Jack and pretty much everybody else throughout this entire movie. I was curious how they were going to make the character of Nadia a little more palatable so that the inevitable love between Jack and Nadia could grow. They failed in this. But considering there are two movies after this maybe those flicks made Nadia seem like she was worth kissing. Not here though. Not even close.

Also looking for this treasure is evil German archeologist Albert Littman (Thure Riefenstein) who knows full well that Jack holds the keys to finding whatever it is that they are looking for. This does expose more nonsense in this movie being that folks are trying to steal maps and stuff from Jack when Jack is apparently the only person on the planet earth who can read these maps.

Regardless, adventure will soon ensue. With Mario Nail Bassil on board as the driver Tariq to lend some comical buffoonery to the process, our hero and heroine, who is still spitting acid, will get shot at, chased, ride horses, withstand sand storms, deal with scorpions and crazed hooded fanatics to get and secure pharaoh’s treasure from the evil German who will use it to DESTROY THE WORLD. A treasure that was in no danger of being found before Jack Hunter and his dead professor friend intervened. But dang if they don’t see it that way.

Sure, we will admit that we are grading this movie on the ‘Sci-Fi Channel Curve’. ‘Jack Hunter’ is a movie that has debilitating gaps in logic, is saddled with some really suspect action sequences, even more suspect CGI, has one star that’s good looking and stiff and has another star that’s good looking and unsavory. But when compared to something like ‘Raptor Island’ it’s pretty good for a Sci-Fi original. While the action may have been suspect there sure was plenty of it. It was almost non-stop, only slowing down to have Joanne Kelly spit acid or have Ivan Sergei look disinterested. I probably would’ve left the Indian Jones fedora off my man’s head to avoid any more comparisons to Indy than necessary, but that’s the decision they made. Indiana Jones, no matter what font they use on the box cover, this is not.

But still, we didn’t hate this movie. Even enjoyed it some. Thure Riefenstein made for a solid villain… evil but controlled... the scenery was nice to look at, the action was plentiful and it was good enough to make me at least try to tune in when ‘Jack Hunter and the Quest of Ahkenaten’s Tomb’ makes it way to the television. Whenever that is. This completed trilogy has apparently been sitting on a shelf somewhere the last couple of years before Sci-Fi so graciously picked it up. Come on ‘Most Dangerous Night on Television’, don’t make us wait too long.

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