A virtual remake of KING SOLOMON'S MINES, this film stars Taylor as an uncivil civil engineer assigned to survey the Kenyan bush and forest for a prospective railroad line. Previously, the task had been undertaken by Aubrey's father and fiance, both of whom have been missing for some time.
Aubrey shows up and gets Taylor to allow her to join in his expedition, and Newley also signs on as comic relief. Taylor rounds out his party from a group of convicts--the only natives willing to brave the unspeakable evils of the interior, their freedom being their payment. Taylor's surveying
safari snakes its way through a bevy of beasts, a veritable Noah's Ark of stock shots, many of them badly matched to the actor-reaction takes. Taylor's gruff rebuffs to the frequently frightened but persistent Aubrey, and his rifle-shooting rescues of Newley, who at one point, holding a surveyor's
leveling rod, backs into a pride of lions, form much of the substance of the film. Taylor picks up a sidekick, young Dimech, whose father, Aslan, is the chief villain of the piece. Slave-trader Aslan wants to use the proposed railroad himself to ship his living cargo and needs to have the tracks
follow a route different from the one that Taylor plans. Son Dimech opposes his father's evil intentions. The hackneyed plot has the frightened bearers deserting the party, and Taylor gaining the respect of a once-threatening native chief then having to battle a group of blood-thirsty natives
gathered together by Aslan. After the climatic battle, the mortally wounded Aslan, who tried to halt the assault upon learning of his son's presence in the party, makes peace with the boy and expires. Aubrey's fiance is found, now an irredeemable alcoholic, and the engagement is broken so that she
and Taylor may enjoy an implicit amour on their return journey. There is no comparison between this poorly produced effort and the wonderful KING SOLOMON'S MINES. Taylor seems tired, Newley is not all that funny, and Aubrey is so obnoxious one fails to see how she could appeal to Taylor.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A virtual remake of KING SOLOMON'S MINES, this film stars Taylor as an uncivil civil engineer assigned to survey the Kenyan bush and forest for a prospective railroad line. Previously, the task had been undertaken by Aubrey's father and fiance, both of who… (more)