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Author Topic: Mummies reviews  (Read 424 times)

Offline patch

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Mummies reviews
« on: January 05, 2023, 12:09:47 PM »
Film Review: Mummies is an engrossing adventure for all the wrong reasons
Needle drops have become more and more of a popular addition in film over the last year.  The notion of having a song not written for the film – often one that already has a sense of notoriety – and inject it into proceedings has been utilised to either enhance a physical sequence or, perhaps, distract viewers from what’s an otherwise rather ordinary set-piece and fool them into thinking it’s cutting edge.

Of all the films we have seen adopt this practice – and for all the film across 2023 that are likely to do so – none will match the creative decisions made throughout Mummies.

The film itself is a bizarre, fascinatingly awful amalgamation of straight-to-video quality animation and a narrative that invites its viewers into a potentially enchanting after-world, but forgets to lay any foundation in the process; I’m all for easing up on exposition, but at least one scene could have helped catch us all up on what exactly is going on in the Egyptian underworld Mummies would like us to invest in.

What initially feels like ancient Egypt is then quickly framed as the present day, but in this underworld the residents live away from the technological advances of the outside world and, as we quickly find out, still practice the art of arranged marriages; we also learn that the Pharaoh (voiced by Sean Bean) controls the night and day shades of the sky through a mechanical contraption, but, sure, let’s not let anyone here use a mobile.

The Pharaoh’s daughter, Nefer (Eleanor Tomlinson), wants more than what society expects of her (don’t we all?), and because screenwriters Jordi Gasull (Tad: The Explorer) and Javier Barreira (Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas) think a wacky adventure where shielded Egyptians take on the everyday advancements of the “real world” is just enough of a narrative to fulfil a 90-minute brief, she is thrust into present day London, with the Macguffin of an ancient ring belonging to her family falling into the clutches of an evil archaeologist, Lord Carnaby (Hugh Bonneville), enough of a reason to switch settings.

Of course, our young Nefer isn’t alone, with Thut (Joe Thomas), a former charioteer, his younger brother and their pet baby crocodile (why not?) along for the “adventure”.  I use quotation marks, because as much as Mummies serves up its share of chase sequences around the streets of London – the basic throughline is Carnaby and the Mummies alternate chasing each other for the ring – there’s an awful lot of time spent on Nefer’s desire to become a pop star (without any warning we are subjected to a musical number of her expressing her desires no less than 10 minutes into the up-to-that-point-very-non-musical-alluding-film) and how a ridiculous music producer (Shakka) can make that dream achievable.

Despite not knowing what a music studio is, let alone a microphone or the process of recording, Nefer’s one-take ditty is a global success; though, it would appear Gasull and Barreira aren’t aware of how song releases work either, with Nefer’s song climbing the charts drastically in a manner that suggests weeks of incline, but apparently happens within a day or two.  It’s bombastic sequences like that and when she interrupts a Broadway musical (Aida, fittingly) to sing on stage, thinking what’s taking place is real and not scripted, that continues to add to Mummies‘ inexplicable structure.

It goes without saying that Nefer prefers the modern world, and because we all know that the constant arguing with Thut is because the sexual tension is rife, it leads to the poor chap lamenting about returning to his world.  Enter the spectacular needle drop that is Nickelback.  Yes.  In 2023, Nickelback’s “Far Away” is being utilised to underscore lost love.  And, honestly, I’m here for it.  The use of the song perfectly sums up my feelings towards Mummies.  It’s horrifically bad, but, my word, is it engrossing in every decision it makes.

Given how spoilt audiences have been lately with their choice of animation, something like Mummies pales even less in comparison.  Young audiences are likely to be unbothered by its nonsensical plotting, especially with a Kidz Bop-ready soundtrack (bar Nickelback), an admittedly cute baby crocodile (who even squeaks with all the baritone sophistication of a dog’s chew toy), and a kinetic pace that allows little time to process its story, but, unfairly, this hasn’t been designed for parents or even those who like animated productions to enjoy as a bystander.  Engrossing it may be for all the wrong reasons, these Mummies are best left to desiccate as history intended.

Mummies is screening in Australian theatres from January 5th, 2023.  International locations will follow throughout 2023.

Mummies – Movie Review
Mummies Review –
Whenever you translate a film from one language to another, there is always a danger that something can get lost in translation. At least with an animated movie, you can edit the lip flaps and lose the synch issue that happens with dubbed films. Today we look at a movie that had its moments, but something did not make the jump from Spanish to English.

So to set the scene, thousands of years ago in Ancient Egypt, Thut (Joe Thomas) was racing around a stadium in a chariot. It is a brutal race with cheating and wheels full of spikes. Through some clever manoeuvring, Thut almost gets over for a win, that is, until his chariot disintegrates, sending him flying. Today, Lord Carnaby (Hugh Bonneville), a pompous archaeologist, is looking for the tomb of Princess Nefer (Eleanor Tomlinson). But when he opens the sarcophagus, he finds it empty. Because for some of the mummies, death was not the end.

