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.