It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
It's fun to find a 3-D movie that doesn't beat around the bush. Within 60 seconds after "Treasure of the Four Crowns" begins, the movie is throwing things at the audience. This is, of course, in the great tradition of 3-D movies that began in 1953 with "Bwana Devil," a horrible movie that made a lot of money by throwing stones, spears and elephants at the audience. You want to get your money's worth.
Here is my rough checklist of things thrown at the audience in "Treasure of the Four Crowns": knives, spears, darts, bones, jeweled daggers, balls of fire, laser beams, boulders, ropes, attack dogs, bats, shards of stained glass, a set of dishes, a large kettle, a stove, a corpse, a python snake, an empty glove, birds (both real and artificial), arrows, unidentifiable glowing objects shot from guns, keys, letter openers, several human heads, skeletons, large sections of an exploding castle, one bottle of booze and assorted spoons.
In the midst of this melee exists a plot, hanging on for life, about an age-old search for the secret of four crowns. Legend has it that the Visigoths placed several great eternal secrets on scrolls that were locked within silver balls mounted on magic crowns designed to protect them. The Moors destroyed one crown centuries ago, unwisely trying to pry it open.
The movie is about the three surviving crowns. It stars Tony Anthony, who in his younger and leaner days was one of the second-tier stars of spaghetti Westerns, equal to Gian Maria Volonte but far below Clint Eastwood. Now Anthony has the Harrison Ford role, in a movie that's sort of a rip-off of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." It's a rip-off in story and approach, that is, but you've got to give it credit: "Treasure of the Four Crowns" is a hardworking action movie with a lot of elaborate sets, a lot of special effects, and a superior 3-D process.