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The Mummy: Return of the Crap

Went to a screening of the new "Mummy" movie last night, compliments of Pyrate Queen's sister-in-law.

It was awful. Skip it. It didn't help that the person next to us smelled like a dirty cat box. But the script is non-sensical in the extreme, with a zillion gigantic plot holes and people doing stuff for no particular reason other than it put them in the right place for action to happen. It falls prey to the worst sort of cliches.(why is it that every time any white person goes to China, or to Chinatown, it's always Chinese New Year, and they're always trying to forge their way through a street parade involving a lion dance?) The casting was awful - Rachel Weisz' replacement (Maria Bello) has none of her verve and half of her sex-appeal. O'Connel's "son" (Luke Ford)is approximately the same age as Brendan Fraser and sounds like a punch-drunk boxer from the Bowery, not a boy raised by English aristocrats. Ok, I just checked, Fraser is 39 and Ford is 26. And Fraser is a baby-faced 39 year old, and Ford looks older than his years. They are completely unbelievable as father and son - and bring no acting flair to the wooden, stupid dialogue they're given to leaven the innumerable action scenes and provide (allegedly) some heart to adventures that are supposed to be about a family. Only the family are palpably disinterested in each other, and have no on-screen chemistry of any sort.

Michelle Yeoh is, of course, perfect.

The action and FX borrow heavily from Indiana Jones, and the plot is muddled except that it's pretty easy to follow "Jet Li is evil and let's stop him from doing the random things that he does." Clearly a lot of scenes got thrown in because some producer said, "I have a note: let's be sure there's a scene where the Emperor turns into a three-headed, Western style dragon - not one of those Chinese ones. That would be cool. Also he can breathe fire. Oh, and can we get some yetis?"

There are anachronistic jokes that break the third wall, but not in a way that's sly or in league with the audience. It doesn't say, "Hey, I know you're out there watching a movie, isn't this fun?" It says, "Hey, I know you're out there watching a movie. You already gave us your ten bucks, so fuck off and die." The dialogue is wretchedly wooden and predictable, with characters making the sorts of smarmy quips while shooting things that one might have hoped had died out with 80's action movies.

The set designers and visual artists were very good, and I liked looking at essentially everything on screen that didn't talk. That's about all I can say.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
A little piece of my soul just died ;_;

The original two flicks were cheesy as all get out, and I loved them. But this is dreck with none of the charm?

What about Johnathan? Was he in this one?
Jul. 31st, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
The only marginally bright spot was Johnathan. But the writers so clearly used him as a crutch, it hurt.
Jul. 31st, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Sadness and woe!

Well I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to see it, but if there's others going I might still. Movies here are stupid cheap (<$5).
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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