The Quest For Tom Sawyer’s Gold is directed by Kirk Harris. The screenplay was written by Nick Pollack, with revisions/additional material by Jerome Reygner-Kalfon and Sebastien Semon. The family-friendly adventure has also assembled quite the cast with the likes of Amanda Joy Erickson, Patrick Muldoon, Joey Lauren Adams, and freaking Alex Hyde-White starring or having supporting roles. So, does the story justify all the behind-the-camera bonafides?
Agatha Armstrong (Ava Torres) and her talking cat, Mrs. Mac, are the most well-known adventurers out there. And considering the daring lass is only 12, give or take, that is quite the feat. But that was years ago. Now, Agatha (Amanda Joy Erickson) is a teacher and mom to teenage Antony (Dodge Prince). The school’s principal, Jenny (Joey Lauren Adams), then gives Agatha bad news: her mentor turned nemesis, A.J. Harrison (Patrick Muldoon), is given a coveted spot on the faculty.
Meanwhile, Antony and his friends, Lu (Deja Monique Cruz) and Woody (Kobi Frumer), discover that they might be able to unearth Tom Sawyer’s long-fabled treasure. The trio’s search for Tom Sawyer’s gold, Agatha’s past, Detective Thatcher’s (Scott Bailey) attempts to keep everyone safe, and A.J.’s real reason for accepting the position are tied more closely than any of them realize.
“…they might be able to unearth Tom Sawyer’s long-fabled treasure.”
The Quest For Tom Sawyer’s Gold does feature several CGI talking animals. The how/why the cat and alligator (crocodile?) can speak is never properly explained. Viewers will either accept this at face value or just be thrown out of the film entirely and probably not finish it. The latter will then miss out on a spry, rollicking adventure that is full of charm, whimsy, decent effects, and brilliant acting.
Harris really shines as an indie director. He builds the world effectively without resorting to heavy exposition that kills the momentum. The comedy and drama all land equally well, while the adventure aspects are fun and exciting. The screenplay might seem to have been in trouble, what with the presence of credited revisionists. What and why they changed things, I don’t know. However, the story is a delight, emphasizing the bond between friends, parents, and children. This theme makes the movie accessible to just about anyone of any age.
Then there’s the cast of The Quest For Tom Sawyer’s Gold. While only in the film briefly, Adams is still charming. Hyde-White, who is the narrator, is still affable and sweet. Young Torres is an enjoyable presence. Cruz and Frumer are the kind of friends everyone should have. Bailey is adorably befuddled in every scene. Prince nails the smothered but loving child. Muldoon is as priceless as ever, being goofy but threatening as the baddie. But really, the adventure belongs to Erickson, who delivers on all fronts. It is very evident that the actor is primed to explode onto the A-list at any moment.
The Quest For Tom Sawyer’s Gold is a perfect family film. The story moves at a brisk pace and features something for everyone. The direction balances the tones masterfully, while the music underscores the action perfectly. But really, it is the stunning cast — not a bad actor among them — who push this adventure flick into flawless territory. Muldoon gives it his all, while Erickson proves she’s more than ready to lead a huge studio production. So, why haven’t you watched this yet?
For more information about The Quest For Tom Sawyer’s Gold, visit Ace Entertainment’s site.
"…a perfect family film."