I will be pretty negative with this review, but I want to highlight some of the film’s strengths. Some moments are genuinely funny. When they actually get into the weeds of the cultural clash that would be mummies trying to exist in the current world, it can be grand. Every interaction with Mother (Celia Imrie) was a delight. As well as this, the animation looks quite dated. It all flows well, which you need in some of the action scenes. Also, the general story is, look, it is okay. Carnaby wants his exhibition, Thut has a secret he is trying to hide, and Nefer wants to sing, and it all gets resolved at lightning speed. I mean, it does its job.

However, this film is filled with frankly weird decisions, and while some are perplexing, fascinatingly, like the most bizarre Nickelback needle drop in film history. The rest hit on different levels of ‘why did they do that?’ At the start are minor things like the film using a Roman Chariot Stadium in Ancient Egypt. Also, the more you think about the Mummies’ world, the more horrifying and baffling it becomes. But these are minor issues, and if they only stayed there, it would not have been an issue.

Then we have the mid-range perplexing issues, like that one of the Ancient Egyptian characters uses an Indigenous Australian boomerang [Edit: actually I was wrong on this one, but the rest still stands]. Did it lead to some comedic moments? Yes, did it ever make sense? No. However, we then have to talk about the film’s major issue: unfortunately, it is full of whitewashing. This is not just the cast but the character design, in 2023, we shouldn’t be seeing it, and it was a real barrier for me.           
In the end, do we recommend Mummies? Look, no, I can’t. Now, I know that some of the issues come from transitioning the film to English, as well as being pitched at a very young audience. Some of the more absurd elements hit so hard that I can almost recommend it for that experience of ‘what is happening’, but it just doesn’t quite get there. If you liked Mummies, I would recommend to you The Bad Guys.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2023, 12:15:51 PM by patch »

Offline patch

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Re: Mummies reviews
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2023, 01:41:03 AM »
Mummies, A Deviceful Animation That Blends Cringe With Serendipity
Mummies, marks the feature directorial debut of Juan Jesús García Galocha, from a screenplay by Javier López Barreira and Jordi Gasull. Warner Bros. Pictures teams up with 4Cats Pictures SL, Anangu Grup SLU and Moomios Movie AIE, Atresmedia Cine, MOVISTAR+ and TV3. The result is an animation that breaks new ground.

The film follows the hilarious adventures of three mummies who live in a secret underground city hidden away in Ancient Egypt. Thut (Joe Thomas) used to be a charioteer, who no longer competes after a traumatic incident. He spends his time signing autographs on papyri and entertaining himself with is his younger brother Sekhem (Santiago Winder) and their pet crocodile. The two siblings meet Princess Nefer (Eleanor Tomlinson), who loves singing, but as the daughter of the Pharaoh (Sean Bean) is expected to be marry and continue the dynasty.

A series of unfortunate events catapults Thut, Sekhem and Nefer in present-day London and they embark on a whimsical adventure. In the city of Abbey Road Studios, they meet music producer Ed (Shakka) who allows Nefer to give full expression to her vocal artistry. However, the trio of mummies will also have to face the nefarious actions of archaeologist Lord Carnaby (Hugh Bonneville), who is inseparable from his mother (Celia Imrie) and his dumb-and-dumber-Tweedledee-and-Tweedledum assistants Danny and Dennys (Dan Starkey).

Prior to this film, Juan Jesús García Galocha worked as art director on films such as Tad: The Lost Explorer and Tad: The Lost Explorer, and The Secret of King Midas. The first of these two movies won the Goya Award for Best Screenplay. Actually, screenwriter Gasull, has three Goya Awards under his belt, which made him the perfect fit as the film’s producer. Therefore it doesn’t surprise that Mummies is the outcome of such a successful team.

The innovative aspect of Mummies is that it isn’t set in two different eras. The world of Ancient Egypt, that is inhabited by mummies, co-exists with our modern day. Two parallel worlds are present in different layers of the Earth: the realm of humans is above the ground whereas the underworld is populated by living mummies.

This ambiguous re-interpretation of Ancient Egypt, that eludes the technology of the 21st century, has some interesting and indirect contaminations with our epoch. For instance, it mimics many phenomena popular amongst Gen Z and is even equipped with instruments of communication similar to a switch hook telephone.

The pace of the narrative has an entertaining tempo, also thanks to the music composed by Goya winner Fernando Velazquez. The score provides a playful atmosphere, with three original songs (I Am Today, New Song, Ring Song), featured alongside the iconic song by The Bangles from the mid-Eighties Walk Like an Egyptian.

In Mummies there are also fun references to cringe moments related to how the artwork of previous centuries have been mutilated by modernity. The nod to Cecilia Giménez’s failed restoration attempt of the ‘Ecce Homo’ painted by Elías García Martínez — that became an internet phenomenon — is a hilarious moment in the animated movie. The entire film is enjoyable for children, but undoubtably addresses adult themes such as female empowerment and overcoming post-traumatic-stress-disorder. All characters in the film experience the power of serendipity, including the croc and his toy in the very last scene after the credits.

Final Grade: B