Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Russell Crows: The Curse of King Tut('s Tomb)

Because Russell Mulcahy loves Egypt.  Seriously, this is the second Egypt-themed movie from Mulcahy- the first being Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy.  That's not even counting The Scorpion King 2, the prequel to a prequel to The Mummy Returns, which is itself a sequel to The Mummy.  See how I did that?  Aside from the title confusion (why add the Tomb part for the DVD description?), this movie's plot is theory.  Two men are competing to find King Tut's Tomb, but for different reasons.  One of them wants to share the treasures with the world, while the other wants to rule the world- of course.  How does it help?  You see, there's a really silly back-story involving a magic piece of rock, Set taking over the Earth and King Tut getting Hawkman wings.  No, really.  I should mention that this is actually a TV mini-series (times weren't always good for Russell) and, as such, I have to gloss over quite a bit.  You can deal with it, I'm sure. To find out how a film can have an awesome opening, a cliche middle and an awesome ending, read on...
In a seven to ten minute exposition dump, our hero (Casper Van Dien) explains that King Tut fought demons led by Set.  The Gods gave him super powers, including these kick-ass wings!
Set is one bad mofo, even if he looks like that monster from The Golden Child.  He gets locked away alongside Tut- body, what body?!?- and waits for a magical tablet to be reunited for him to come back...
After that, you can say good-bye to any awesome stuff for about 100 minutes and say hello to Casper Van Dien...playing Indiana the time of Young Indiana Jones.  Confused?
This evil dude is part of a cabal of rich people that seek to rule the Earth in various ways.  His way- the tablet, of which he has three out of the four pieces.  This means war!
Malcolm McDowell has the most important billing here- last- but only shows up for a handful of scenes.  His role- sitting in a chair and talking...before he eventually dies.
Our heroes eventually open Tut's Tomb by the end of Part 1 and film themselves looking around  Nice touch with the old-school film, but it just kind of randomly occurs the one time.  Weird.
All of this is a build-up to the villain using the tablet to give himself power.  Doesn't it open the portal for Set?  Apparently not this time as it just gives him powers like the ability to create CG fireballs to kill McDowell.
In the last fifteen minutes, the movie gets pretty crazy.  They go through the portal and end up in the weird Limbo-style dimension.  Set is there and wants 'One More Match.'  Get in there, Tut- it's for the title!
Tut and Set have another match-up...for about two minutes.  For a God, Set 'goes out like a bitch.'  We get a Status Quo Ante ending undoing all of the deaths in the film, as well as freeing up our leads to end up together.  The End.
Well, some of it is interesting.  The plot of this movie is good, but it is definitely stretched to fill out about two hours.  That was pretty unnecessary.  The fact that the movie spends half of the run-time just getting the Tomb open should tell you a whole lot.  On top of that, even with a lot of extra time, a lot of stuff is still never quite explained.  How does that super Greek lock work?  Why do they gloss over so much time when lingering on other moments?  How does this cabal work in secret for so many years without ever being seen?  The film is not bad, but it is pretty sub-par at times.  Van Dien and company lack the acting ability to really keep this thing going properly throughout.  Good actors can sustain a run-time this long.  Van Dien is pretty much here for his looks and his attempt to have as much swagger as Harrison Ford.  He doesn't.  If you're willing to forgive the movie for being a cheap, silly mess, you can have a good time though.  I've seen far worse films than this.  Take us away, Random Giant Snake...
Up next, I finally get to review a film that has eluded me for years.  Here, piggy piggy piggy.  Stay tuned...

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