The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Reviews
Originally aired in 2 parts, you can clearly see where the commercial breaks are supposed to happen. While it probably made sense when first aired, watching it without the commercials is a little distracting. The cliff hangers really aren't much when the resolution is shown 1 second later.
Casper Van Dien is his usual self. Nice to look at but painful in the acting department. Of course, as this film isn't quite played straight up, it doesn't come across as bad as it would normally.
While the CG is a little lacking in quality, I never felt that it was so bad as to make the film less enjoyable.
My biggest beef is also what I enjoyed most about the film. The story seems to go off in so many directions that it lacks a tight sense of timing while at the same time, it manages to tell a complete story without feeling as though it left anything out. So while you could have ended the film much much sooner and have achieved the same story, you wouldn't have portrayed the level and length of time shown in the film. There is none of this, "one week later" stuff going on. Everything feels as if it's happening in real time. Sure it could have been tighter but had they reduced the run time, they couldn't have split it into 2 parts successfully.
Worth checking out as I was completely surprised at just how decent the film was and I'm sure you will be too.
Set in 1922 era Egypt, the period detail, is mostly, very strong, in that "movie period" kind of way. The only issue I do have, is with the female lead. She looks and dresses (for the most part) like a modern day woman, and only two or three of her costumes looked period. It kind of destroyed the fun happening on screen, because of that. The art design and set design is really good. King Tut's tomb, once found, is a nice mish-mash of ancient Egyptian and a deity resting lodge, which is what it is. Here, Tut is an immortal deity put on Earth to protect it, but during his reign, he had to sacrifice himself in order to destroy the worst of all evils, Seti.
The movie hits almost every cliche you can imagine, but never takes itself too seriously, which helps with the fun. Also helping, is some of the wittiest and most fun dialogue I have heard from a made-for-TV movie since the 1990s Merlin. Seriously, the dialogue is all sorts of ridiculous and tongue-in-cheek. Here's an example:
Upon learning that Freemont (Van Dien) has locked the entrance to the tomb with the lock from the Minotaur's labyrinth, which is said to be impossible to break or pick in anyway:
Underling- "How do you expect to get in? That lock is impenetrable, made by the gods themselves."
Sinclair (main baddie)- "That was thousands of years ago, before dynamite."
Character actor Jonathan Hyde plays Sinclair, rival archeologist to Dien's Indy-esque Daniel Freemont, and with his British accent, sells that bit with beautiful deadpan humor. The whole has a great sense of humor like, which is nice, given there's not a cliche we don't bloody hit.
The acting is rather good, with Dien being more likable than usual, and he really suits this time period. The clothes work on him. Hyde is deadpan, as stated, and it's great to see. Leonor Valera as the female lead, aside from never looking like she's in the right era, does well, and is a strong character. Her chemistry with Dien is surprisingly high, and watching their back-and-forth is given nice depth because of that. Malcolm McDowell has a fun, bit role here, that he relishes and chews some nice scenery.
Mulcahy does an excellent job of orchestrating all of this into a fun, pulp adventure. He keeps everything moving along quite nicely, and at just under 3 hours, it's an impressive feat that there's nothing that was boring and no really unnecessary scenes. His cinematographer and he use excellent lighting and lots of wide angle shots to show off their impressive sets.
There are a few bad things here though, and as already stated, this does hit every cliche it could think of. Also, the CGI varies wildly from decent to awful.
This movie is the most copy i've ever seen. The main character is so much of a copy of Indiana Jones. On the credits it should say Van Dien as Indiana Jones, i mean Danny Freemont