Review: Jack Hunter and the Lost Treasure of Ugarit on Syfy a fun escape

Tonight the Syfy channel introduces a dashing new action hero. <BR><BR>In what is to be the first installment of the Jack Hunter Trilogy, family movie night doesn’t get much better than Syfy’s "Jack Hunter and the Lost Treasure of Ugarit" which airs tonight, July 31st at 9:00pm. <P></P> <P>Action! Adventure! Antiquities! Homages to "Indiana Jones" and "Romancing the Stone" as Syria is ground zero for the latest archaeological mystery and chase for the artifact between good, evil and those who are just in it for the money.<BR><BR>Jack Hunter (Ivan Sergei) is our "Indy" protege of a professor who stepped in after Jack’s parents deaths in college to set the boozing and drugging grief-stricken kid right.  </P> <P>The film opens with a "Mission: Impossible" inspired scene where Jack is on a caper.  Just back from France after he swipes a tablet engraved with a treasure schematic in the ancient language he speaks, Jack returns to his professor’s study to find him murdered, and the prized tablet stolen. The handsome lead is galvanized to go to Syria, find the murderer(s) of his mentor and solve the artifact’s cryptic mysteries to honor the fallen academic’s life-long work. </P> <P>***image4:center***</P> <P><BR><BR>Piece of cake right? Not. Waiting for our hero is one comely Syrian babe Nadia Ramadan (Joanne Kelly) who was educated in the States and now protects the country’s ancient treasures, and one badass German excavating ruins past his welcome (our Dr. Belloq if you will), Littman (Thure Riefenstein) who has a bit of a crush for our Miss Nadia, and is working for the bad guys (Russians, who else?).</P> <P>And while all of this skullduggery and cat and mouse is underway, the noble Hashasheen of Syria try to protect their supersecret lethal gift from Allah left to their watchful eyes.<BR><BR>The initial meeting of Jack and Nadia is right out of a play by Douglas and Turner in "Romancing the Stone."  The two actors have real chemistry and as the plot thickens, they naturally bond and partner in bad guy beat downs and spelunking ancient Scorpion-filled caves.<BR><BR>The producers shot this trilogy in Turkey, which has the requisite landscapes and is blessed with experienced below the line crews that deliver the goods; the film looks great and for Syfy Saturday night movies, the VFX shots work nicely.</P> <P>***image3:center***</P> <P><BR><BR>With every action adventure film comes some needed comic relief, and that comes in the form of the Syrian aide-de-camp, Tariq (Mario Basil), who looks like he is part Marty Feldman and part Vincent Schiavelli.  Tariq is the hapless, bubbly and blithe sidekick who is genuinely entertaining.<BR><BR>Both Thure Riefenstein and Ivan Sergei are extremely masculine and charismatic actors, without overdoing it and they both have real sex appeal and the two of them radiate well in Joanne Kelly’s presence. <BR><BR>Here’s hoping Syfy will announce when the next two films in this trilogy will air.</P> <P>Terrific, fun family movie, pop the popcorn!</P><EMBED src=http://www.youtube.com/v/UVn9UP7ge5U&hl=en_US&fs=1 width=480 height=385 type=application/x-shockwave-flash allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></EMBED>Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.