Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
MacGyver and his old college professor search for the lost treasure of Atlantis. One of the professor's other former students is also looking for the treasure and will do whatever it takes to get it.
I am convinced that this is the key to the arc of Solon, and I propose to follow in his footsteps and find the treasure of Atlantis. ~The Professor
The escape scenes from the Balkan army camp is a legitimately great and exciting moment. The sight of the large army camp with numerous soldiers is welcomely reminiscent of the high adventure episodes where MacGyver squares off against a Latin American army. The first escape from the prison cell is very creative as MacGyver gets around an electrical floor by tipping on his chair. Even better is the second escape where he hooks up rockets to the back of a military truck and they speed through the camp, all while set to familiar Ken Harrison styled themes. Outstanding stuff.
RDA is guilty of some overacting (he's grumpier than ever), but he is outshined in the overacting department by Brian Blessed (aka "the Professor"). I don't remember seeing Blessed in anything else so I'm not sure how he normally is, and he generally seems like a good actor. But there are some scenes when he's talking about the treasure where he delivers his lines in a maniacal, over the top manner the likes of which I'm not sure I've seen before.
I also found the entire "the Professor double crossed us" story line puzzling. At first when he was revealed to be helping the bad guys, I was genuinely surprised and didn't see it coming at all. It seemed like a stretch and like something that was thrown in just for "a twist", but I was willing to go along with it. But then he switched back to the good side in a matter of minutes, and that was confusing and totally submarined the plot element.
I'll go with the rocket/truck escape discussed in the highlight.
Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
- I didn't remember one single thing about the movies before I started watching them. I'm sure I must have seen them when they originally aired (I wouldn't have not watched them), but I guess I didn't have the foresight to tape them, and I don't think they were re-aired consistently. That makes watching them really exciting and a unique opportunity, for it's the only time left in my life that I will ever watch MacGyver and not know what happens (unless of course the series is rebooted someday).
- Was curious to see if there was going to be an opening song. The answer is no.
- When we first see MacGyver, he's climbing into a dark chamber with the Professor. His hair looks like a combo of season 5 and 7 (blond, wavy, and long), and he's as ornery as can be. "Get off my foot," he angrily barks at the professor as one of his first lines.
- Not sure why it was necessary to flash forward 5 years after the escape from the chamber (which sadly we didn't see). What was the Professor doing in all that time? He doesn't seem like the type to wait around while the treasure is still out there.
- I like Atlantis in general. I'm not all that knowledgeable about it, but I remember seeing a tv special on it about 10 years ago that was really interesting and speculated that it may have been at the time and place where all the continents were fused together.
- We know that MacGyver studied Physics at Western Tech but now we learn that he also studied archaeology at "university" with the Professor. Maybe it was a study abroad program.
- It would be nice if the U.N. had the kind of power in real life that the characters in this episode are suggesting.
- 23:37 mark - "Quiet!" MacGyver yells at the Professor while whipping his hat across the room. He is really mad right now. In fact, this level of curmudgeon-ness is greater than anything we see in Season 7, which is saying something. Hopefully he's a little happier in the next movie.
- Shouldn't they have realized the medallion was magnetic 5 years ago when they found it?
- The Kelly character is ok. The actress who plays her is good, but I have two issues:
- The only hint of a spark between Kelly and MacGyver are when she tells him that she used to have a crush on him, and then she kisses him at the end. The rest of the time, there's no hint of anything. I'd say either go all in on the romantic storyline or else don't even bring it up. She also looks young enough to be his daughter, so I'd vote for not bringing it up.
- Not sure what the point of her grandfather is. It may be so that they can have a scene where she stands up for herself and tells him that she's going to make her own choices, which is not necessary to the plot. And at one point the grandfather says Atlantis is a fairy tale, but then why is he digging around in the crater?
- 41:52 - Pretty sweet sliding leg kick by MacGyver to take out the thief in the museum, and then a strong sequence in the streets of London as MacGyver hops onto the thief's car.
- 46:34 - After they talk to the inspector, MacGyver grabs the Professor by the coat and yells at him. I think some anger management courses are in his future.
- 49:48 - the Professor reveals that the treasure is hidden in the volcanic crater at Thera where he and MacGyver were in the beginning. Kelly also mentions that her grandfather took her to Thera once. If it's common knowledge that the treasure of Atlantis is there, wouldn't they or someone else have found it by now? I know there's the whole "planetary alignment once every 500 years" thing, but that wouldn't have stopped anyone from finding the opening to that room (which they don't have too much trouble finding once they get there). I know these types of plots are hard to write but it feels a bit like they just threw some stuff up against the wall and hoped that it would stick.
- One of the worst tie-up jobs ever on MacGyver and Kelly in the cave.
- The English manor scene is reminiscent of Holy Rose 2, except this one was actually filmed in England.
- Cool shot of the planets lining up (pictured above), even if they're not nearly that visible and large in real life. I don't mean to complain - it is fiction after all.
- The treasure of knowledge reminds me a bit of the seeds in The Treasure of Manco. Sadly they can't take the knowledge with them on their way out.
- Of course the funnel attached to the rope catches perfectly on the rock above, and Kelly and the Professor seem pretty sure of this outcome as happily celebrate while it's still flying through the air. Not sure why MacGyver's rope scaling technique is the worst of the three. He needs to go back and get recertified at MacGyverland!
That was fun! But the fun-ness was more due to the newness rather than this being a great work of art. The escape from the Balkan army was fantastic, but there's not too much else that would make me get excited to rewatch this one. MacGyver is grumpy throughout, the villains are weak, the Professor is a nut, and there were some plot issues that were hard to overcome. In general I enjoy treasure hunts, but this one doesn't captivate me too much. Where will it rank? I am sticking it between 106 (Renegade) and 107 (Gunz 'N Boys). Coming up next, it's The Trail to Doomsday! Judging by Mark and Highlander's rankings, this one might have even more issues.