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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Last Templar


Starring: Mira Sorvino, Omar Sharif, Scott Foley and Victor Garber
Brightspark Production
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 19 March 2012

When a valuable Templar decoder is stolen during a museum gala opening, by what appears to be genuine horse riding Templars, archaeologist Tess Chaykin is forced to work with FBI agent Sean Daley to recover the device. They discover that it holds the key to the location of the Templars last and most important treasure...

The Last Templar (2009) is a two-part television drama, based on the novel by Raymond Khoury, adapted for television by Suzette Couture and directed by Paolo Barzman.

Before we get on to the actual program, the packaging of the disc should be addressed. Now, this is not something that is usually a concern, as they mostly consist of a bit of the plot and a few pictures on the back, with some sort of poster or beauty shot on the front. So, what’s so wrong with the packaging for The Last Templar?

Well, whilst there are portions of the story which depict the fall of Acre, in 1291, and the Templars plight, these are few and far between. Predominantly the main action takes place in the modern world. Oddly, there is no reference to this on the cover, with all the pictures taken from the flash-backs, there is not a single reference or image of what you will really be watching, which is an average thriller, very much in the mould of The Da Vinci Code.

So, moving away from what the packaging would like you to think the story is about we have Mira Sorvino (Tess Chaykin) as our plucky heroine, who takes acceptation to a bunch of knights stealing her museum pieces, so much so she even takes chase on a horse, only stopped in her pursuit by the over efficient police.

At this point we are introduced to Scott Foley (Sean Daley), an FBI detective, which you can instantly tell as most of his dialogue appears to have been lifted from 'The Big Book of Detective Clichés'. This dialogue is peppered with so much heavy handed Christian dogma, that you would be hard pressed not to think that the show wasn’t funded by some far right religious group. At times his speeches steer precariously towards propaganda.

There is the initial feeling that there will be a romance between the two main characters, but this never comes about, ultimately, either one of the characters could have conceivably disappeared from the show without leaving a gap.

The story is by-the-number television, which leaves little to criticise, but equally little to praise. You don’t really get to care what happens to them and this lacklustre approach extends itself to basic parts of the plot, especially when the Templars flee Jerusalem, only to look back, from their ship to see the city burning. An impressive feat of sight, you would agree, considering that the city is nearly thirty miles from the coast. It's probably why the location has been change to Acre on the packaging.

I’m tempted to think that the packaging so misrepresents the actual content because the makers realised that the show wasn’t really that good, even with the inclusion of Omar Sharif, who only plays a minor part in the proceedings. The real shame is that the portions which depict the Templars are probably the best part of the show, had they stuck to this then they would have produced something far more interesting. Not even the big reveal as to what the secret/treasure of the Templars consisted of could raise any life in a languid and lazy plot.

As befits a modern show the picture is clear, with good strong colours. The only extra on the disc is The Making of (21 min, 12 sec) which is little more than an extended advert.


Charles Packer

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