Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alexandra Frackin' DuPont

She has returned from Points Unknown to issue a wonderful, scathing review of The Mummy 3: Jet Li in 2-D Double Dragon Emperor Action. Sample hotness:

Q. What's horrible?

1. There's a screechy, overcranked, insecure, geographically confused, let's-put-an-exclamation-point-on-everything quality to the film that really burns you out after a while -- and it only lets up once, when the whole thing grinds to a dull, talky halt in a cave for about five or ten minutes.

Cohen (who did confident work in "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" and "xXx") seems to have lost all sense of proportion. Watching any scene in this movie, you can almost hear him screaming in the editing room:

"Okay! Use the shakiest handheld shot here! Now cut to an overhead "Lord of the Rings" helicopter shot -- but only for a second or two! Now turn up the music! And make sure it crescendos on something really minor, like Fraser turning to reload! Now add a sound bite of John Hannah screaming! Now get the effects team to throw a couple of extra Yetis in the background!"

2. Oh, right: There are Abominable Snowmen in this movie -- three of them. At one point, one of them kicks an evil Chinese soldier over a goalpost-shaped piece of architecture. The Yeti behind the placekicker Yeti raises his arms straight in the air like a referee signaling "touchdown."

3. Expanding on points (1) and (2): The movie has this ridiculous habit of doubling and tripling every character and story element -- when one character or story element would have had a much bigger impact.

For example: Rick and Alex perform identical heroic acts, often in the same scene.

There are three identical Abominable Snowmen, two warrior women blessed with eternal life, and two wisecracking drunks.

There are two separate mummy armies that go to war (in a scene that plays like the who-gives-a-shit version of the Battle of Pellinor Fields). There are also, for reasons not fully explained, two airplanes attacking the mummy armies -- I guess so Cohen could stage a plane crash without taking out anyone important.

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