Wednesday, November 30, 2016

'Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Movie' Is Enjoyably Nostalgic, but Also Objectively Corny and Dumb

Legends of the Hidden Temple was an awesome show.  As a kid, I extremely loved it.  It was my most favorite game show.  I even created my own version of the “Temple Run” segment, and led my childhood friends to be “contestants” for it.  And even later in life, it still had an effect on me as there was a time when I was a teen that I constantly uttered “Let’s rock!” as an expression (unconsciously stolen from Olmec).

Thus, as a huge fan, I was greatly looking forward to this TV movie based on it.
The plot of Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Movie is about three siblings – Sadie, Noah, and Dudley – who go on a vacation to a “Hidden Temple” theme park, wherein Kirk Fogg (the host of the show) is working as a tour guide.  Noah receives a map of the temple from Kirk, and drags his siblings to trespass inside the temple, eager to prove to them that the legend is true.  After finding a way inside, they are welcomed by Olmec, the guardian of the temple, and find themselves in a perilous adventure through the temple involving puzzles, hidden traps, and Temple Guards in order to retrieve the two halves of the Pendant of Life and return Olmec’s kingdom to its former glory.

Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Movie is obviously designed for old-time fans, as the whole movie is hinged on nostalgia to work.  Because, by itself, it’s fundamentally stupid and corny.  The coherency of its plot relies on one’s familiarity to the features and mechanics of the game show.  Without it, the movie turns out being more confusing and off-putting than it already is.  It has tons of references, and those who don’t have knowledge of the game show’s concept will fail to appreciate the significance of many of its plot elements.  Example, there’s this scene wherein the siblings have a hard time in assembling the Shrine of Silver Monkey despite only having three parts to figure out.  And if you aren’t familiar of the fact that many contestants did struggle of assembling it despite having only three parts, then you will likely find the scene completely dumb when it’s actually hilarious and clever (though this movie has genuinely dumb jokes and details, too).
Indeed, those who love Legends of the Hidden Temple are the ones who will particularly have fun and be pleased with this deeply flawed and hackneyed TV movie.  As for younger audiences, unacquainted to the old show, they may derive some enjoyment from it, but it won’t resonate to them.

I’m kind of bummed, though, that, even once in the movie, Olmec didn’t get to say, “Let’s rock!”

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