YTAH's Weblog

Mediocrity blows

Posted in movies,reviews by YTAH on August 9, 2008
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Watching The Mummy 3 this week, I realized something: bad movies are easy to review. So are really good ones. The great ones acknowledge their debt to a long cinematic heritage, and they’re willing to make you think. Like great films, terrible films also provoke a specific reaction – usually, irritation or laughter. And if the film is really bad, it’s relatively simple to poke holes in the hilarious plot, or the acting, or the bad casting/costume/continuity mistakes.

The most difficult films to review are the mediocre ones, the ones that aren’t bad enough to enjoy or good enough to remember. Films that are “merely mediocre” don’t give you much to go on, frankly, and more often than not, they’re simply boring. Indifference is hard to write. (Although I’ve done that, too, when I did a review of The Incredible Hulk for my usual writing outlet, I wrote one for too, but god and the admins only know what happened to it.)

The Mummy 3 is not a good film. But it’s not an enjoyably bad movie, either. The most fun I had was coming up with ways to explain how bad it was. The first two movies in the franchise qualified as “enjoyably bad movies” in the same way that Indiana Jones did – yes, they were silly, but they were supposed to be. But this movie failed the same way that the last Indy movie did (although more spectacularly): the silliness got pushed that one bit too far.

I had serious problems with the zombie battle scenes. You can imagine somebody reading this scene and going, “Hey, um, Rob, er, what happened to having control over the elements, dude?” – “Oh don’t worry about it,” comes the reply, “it’ll be cool.” Um, no, Rob, stupid is not cool, and morons make for feeble bad guys

Now you can call me any names you like, as Jon Qwelane might say – you could even call me ‘gay’, but I like Brendan Frasier, and I really did enjoy many of his films. Gods and Monsters. The Quiet American. The Mummy, and The Mummy Returns. Even George of the Jungle. (What can I say – monkeys are funny.) But I can only wish that I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed ripping into it.


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