It's just a tad better than the first Mummy, and it wees on Van Helsing like an incontinent dog.
When I first saw this movie, I had no idea what to expect. I was at the cinema one night, I'd just come out of a movie--can't remember which--and I saw the poster. The tagline, "Full Scream Ahead", seemed corny enough that it might be good. Then I noticed Famke Janssen was in it. Bonus. And it seemed like a good late-night B movie, to follow the one I'd just seen. I was there with a mate of mine, who was kind of indifferent. I twisted his arm, and he agreed.
Two hours later, I walked out, grinning like an idiot. It's silly, cliché-heavy, and utterly predictable. This movie rocks.
See, Sommers, and all the actors, KNOW that it's silly, cliché-heavy and predictable. In fact, THAT'S THE IDEA. It's also full of spot-on one-liners and gags, and the horror bits seem more intended to "gross-out" than to actually scare (the bit where a half-digested member of Hanover's team bursts out of one of the monsters--still alive, despite half his head being missing--is not for the weak of stomach). Most thrillers and horror movies set out to keep you "on the edge of your seat", but with this one I was too busy falling out of it with laughter.
Treat is...well...a TREAT as Finnegan, the rugged, all-American adventurer type. For a while I was disappointed that Bruce Campbell wasn't cast in the role, as it would have suited him perfectly. But I've since decided that Treat does a bang-up job, and deserves full praise. If he did more movies like this, I might become a fan.
Kevin J. O'Connor is hilarious as the sidekick grease-monkey (and performs all the better for not having to put on a stupid accent). He gets most of the best lines. Famke is great as always. Sexy, funny, and capable in the action scenes. Anthony Heald, as the villain, is hammy and over the top (in a good way) and Wes is...well, Wes. All the goons are fine, particularly Jason Flemyng and the late Trevor Goddard. It's nice to see a good mix of nationalities in there, and the playful in-fighting amongst them is a nice touch. Their assault rifles are cool, too. Funny though, I never noticed anyone reloading...
The special effects are just bad enough to work in this context, without appearing TOO lame. A few years before this movie was made, they'd have actually been considered brilliant. But Sommers realises that sometimes it's best not to actually SHOW the monsters. They swim along under the knee-deep water, the walls of the corridors buckle and threaten to collapse, gratings fly out of the floor directly behind the running characters...very effective.
The climax is about as far-fetched as it's possible to get. But it's done so well that, like all this movie's flaws, it doesn't matter.
If you're easily scared, this'll do the job. If you like tongue-in-cheek, B-grade action flicks, this is one to see. If you like movies that force you to think, make you change your outlook on life, and move you to tears...yeah, you should REALLY watch this. TO SEE WHAT YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON!
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