Review: Anachronistic kids’ caper ‘The Adventure Club’ takes bland to the next level

"The Adventure Club," with Sam Ash Arnold, from left, Delia Bela, Kim Coates and Jakob Davies, is a dull Canadian tween caper.
(Gravitas Ventures)

Set in some sort of weird alternate universe where contemporary kids prefer to communicate on walkie-talkies and look stuff up at the library, “The Adventure Club” is a remarkably dull Canadian tween caper about a sought-after magical ancient box with wish-making powers.

Undaunted that their homemade time machine failed to get off the ground, Ricky (Sam Ashe Arnold) and fellow Adventure Club nerds Sandy (Dalila Bela) and Bill (Jakob Davies) set their lofty goals on the discovery of an old key belonging to his late archaeologist grandfather.

Before you can say Indiana Jones, their quest takes them to a walled-off section of a Saskatchewan science museum, leading to that fabled wish box, also in the sights of a greedy black marketer (Billy Zane).

Even the very youngest of audiences will be one step ahead of these intrepid sleuths, given the snail’s pace at which this blandly antiseptic, broadcast TV-funded production proceeds.


While the so-called action takes place in present day, director Geoff Anderson, an award-winning visual effects artist whose behind-the-camera efforts include “Vampire Dog” and “Step Dogs,” and screenwriters Robin Dunne and Fred Ewanuick demonstrate little evidence of a connection to the way 21st century 10-year-olds act and speak.

Their viewing contemporaries will probably take to heart the message from Ricky’s grandpa, “the key to adventure is always right in front of you,” and will look longingly at theater exit signs.


‘The Adventure Club’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Playing: AMC Orange 30, Orange

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