When I first got the email about Day of the Mummy, I geeked the hell out. Danny Glover’s name (you know…Roger Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon series) jumped off my computer screen. My very first thought literally about the film was “I hope he says ‘I’m too old for this shit’ to the mummy. Or, better yet….I hope the mummy says it to him!“. Last Monday, I got an email asking if I could interview the film’s star William McNamara.
Now, I was also very excited to interview William. In the 90s, he played the killer in the film Copycat (Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter). He’s had many other roles I could identify him from, but that role was a blast from the past as it was one of my favorite films at the time. You can check out the interview below. It was very interesting as he’s worked with Jim Carrey, Jodie Foster, and many others along the way. As the “surprise” killer from Copycat (and it was one of the bigger films that year), William hired a publicity firm and was scheduled for a BIG opening week. Unfortunately, the movie studio had different plans and didn’t want to reveal who the killer was in the film. Everything was put on hold, and William ended up losing thousands of dollars.
If you notice, I was nervous initially. I referred to Danny Glover as Donald Glover (comedian, Troy from the NBC series Community). William quickly corrected me and we moved on, however, the thought of Troy and Abed (Danny Pudi‘s character from the show and Troy’s best friend) acting out the scenes from the film took over my imagination. Soon, I had put everyone from the Community cast into the film in my head. One simple mistake led to this entire dream film filling my head, and what’s worse is that I still just wanted to hear Danny Glover say “I’m too old for this shit”.
I’m not sure if the film Day of the Mummy suffered from my apparent holiday ADHD, but it had a lot of good ideas with no real payoffs. The pieces that were in place were good. Hell, even the found footage aspect was handled better than normal. Yet, I felt there was just so much more good that could have been done.
McNamara’s character Jack is a hotshot, jet setting archaeologist that is hired by Carl (a mysterious benefactor that doesn’t reveal too much about himself or his motivations) to find and bring a diamond from an ancient tomb called the Codix Stone. It was buried with an ancient Egyptian king that was known for his brutal ways. It also is rumored to keep his soul imprisoned in the tomb instead of moving on to the afterlife. Jack joins a team searching for the tomb, and chaos ensues.
Day of the Mummy is a found footage film, but it doesn’t play like any found footage film I’ve seen. It actually is closer to a video game like Tomb Raider. Jack is given Google Glasses which capture everything he sees for Carl. This takes away the “why are they still filming aspect?” and leads to a more welcome viewing. Of course, the downside to this is that I felt like there should be an inventory screen whenever Jack found items…
Character choices are still iffy throughout the film. The setup takes too long to get off the ground, and when it does…there’s really nothing to transition to. Our characters were in the desert going to the tomb…They’re in the tomb. Sure, the writers try to fill some of this travel time with backstory and random events ala Congo, but a haunted house flick doesn’t work until you get there or something breaks out of there.
And, ultimately, this is where the film struggled: It can’t figure out if it wants to be a video game, horror film, or an action adventure film. In fact, looking back, I saw so many similar films to this one that lurked in my past. Indiana Jones… Grave Encounters… Congo…. The Mummy… Lethal Weapon… Tomb Raider (well, not technically a movie the way I’m thinking about it). The list goes on and on. It’s like a tomb was built with these films, and I was Jack exploring each room. The hieroplyphics on the wall shot random memories into my head, and it was perplexing how they all fit together. In the end, maybe the best should be left as a memory and should just be studied instead of used for today’s purposes.
But if you’re going to see any Pyramid based horror this week, I’ve heard that Day of the Mummy is the one to see. It does its best to resurrect the Indiana Jones fun into archaeology, which is great for the scientists that do it. The found footage aspect is quite an interesting take that I would love to see explored further. If you’re looking for a low budget Indiana Jones with a Tomb Raider feel, it’s not bad. I wish there was more action, but I liked the concept.