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I seldom stop a movie part-way through and refuse to watch the rest of
it. "The Curse of King Tut's Tomb" provoked that exact reaction. It
tries to be an action movie and fails. It attempts, badly, to imitate
elements of both "Mummy" pictures and falls v-e-r-y short. It
desperately tries to grab onto parts of the "Indiana Jones" series and
misses the mark every single time.
The acting varies widely from stilted, to just plain amateurish. Any resemblance to historical accuracy is fleeting, at best, and CG work is about on a par with a talented child wielding an Etch-A-Sketch.
The only reason I can fathom for hanging on to this DVD is to use as a coaster when you get unexpected company. I can only imagine that Messers McDowell and Hyde desperately needed work. They should have been more discriminating.
The Director, Russell Mulcahy, seems to be on a role at this point. His version of "Mysterious Island" (2005) suffered from similar shortcomings and is another Movie Worth Missing. It is interesting to note that both "Mysterious Island" and "The Curse of King Tut's Tomb" were produced for The Hallmark Channel. Thankfully Hallmark greeting cards are much better than their movies.
If you see this movie coming on, go floss your cat's teeth. It will be much more productive.
One of the most fascinating things about this film (apart from Jonathan
Hyde's extraordinary resemblance with Henry Daniell)is watching how the
plot meanders and wanders with no destination in sight as if it were an
Art Nouveau filigrain.
I suspect that the archeology academics would seriously object at the unorthodox -but revolutionary- system that the protagonist and his buddies use to find the legendary Pharaoh's tomb, namely, by sitting in the terraces of Cairo's seediest bars and leaving them without alcoholic stock. Their interest is, however, scientific, except for the legionnaire buddy who is more interested in gold statuettes accidentally getting lost in his greatcoat pockets (Having mentioned the legionnaire, I must say that I admire the courage of the scriptwriter, who reveals to us -for the very first time- that Egypt was at the time a French protectorate, and not, as we've been led to believe by the official history, associated to the British empire)
The bad guys stick to the old, slow, boring system of studying the terrain and excavating carefully according to old Ieroglyphs, while our hero and his friends discover the tomb the legendary grave by happily throwing dynamite sticks at random: a new path is opened thus for archeology.
I've always thought I was one of the more forgiving movie viewers in the country, but I just can't describe how bad this movie is. The "Egyptology" described in the terribly written introduction voice-over must be from not a parallel universe, but a skewed one, because it certainly has nothing to do with this one. The dialog is just atrocious. The acting could have been good -- I choose to believe this because the bad directing so completely overwhelmed any performance talent that evidence of acting ability is completely undetectable. The characters would have to be improved to be two dimensional. The pacing was haphazard at best. I can't remember the editing, so it must have been better than the other aspects of the film. I wish Joe Bob Briggs was still reviewing movies, because that's the most entertainment anyone could hope for from this film.
My son is 8 and he enjoyed it. At three hours it was a too long for me, but I remember watching Tarzan movies for hours on Saturday mornings when I was his age, including those awful Mike Henry in South America Tarzan movies. This was better than those. So, even though I didn't like it much, I'm glad movies are still being made that a kid can watch and get lost in. One thing I thought was puzzling, they kept introducing characters that they never really did anything with. Steven Waddington was the only supporting character that managed to shine. The history was of course pretty silly, but they "fixed" that at the end. It made my son want to know more, so we went on the web and looked up what really happened. Definitely a "B" movie, with limited special effects and wooden acting, but still fun for kids.
This is not "The Lord of The Rings" by any means and is not even the
best work of Director Russell Mulcahy. And there were far too many
natives of India trying to pass as Egyptians. Having said that I found
this film to be good escapism entertainment if you realize that they
are not trying to present any kind of historical fact. One of the best
ways to sum it up is to imagine Indiana Jones on the cheap. Casper Van
Dien is always fun to watch once you accept his natural cockiness and
are pulled into his ability to be comic and serious at the same time.
Johnathan Hyde is always excellent either as hero (ala "Richie Rich) or as villain, and he seems to be fated to play these evil archaeologist types recently. And Malcolm McDowell is always superb. But the winner in this film was the sets, props and the soundtrack. The film was worth that alone. Still, a tighter shot film in a shorter time frame might have made it all work better. Not Oscar material by a long shot, but worth the time if you have nothing better to do.
This is terrible. Do not watch! This made-for-TV 'extravaganza' is
clearly intended to cash in on the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark
and the other Indiana Jones films; however it is but a very pale
The characters are less than two-dimensional. Van Dien's character clearly tries to be Indiana Jones and fails so badly it's not even funny. He even dresses like Indiana Jones. However he has none of the charm and intelligence needed to be a believable character.
I don't expect, or want, fantasy to be realistic; but the characters have to act logically within the fantasy world the writer and director creates. They do not here.
I would rather watch paint dry than this drivel.
It's sad to see. Really. With Russell Mulcahy being the director of
Highlander - a must see of my 80's teenage - I thought maybe it was a
return to form when I caught a trailer on Sky. I duly tuned in...
