If youve seen it, think of Conan The Barbarian for a minute. Huge, muscled, sword-wielding dude striving to defeat evil during the days of Samarians. That movie wasnt meant to be funny. Now lets take The Scorpion King. Huge, muscled, sword-wielding dude striving to defeat evil during the days of
well, early tribes before the days of golden Egypt and pharaohs. I dont think this movie was meant to be funny either
but it, ah, kind of was.
There are only three Akkadians left in the world; Mathayus, his brother, and another tribe member. They specialize in assassinations, and have just been hired by a group of scattered tribe leaders to kill someone very important a wizard. This wizard foretells the outcome of every battle for a man named Memnon. It is Memnon who is taking control of every man, woman, and child, and slaughtering any who stand in his way.
It is during the attack what Mathayus finds himself in an ambush, leading to the deaths of his tribe member and brother. He manages to escape, and from then on has plans to return maybe this time hell forget about the wizard and go right for Memnon instead, plans that lead to something much bigger than hed ever dreamed of.
Righto, so it doesnt sound funny, but it is. No offense to The Rock, or anyone who enjoys him, but he doesnt really seem to fit the part. I cant quite take him seriously as the badass Akkadian killer hes supposed to be. Im not going to deny that he looks good holding a sword, looking menacing, and with nothing but barbarian-style pants on, but hes still The Rock. He even does his little eyebrow cocking thing when he finds himself in a room full of ladies hoping for a piece of him. Its funny, but its his trademark, so it distinctly takes him out of character. I think the whole deal is that its just too cliché. There are Amazon-like women involved, its obvious who The Rock is going to hook up with, the near-end shot of him with his woman and the full moon shining behind them. It has cheap fantasy/romance novel written all over it.
Now, it isnt a bad movie. Trust me Ive seen much, much worse (try Kull the Conqueror with Kevin Sorbo on for size), but its almost like an upbeat, funny version of Conan. I cant take it seriously in any sense of the word. However, aside from the clichés and amusements, its very clear, vibrant movie, with well done special effects and acting that is on par with the movie. Steven Brand made a good Memnon and actually felt like the most serious part of the movie, Kelly Hu as Cassandra did well with what she had to work with, but like most others, wasnt all that magical. Grant Heslov as Arpid, the horse thief, semi-decent comedy relief (not like we needed one), and I actually liked Peter Facinelli as Takmet his betraying jerk-like sentiment is nicely done, so he falls second to Memnon (no pun intended).
It has its ups and downs, and I honestly think it could have been better than it was. If you look at some of the deleted scenes, you can see they were indeed trying to get rid of some of the cliché material. Then of course, there is the inconsistency with Mathayuss good nature and the way The Mummy Returns starts out, with him attempting to conquer everything just like Memnon, but well pretend like we didnt know about that
P.S. I friggin love outtakes.
While not an entry, this has been an official Lean nMean review, a concept brought to you by sleeper54.
The Mummy Returns
Viewing Format: DVD
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