The Mummy Returns

The Mummy Returns ★★★½

The Rock doesn't yell right.

He's holding back. Not getting primal with it. He's just going "AHH" when he should be going "AAAGGGGRHRHRHGHGHGHHGHG!HGGGHH!!"

Get some snarl in it, my guy.

I spend a lot of time (too much) thinking about how people tend to mistake pure commitment for good acting (see most praise heaped on Leo D and Jake Gyllenhall the past decade) but it's undeniably a huge part of acting. Just being able to lose yourself is like 80% – then being able to find someone else is the other 20%. That's where I feel those two guys fall short. They're really good at dropping their inhibitions, not so great at actually embodying authentic characters.

This is a very long way of saying The Rock is a very inhibited performer. Particularly here. He's really holding back – early symptoms of his proclivity for choosing personal brand management over performing. 

And that is a very long way of saying "Rock acting bad."

He'd get better as his career goes on, but at this point, he's coasting on his cultural caché. In The Mummy Returns, he's really only a bit part, (and a piece of bad-CGI movie history) but I do remember it was a pretty big deal amongst 7th grade wrestling fans that The Rock was in this movie. Seventh grade me, being deliberatly not a wrestling fan and already having a grudge against the previous Mummy movie* – I was predisposed to not care. 

Now that I've mellowed into early-onset middle age, I'm more willing to let myself in on the fun.

And the movie is just a ton of fun. It's clearly a little rushed out after the surprise hit of The Mummy, but it still manages to be more structurally sound than the original. The written jokes have a 10% hit rate and it loses points for the Precocious Movie Kid (hate hate hate that shit), but man, the rest is just good old fashioned guns-blazing adventure. Basically all you ever need to do to get me to like a movie is hit the horns real triumphantly when the heroes burst into a room blasting shotguns.

It's also extremely dumb, but in a fun way movies could be before the scourge of YouTube nitpickers took over the world. The "running from the sunrise" bit has to go down as one of the great stupid moments in movie history. Possibly THE stupidest of the stupid. Just complete ignorance of how The Sun works, something we've had a solid handle on for about 10,000 years. Whenever this movie airs on TNT, if you're anywhere in the northern hemisphere, you can actually spot professional pedant Neil DeGrasse Tyson's correction boner engorging into the stratosphere.

And speaking of boners...

Now, probably my least favorite thing on Letterboxd is when dudes turn into Mr. Skin for a paragraph and go all "WOWWOWWEEWOW!" over a female lead, BUT: 

I literally gasped (like, out loud) when the camera first lands on Rachel Weisz. I know her sequel glow up is cringeingly laying the groundwork for her "Secret Egyptian Heritage" backstory (woof) but it's got me believing in the magic of eyeliner. I mean she's already an S-Tier schoolboy crush in part one, but this is just unfair. Really cookin' with gas here. Absolutely demented that they thought they could make one of these without her. A lot of people remember The Mummies as Brendan Fraser's peak, but Weisz is the absolute star of the show.

*See my review of The Mummy, true believers! - Smilin' Stan uh i mean Recursively Referencin' Roboto

WTF I swear to god this started as a one sentence joke review. But I guess there's no sense holding back in...




Block or Report

Yo_Roboto liked these reviews