That was the start of my troubles. This lack lustre schizophrenic wannabe Indiana Jones clone lacked any sense of pace, character or credibility, and that's leaving the dubious special effects alone. My woes were doubled when I found that at the end of transmission I had only seen the first half of this two part torture.
Through some freak happenstance I collided with part two a week or so later. I accepted the wafer thin plot, the unlikely OTT villains, the stereotypes, the surface characterisations, and even the Very "Special" Special Effects. And from somewhere came the impetus to want the film to be finished. It went into free-fall and became a demon laden action type thingy effort, sort of... You see, it just ended and I thought "There is a God". All I wanted was to see it finished. And mercifully I did.
Please Russell Mulcahy, I beg you, read the script before you say yes to your next film! The Lost Battalion wasn't bad at all! As far as viewers are concerned though - save yourself a couple of hours of your life, because this film is certainly Cursed!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you're in the target audience for this kind of thing -- basically
you enjoy movies like "Indiana Jones" and "The Mummy" -- then you're
not going to feel particularly ripped off by this film. It satisfies
all the basic requirements of its genre and even includes a few nice
touches I haven't seen anywhere else; for example it's the first movie
I've seen that makes its supernatural mummy (Francisco Bosch) into a
Casper Van Dien dons Indiana Jones' hat and Rick O'Connell's hair to fill in the archaeologist/adventurer role as best he can. I didn't think he did half a bad job; he has an easy charm that suits this kind of material, and his face reminds me of John Agar's. His buddies, played by Patrick Toomey, Tat Whalley and others are an appealing bunch and they have good comedic chemistry together. Despite the fact that Malcolm McDowell is in the film, Jonathan Hyde plays the main villain. He's OK, basically a poor man's version of David Warner. I would have liked for McDowell to have more to do though.
This is basically a very simplistic story and a pretty shopworn script, given some life by a group of enthusiastic actors and a pretty good director, Russell Mulcahy (who used to be a very "hot" director in the early 80s when he directed videos for "Duran/Duran" and made the film "Highlander."). The whole thing holds together well enough that you overlook some of its rough edges, although some things that happen are just too stupid to be taken seriously even on the level the film seems to demand. For instance, why would the hero and his love interest (Leonor Varela) go back to the tomb only to decide they need to go back to get more help? Did they imagine there would only be one or two villains there? There are some lazy mechanical aspects of the plot that could have been fixed.
I found myself enjoying this film and having affection for the characters despite all its obvious flaws.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yes, Casper Van Dien, it's Tut. Well, actually, it's immortal,
mystical, son-of-Ra Tut, with Mechanical Wing action, come to save the
world from Set, Lord of the Underworld, in a (not very) climactic
battle in a quarry.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure you read that right. Sorry.
Look, I understand that pulp can take liberties with history and, you know, scientific accuracy. That's fine, as long as it's fun and at least somewhat convincing. But when it isn't, you get "The Curse Of King Tut" (DVD titled "The Curse Of King Tut's Tomb"), a meandering wonderland of nonsensical cuts, bad dialog, magical explosives that cut 90-degree angles straight down and characters who add nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING, to the development of the plot.
What plot, you ask? Ah, yes. Casper Van Dien plays Danny Fremont, who is neither Rick McConnell nor Indiana Jones (and he's not Daniel Jackson, either), who has found 3 of the 4 fragments of the Emerald Tablet which King Tut (an immortal superhero, by the way) used to trap Set (who looks like a beardless Cthulhu) in the Netherworld. His nemesis Sinclair (Jonathan Hyde) belongs to a secret cabal called The Hellfire Council (who are not the Illuminati) and has stolen all three of them so far. If Danny and his pals (whose names you don't learn until, ummm...I dunno, 45 minutes in?) fail to find the final fragment before Sinclair, then Sinclair will wear his sunglasses a lot and have incredible powers with which to control the world. Also, there will be CGI demons.
Naturally Danny DOES find it first, but his proved ability to lose important artifacts and not, you know, take basic precautions secures the fact that Sinclair gets it anyway and gets the powers and ahoy, the CGI demons. There's the obligatory love interest (Leonor Varela, whose character's name we also don't know for a while), the Crazy Wise Man, The Sexy Spy, The Comic Relief Who Adds Nothing To The Plot, The Tough Soldier, and The Horrible Dialogue. Russ Mulcahy, who left all his flair in 1985 where the pop music was better, phones it all in.
Oh, and apparently India looks like Egypt. Who knew?
Seven bucks gets you the DVD at Wal-Mart; 3 hours gets you an experience you'll never forget.
Neither one, unfortunately, is refundable.
Too bad there's no negative stars rating... I was appalled by everything about this movie, including the chick's fake French accent, the terrible Indiana Jones/the Mummy ripoff, and the awful editing. I have honestly seen better acting in adult films. The few hours I spent watching this movie seemed like an eternity. The historical inaccuracies are so numerous that I found myself shouting "wtf" throughout the entire film. I have no idea how Russell Mulcahy's name ended up anywhere near this abomination. It shouldn't even be called a film. This "thing" is a pathetic attempt to combine the 'Indiana Jones' and 'Mummy' franchises.
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