This “treasure” should remain undiscovered…

Director Roger Christian, after doing a not bad job on his last effort, Stranded, excretes Prisoners of the Sun over us from on high. A ham-fisted affair that tries to mix sci-fi with ancient Egyptian lore, and fails miserably in the process, as it works well as neither. I enjoy a good Egyptian/Indiana Jones-type romp just like the next Egyptian/Indiana Jones-type-romp-enjoying person but this was unbelievably unimaginative as the same old hackneyed tricks were wheeled out, one after the other, and with John Rhys-Davies hamming it up like this was a series film, it was all pretty laughable.

The fact that this cost $18 million was extremely surprising but the budget had to be spent on something, so I guess nice CGI for the very beginning and very end of the film is as good a place as any. I’d have thought a good script would have been the ideal place to start.

Prisoners of the Sun
Directed by
Roger Christian
John Rhys-Davies, David Charvet, Emily Holmes
Release Date
Ed’s Grade: D+

Prisoners of the Sun tells the story of aliens from outer space, who came to Earth and taught us everything we know and how to build nice triangular structures out of sandstone. They gave us the idyllic life until exactly 5000 years ago, when something went wrong and they had to hide all their stuff and lock it up. They created a key that, when activated at the correct time, will reawaken the sleepers (dudes wrapped in bandages) and create havoc on Earth.

Along with searching for the key for years, Prof. Hayden Masterton (Gimli) and his lovely daughter, have been looking for clues to the lost tomb of a pharaoh who ruled 5000 years-ago and is hoped to be the hiding place of untold riches. Masterton has arranged to buy the key from a dealer in the local bazaar but a bullying treasure hunter, Peter Levitz (Michael Higgs), murders his Eastenders buddy (Shane Richie), using Masterton’s walking stick then steals the key. He blackmails his way onto being on the team that go into the pharaoh’s tomb. The team is made up of an international-ish group who bungle their way onto the expedition at the last-minute and eventually wish they hadn’t.
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I also I wish I hadn’t; hadn’t bothered watching this dreadful cobbled together movie, as the plot holes, editing, script, continuity and sudden changes in picture quality were most annoying. Prisoners of the Sun starts off great with the CGI they’ve assembled for the opening sequence and the compulsory dubbing of a deep-voiced actor, relating the story of 5000 years-ago looked pretty solid, but then the actual story began and blew it, big time. Almost the entire film is about NOT getting to the point.

Everyone in the know, has been searching for this pharaohs tomb for many years and the day before the stars align which enables the thing to be opened, a huge storm comes along and uncovers it. Now, that would be fine if it wasn’t a gigantic pyramid that they were all right next to in the first place!? People didn’t wonder what was under the giant pyramid-shaped hill?! The traps that are set for our characters were lame, as was how they managed to take ages to get in the tomb, yet the survivors managed to escape with ease!?

The end of the film is where it got really messed up and was as if they didn’t care anymore and just wanted something in the can. The shots they used for outside the pyramid didn’t quite match up to what was supposed to be happening on the inside and the great CGI they began with decided to make do with a substantial drop in quality for the finale.

I’m not sure who would enjoy a film like Prisoners of the Sun, but I do have my suspicions, however, I’m only interested in the entertainment value of a film and this has very little, so, it’s best to avoid it like the Egyptian plague.

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer