Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Mummy 3 - The Pain Must be Shared

Have you ever experienced something so bad that you had to share the pain with at least a few people, just so that you are not the only one and you all can express your pain? Well, that's how I feel about the Mummy 3 and here I am sharing the pain.

Now, let me preface with two things.

1. I like some really shit movies, Doom being my favorite example as to what bad movies I like.
2. I love the Mummy movies, the first two are a part of my favorite action films of all time. They have a very similar feel to Indiana Jones, and are things I love to go back to. They are movies that are purely meant to be fun. Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and John Hannah have a chemistry together that makes these action movies very funny as well, something that was rarely seen since Indiana Jones. They also made archeology entertaining again for the masses!

Now, that we have gotten the love out of the way, let's begin with the pain.

I'm not even going to go into the reasons why there needed to be a third movie when the second movie completed the story, we all know it was the money and Stephen Sommers desire to prove he could make something good again (after all, his last film was Van Helsing). No, I'm going to start with the plot of the movie and then we'll go with the other problems. First of all, it was practically the same story, complete with lines like "No one may touch her, she is mine." The only difference is that now the woman who is being objectified becomes the narrator and is thus the one we all know who is gaurding the "mummy" emperor so we know she will survive 2000 years somehow.

Secondly, the begining was too long! There is no need for us to spend a lot of time going over the back story as to why this guy becomes a "mummy," we are here for the O'Connells, all this stuff was just boring. I'm not even going to touch the obviousness of the plot progressions either, we all knew going in that it would happen and it would be a waste of time.

Instead, there was also the issue of the Dragon Emperor of course learning how to control not only one, but all five of the mystical elements that means he has magic powers, but then instead of really using them other than to throw fireballs and ice every once in a while he starts changing shapes at his full power. Why could he suddenly change shape and what happened with the at least different from the other two idea of controlling the elements? Is this because you are calling him the Dragon Emperor so he needs to change shape like the Scorpion King became an actual scorpion? They fought a bad guy who turned into a monster in the second movie, we didn't need it again.

Now some people will call me a nit picker (what does that mean anyway?) about this next part, but I really feel that accents can make or break or film. Maria Bello you cannot do an English accent to save your life. I can do a better one, and I suck at it. It was painful to watch and I felt that she was the reason the chemistry between the three main characters were gone. There was no romance between her and Brendan Fraser, and I felt like she was trying to hard to be this posh British thing that it just ruined any chemistry and any comedy that was in her scenes. Also, their son Alex O'Connell, in the the second film he had an English accent, like most boys who were growing up in London whose mother was English would. Now, I would almost, I mean almost understand if he no longer had much of an accent, if the actor was good (but is in fact, another black hole of talent). But why go Brooklyn? What about a man whose home was based in England, mother was English, and spent most of his childhood traveling the world getting in the way of his parents being spies during the war (really? They did that too?) leads to a Brooklyn accent? It was painful.

As for voices and bad actors, the person who played Lin was atrocious with an annoying voice to boot. Her voice felt like nails on a chalkboard to me, and I yell at people when they try to do that. Time to give that up please. Also, not enough John Hannah. He really brought out the comedy in the other films, and the slapstick between him and Brendan Fraser was great. It first takes way to long for him to show up, and then he is barely in it sucking out even more of the comedy that Maria Bello is taking out. As for Jet Li, this may have been just a costume thing, but he looked fat in the film and barely did any action that couldn't be seen with the way it was filmed. If this is all you are going to do now Jet Li, then please retire for good.

As for the action sequences, we had the same problem with this trend of putting the camera too close to see anything and it just leaves you feeling confused. I understand that it is suppose to make you feel like you are in the fight, but there was a fight between these three Chinese characters that was apparently suppose to be a big deal, but I couldn't tell who got whose assed kicked or who died for a full minute afterward. Also, the only reason why I could tell what was going on in the lack luster Michelle Yeoh v Jet Li was because one of them was wearing a dress, and even then it was tough.

There is also the crux of the whole thing of this being called a mummy movie. There were no mummies!! They kept referring to Jet Li and his army as mummies, but they were just people who got turned to stone. Mummies need to go through this process called mummification before they can be called mummies. And there are more mummies in the world than Egypt so they didn't have to stick there if they wanted the mummies. Or at the very least, don't call these guys mummies just because it is the theme of your movies.

There were so many other issues with this movie when it came to lack of exposition and people just forgetting not only what the other movies were, but this one. For instance, why did Evelyn give up archeology to write harlequin romances? Or the O'Connells were spies against the Nazis? Gee, how did that fully happen and wouldn't that make a good story? Then there is a line where Evelyn saying "The Emperor is back to full strength!" Wait, when did he loose his strength (the avalanche? how does that work?) and then how did he get it back? I understand that too much exposition is a bad thing - note the beginning of the film, but some there would be nice. I've never seen a film that had too much and too little exposition in the same film. I wasn't sure what to do with it.

I'm going to stop there because I'm sure I gave you enough pain, and if I made you want to see it for yourself to experience it, please let me know so we can share together. I'm also stopping because other wise I'm going to start talking about the Yetis.

I don't want to talk about the Yetis.
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