I ended up watching this Canadian TV movie for the sole reason that I saw that Lochlyn Munro was the lead actor, while he is not really known, I saw him when he was young as part of the cast of the short lived Hawkeye TV series, and I was pinched by curiosity about what he was doing ten years after that. I had no expectations about the quality of the film, and it turned out to be as bad as I was expecting, despite this I kind of enjoyed it. The plot is so simple, a passage to another dimension is opened and this act sets free a sphinx which, being responsible of protecting the passage, goes on a rampage to kill those responsible. The sphinx is not the only things that gets free, there's also an ancient curse that will destroy the human race, our only hope is a group made by a high school history teacher (Munro), his teenage daughter, a femme fatale which is also his ex-girlfriend and the leader of a government branch dealing with the supernatural. To stop the sphinx they will have to solve a number of riddles and collect a series of mystical stones hidden around the world.
I don't think no one watching this films thinks they are going to see something worth of remembering, but if someone does the very first scene, when the sphinx goes wild killing a number of people, should be enough to make clear the quality of the film. Bad acting and bad fx, the monster created with computer animation is terribly unrealistic and could be considered as a digital equivalent to the puppets seen in the worst sci-fi B movies. Sum to this that the two main characters are obvious copies of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, that the script is totally predictable and with every possible common place included: a traitor in the group, a very smart girl, a reluctant hero. I could also talk about the unrealistic settings and the absurd presence in every encounter with the monster of a couple of extras added to the group with the sole purpose of giving the sphinx someone to kill.
But despite all the bad things told, I must say the film is bad, but not terrible, and it didn't bore me at any moment. If you know what you are up to then you can also have a good time watching it, and I guess that's what the creators of the film had in mind, it is a bad film, but it is entertaining. If you are in a good mood and with the correct company, then you can have fun checking the inconsistencies of the plot, or some laughable stuff like anti-gravity guns; the genius teenager, with the ability to calculate with mathematical precision the exact second in which a ricocheting bullet will stop; or the sphinx transformation into a human, a moment in which it is played by a wrestler that made me remember Tor Johnson, an actor appearing in Ed Wood films.
To finish I must say that the way in which the monster is finally stopped does have a little bit of originality. To sum everything up this is a predictable adventure lacking in both economical and artistic resources, but if you don't take it seriously you may enjoy it. Watching a bad film from time to time is good, as I think it helps you put the good stuff in the right perspective. And if you are watching something bad, then its better if its something like this which despite its shortcomings is good fun.