October 05, 2005

Random Trashy Movie Question

This may be the wrong level of inquiry for this kind of movie, but as I caught a bit of The Mummy Returns last evening, a thought reoccured to me: At the end, Brendan Fraser's Rick and the High Priest Imhotep are involved in a three-way battle with The Rock's Scorpion King which is plainly a big, bad, evil monster.

And yet, when The Rock got his very own movie the next year about how Mathayus became the Scorpion King, he was undoubtedly the Good Guy.

Did I miss something here? Or was the theory that I'd be paying too close attention to babes (nominally) dressed up as ancient mistresses and sorcoresses to really notice that sort of thing?

(BTW, I think The Rock should/should have pursued this franchise. He could be/ could have been the next Conan.)

YIPS from Steve: The next Conan? I wouldn't wish that on my worse enemy. The next Craig Kilborn? That's something different. Plus, there's his role in the soon-to-be-released INDC Bill biopic.

Posted by Robert at October 5, 2005 12:03 PM | TrackBack

Theres no continuity at all between the stories in The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King, which hardly even scratches the surface of the awfulness of the latter.

Stephen Sommers has followed an interesting career arc. The Mummy was excellent fun, and The Mummy Returns was oh, pretty good, I guess. The Scorpion King was rotten, and the less said about Van Helsing the better. Im not going to watch his next opus unless Im wearing a welding mask.

Posted by: utron at October 5, 2005 12:19 PM

Yeah, I noticed that one too. I don't get it either, unless the Scorpion King eventually became despondent as the sorcery babes left and turned to the dark side.

Posted by: Kathy at October 5, 2005 12:21 PM

Those durn sorcery babes have a way of doing that...

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at October 5, 2005 12:31 PM

Yeah, but what a ride! Confess - you'd risk eternal damnation for that kind of instant gratification.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at October 5, 2005 12:33 PM

Oh, and I thought Scorpion King was entertaining. It has all the elements you need for this kind of film: likeable hero, fabulous babe, band of cool sidekicks (including my personal favorite, Michael Clarke Duncan), psycho villain and perhaps most critically, a sense of humor at or near the campy line about itself.

Compare this with, say Red Sonja. Sure, you had Ahnold and Brigitte Nielson, but the thing was so dreary as to be damn near unwatchable.

I've no opinion on Van Helsing, having not seen it.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at October 5, 2005 12:42 PM

Van Helsing wasn't that awful, compared to other scifi B-list movies with plot holes big enough you could fly a dragon through.

However, the scene with the Catholic Church's version of Bond's Q Department, complete with chanting Buddist monks, completely destroyed my ability to suspend disbelief.

Posted by: owlish at October 5, 2005 01:01 PM

Robbo, I agree with you about the ingredients of a dumb-but-fun movie. The Mummy had all those things, which is why I enjoyed it. (BTW, I'll nominate Rachel Weisz as a Flash in the Pan Babe from the Very Recent Past any time). I really didn't think the same mix worked as well in the sequel, but that's a subjective call. And I saw after I saw Van Helsing, which soured me on Sommers as a director, as a human being, and even as a mental concept. I won't say any more about Van Helsing, because I'm practicing being kind.

Posted by: utron at October 5, 2005 01:11 PM

Clearly, the galloping ecumenism of 1960s/1970s Catholicism arrived a century early in the Helsingverse. Seriously though, Sommers comes from a midwestern and, I suspect, conservative Protestant background (he optioned a chick-lit novel about a woman with such a background, and sympathetic ambivalence toward same) and all the Kewl, Freaky non-Protestant religions discreetly conspiring to fight evil is the kind of thing I could see a rebellious child of God-fearing Parents coming up with.

Anyhoo, the prologue to Mummy Returns portrays Scorpy as a somewhat sympathetic/tragic figure who, when defeated and close to death, makes a deal with the devil (well, Anubis, but Sommers can't tell the diff) that transforms him into a thing of evil. So not that big a reach for him to be sympathetic in the prequel, although it would appear that that seeress isn't getting the whole picture on his background.

Posted by: derringdo at October 5, 2005 01:16 PM

"... saw The Scorpion King..."

I know, I know. PIMF.

Posted by: utron at October 5, 2005 01:16 PM

Have you ever seen ABOUTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY? pretty funny when costello hits the mummy over the head with a shovel

Posted by: spurwing plover at October 11, 2005 10:58 AM