Feb 11, 2017 08:40 PM EST

Teen Sleuths Find Hidden Treasure in The Adventure Club

Teen Sleuths Find Hidden Treasure in The Adventure Club

If you were a kid in the 80's, you were most likely a fan of the movie Goonies and the Indiana Jones series. Fast forward almost 20 years, and if you like scavenger hunts, National Treasure is a movie you've watched more than once. Now, for the next generation of explorers/treasure hunters/archeologists, there is The Adventure Club - three kids who search for fun and excitement and end up with more than they bargained for.

Ricky's (Sam Ashe Arnold; Mommy's Little Girl) grandfather was an archeologist who founded the science museum in the town where Ricky and his mom, Jane (Gabrielle Miller; Down River), live and where she works.  Ricky and his friends, Sandy (Delila Bela; Odd Squad) and Bill (Jakob Davies; If I Stay), are trying to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and have dubbed themselves The Adventure Club.  They seek out new inventions and ideas while still being in middle school.

However, Ricky is haunted by two things. The first is trying to help find funding for the museum so it doesn't close and get replaced by real estate developments and the second is trying to live up to his grandfather's adventurous spirit.   When he accidently stumbles upon some secret clues his grandfather left behind, Ricky convinces Bill and Sandy to help him figure out what it all means.  Never could they have expected what they would find.  Unfortunately, there are some bad guys who also want to find the hidden treasure and use it for their own benefit.

The main cast is young and not as experienced as some others in Hollywood but veterans Billy Zane (Titanic) and Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy) balance out the team nicely.  Zane is so great at playing the villain that even though he doesn't show up until probably halfway through the film, his role is memorable.  Coates is such a great, slightly goofy and zany character that she naturally fits well into this movie geared towards younger audiences.

The production value is what you would expect of a slightly lower budget film, but tries hard nonetheless, and the gyroscope is a cool addition to the museum.  Director Geoff Anderson (Step Dogs) is known more for his visual effects in films such as Zero Dark ThirtyFast and Furious 6, and Straight Outta Compton and his expertise is apparent in how he makes the wish box come to life and animates the secret room wall.  

The plot is certainly cute, as the film is meant for the 7-11 range age group.  It has excitement, intrigue, bad guys and some fun elements which will appeal to its intended audience.  Although I don't believe the movie is based on a young adult book series, it has that "feel" to it (think Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and I can certainly see this title becoming a franchise.  These kids can go on more and more adventures (hence the name of the club) and bring preteens all over the globe with them.

The movie isn't overly long, makes it's point and, as with most films with a moral, the bad guys lose and the good guys save the day in the end.  It has everything you want your kids to see at the theater on a rainy day and does it with some fun attached.

Grade: B-

Photo and clip are "courtesy of Gravitas Ventures.


About Allison Skornick-Rose

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