16 Feb 2022
Jake Fallon, Katherine Flannery, Eric Rosenberg
The indomitable hero has long been a recurring film character, and provides a welcome change from the shiny power laden superhero. This type is human, deeply flawed but impossible to defeat. John McClane from Die Hard springs to mind; Rambo would stake a muscle bound claim and of course Indiana Jones, the eponymous hero of the unforgettable adventure franchise. We now have a young pretender as the Adventures of Thomas Walters unfold before our very eyes.
Thomas Walters (Jake Fallon) is a small time con man who has never knowingly sold an authentic item in his life. However, when he sells two prohibition whiskey bottles he learns of the rum running trade; a tale that fires his imagination, but more importantly provides a means of making money. He ropes in waitress and love interest Amber (Katherine Flannery) as they plot the recovery of plundered whiskey from the prohibition era.
Their quest leads them to Bannerman’s Castle atop an island on the Hudson River in New York. Rum running was rife as alcohol was smuggled across waterways to avoid prevailing laws. ‘Rum Row’ was a line of ships located offshore who would transfer cargoes to smaller craft. The pair are convinced that Bannerman’s Castle was used as a stop-off point and go in search of a courier to take them there. They approach the dubious Vane Briscoe (Eric Rosenberg), who looks like he just walked off the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. He sets Thomas and Amber a number of tasks before agreeing to take them. They duly weigh anchor and set off for Bannerman’s Castle. Once there they discover an island full of mystery and intrigue. But have they picked up enough clues on the way to find the treasure they seek?
Plunder Quest is eminently watchable and nicely put together. However, it makes no attempt to hide its inspiration as Indiana Jones looms at every possible turn. Walters wears a brown leather jacket and satchel thrown over his shoulder just like Indy. The soundtrack is also reminiscent of John Williams’ score for the Indy movies. None of which is a bad thing; all films carry influences from others, but Walters as a character needs to find a stronger, more distinctive identity. His line in wisecracks also needs beefing up if he aspires to his predecessors’ status.
But among the familiar characters and plotline is an intriguing history lesson in Americana. The rum running trade around New York is fascinating and will be new to many viewers. The bottom line must always be entertainment value, and this film ticks that particular box with relative ease.