Antoni Nykowski’s newest Polish-language adventure drama on Netflix, titled Mr. Car and the Knights Templar, has been adapted from a novel of the same name by Zbigniew Nienacki. Starring Mateusz Janicki, Jacek Beler, and Sandra Drzymalska, among others, the movie talks about an enthusiastic art historian and treasure hunter, Mr. Tomasz, who has to go on an adventure to find the hidden treasure of the Knights Templar, using the clues of a cross he discovers. The movie is meant to be enjoyed as a one-time watch, but it’s best to watch it with the whole family. With a few light-hearted jokes and a happy-go-lucky attitude, it might be just the movie you need this weekend. Read on to find out about this Polish film and decide if you should give it a try.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Mr. Car And The Knights Templar’?
Renowned Polish art historian Mr. Tomasz retrieves a cross believed to have been carried by the Knights Templars along with his friend Peterson. However, the recovery isn’t a smooth ride, and he has to fight with the dangerous desperados who go by the name Adios. Thanks to Peterson’s intervention and his own brilliance, Tomasz is able to trap Adios and escape in his beloved all-terrain jeep, along with the cross. In the National Museum exhibition, Tomasz promises to find the treasure that the cross is believed to guide people to, and it’s here that he meets Anka, a journalist. She doesn’t believe in Tomasz’s intentions, that his goal of searching for the treasure is not selfish, and she keeps harassing him for an interview. Later, Tomasz is asked to meet a woman who’s deeply connected with the treasure of the Templars, and in the meantime, he decides to go looking for more trouble. While foraging through a hotel room for clues about the other crosses, Tomasz is attacked by a couple of paid thugs, but once again, Peterson comes to the rescue and saves him. But while boarding his own car, a car bomb explodes, killing Peterson. Undoubtedly, it’s the work of Adios.
At a school picnic, three friends decide to prove their bullies wrong and plan to solve the clues at the competition that’ll be hosted in a town, several miles away. The competition shall be about solving the clues that can lead the clever adventurer to the treasure that the knights had protected with great care. Interestingly, it was Anka who had released information about the competition on the radio, which informed the kids about what was going on. Thus, Eagle Eye, Mentor, and Squirrel set off on their way, and as fate would have it, they met Anka, who was also on her way to the town. At the competition, the kids are thrilled when Tomasz has to join their team because each group must be six members strong. As for the sixth member, the gruff Karen joins the group, although she holds a grudge against Tomasz because she’s the daughter of Peterson, and she believes that her father would be alive if not for Tomasz. Unfortunately, Adios has also made his way to the competition, and he’s actively seeking the treasure. The reason behind his desperation is that the treasure, which is believed to hold the power to bring the dead back to life, might be able to resurrect his deceased son.
The competition soon turns ugly as Adios begins killing people and also sets fire to the tent with Eagle Eye inside. Tomasz saves the kid, earning his lifelong devotion, but when the going gets tough, Tomasz cuts and leaves. However, as these movies usually go, he soon realizes the error of his ways and returns to the police station where Anka and the other kids are being held to take them along. But he was too late because Adios had already barged in and taken Eagle Eye away because he’d been able to decipher the clues of the cross from the markings made on its hilt. Tomasz, Anka, Mentor, and Squirrel hurry towards the possible location where the treasure could be kept, and they also come up with a nickname for Tomasz, Mr. Car. When the odd group reaches their destination, they’re met with stiff resistance from Adios’ men, but the most surprising thing is that Karen has joined forces with the criminal to get to the root of the treasure by any means necessary. She needs to acquire the treasure so that her father can be brought back to life. With Eagle Eye being held at knifepoint by Adios, Mr. Car has no choice but to follow Adios’ orders and seek the treasure, but will the merry group discover what the treasure of the Templars really is? Does Adios triumph over the hero and his group and steal the wealth? Will Mr. Car be able to fight his way to save the kid who almost worships him? This 2023 light-hearted adventure will answer all your questions, so go check it out on Netflix.
Mr. Car and the Knights Templar is a movie that knows its limitations and works with them. This is a very necessary requirement for any director making a movie on a humble budget and with a script that’s not the strongest. Although it feels enormously like an “Indiana Jones” rip-off, at its heart, “Mr. Car” is meant to be enjoyed not as a treasure-hunting movie but as the adventure of a man learning to let people in. The movie champions the very wholesome message that people who are shunned for not possessing the mainstream talents that are considered valuable in today’s society can have talents that many don’t. It also showcases how Tomasz, Anka, and the other kids become a family for Eagle Eye, who’d been orphaned at an early age.
There’s some fighting, and the action looks very crisp for a movie that doesn’t tout itself entirely as an action movie. Moreover, the main characters seem really invested in their acts, and each of them puts their best into the roles without making any portion seem extra or overtly acted. The director even gives the villain, Adios, a reason for seeking the treasure instead of making him stand out like just another one-dimensional antagonist who’s bad just for the sake of being bad. With beautiful shots of the Polish countryside and a highly vibrant color palette that gives off a refreshing vibe, “Mr. Car” delivers just as is expected of it. It’s not an A24 cinematic masterpiece, and neither does it claim to be, but it manages to keep the audience glued to their seats for its entire runtime. Finally, this is a family movie that contains some very wholesome and warm moments that are bound to bring any family closer if enjoyed together.
The one very noticeable problem the movie does have is its massive runtime. At 110 minutes, the movie stretches for much longer than it needed to, only because it had to add a lot of lore and backstory. The execution of the same could’ve been done with a little more dexterity, and I found myself checking on the remaining runtime quite a few times during the 110 minutes. Additionally, the relationship between the eponymous “Mr. Car” and his trusty Jeep could’ve been presented with a little more depth so that the bond between the man and the machine would connect a little more with the audience. The current movie makes it seem like Tomasz was named so because the plot of the movie demanded it. A little more attention to the name of the movie could’ve helped make it stand out. But overlooking these faults, the movie makes for a light-hearted treasure hunt flick that’ll be especially enjoyed by the kids in the family.