Mr. Car and the Knights Templar is a Netflix movie based on a series of popular Polish books by Zbigniew Nienacki. It follows the exploits of Tomasz, an art historian who goes by the nickname of Mr. Car, as he discovers an ancient Templar cross and embarks on a quest to unravel its secrets. Along the way, he encounters a group of young adventurers who join him in his search, as well as some shady characters who want to get their hands on the relic.
The movie tries to be a family-friendly adventure that mixes history, mystery, and action, but it fails on almost every level. The plot is predictable and full of holes, the characters are bland and stereotypical, and the dialogue is cheesy and awkward. The movie also suffers from poor pacing, editing, and cinematography, making it a tedious and unappealing watch.
The movie does not do justice to the source material, which is much more engaging and humorous. The books have a loyal fan base in Poland, but the movie does not capture the charm and wit of the original stories. Instead, it offers a generic and dull adaptation that does not stand out among other similar movies.
One of the main problems with the movie is its lack of originality and creativity. The movie borrows heavily from other adventure movies like Indiana Jones, National Treasure, and The Da Vinci Code, but without any of the fun or excitement. The movie relies on clichés and tropes that have been done before, such as secret codes, hidden clues, ancient puzzles, booby traps, car chases, and explosions.
The movie also fails to create any sense of suspense or danger for its characters. The villains are cartoonish and incompetent, posing no real threat to Tomasz and his team. The obstacles they face are easily overcome with convenient solutions or deus ex machina moments. For example, when a bomb traps Tomasz in a room, he simply uses his car's remote control to drive it away from the building. When Adios and his men corner him, he uses a hidden button to activate a smoke screen and escape.
The movie also does not develop its characters or their relationships well. Tomasz is supposed to be a brilliant art historian, but he acts like a reckless and arrogant treasure hunter who cares more about fame and fortune than history or culture. He is also rude and dismissive of his teammates, especially Anka, a reporter who questions his motives and methods. Anka is supposed to be a strong and independent woman, but she becomes a love interest for Tomasz who follows him around without much agency or purpose.
The other characters are even more forgettable and one-dimensional. Karen is a mysterious treasure hunter who turns out to be Petersen's daughter, seeking revenge for his death. Petersen is Tomasz's friend who dies in an explosion early in the movie. Laima is an old woman who claims to know about the Templar treasure and guides Tomasz on his quest. Eagle Eye, Mentor, and Squirrel are three scout children who join Tomasz's team for no apparent reason other than to provide comic relief.
The only redeeming quality of the movie is Mateusz Janicki's performance as Mr. Car, who tries to inject some energy and charisma into his role. He is clearly having fun with his character, but he cannot save the movie from its many flaws. The rest of the cast is forgettable and unconvincing, especially the young actors who play their companions.
It is a poorly made and poorly written adventure that does not deliver on its promises. It is a movie that makes you wish you were watching something else, anything else, even a blank screen. It is a movie that makes you wonder how it got made in the first place, and who thought it was a good idea. It is a movie that makes you regret wasting your time and money on it.
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