You know you’re in trouble when not one, but two of your “name” stars are literally phoning in their performances.
DAY OF THE MUMMY has found a new spin on the found footage genre. Archeologist, adventurer and arsehole, Jack Wells (McNamara), is contacted by Carl (Glover) via Skype. Glover is living a louche lifestyle in a studio set, his smoking jacket not quite able to distract us from the sparsity behind him. Glover wants McNamara to locate The MacGuffin Stone, a cursed diamond. In order to keep track of his movements, he has sent McNamara a pair of glasses he must wear for the entire movie. The glasses have a camera built into them so that both Glover and the audience can now watch everything from McNamara’s point of view (and McNamara himself can retire to a sound booth). As a cheap way of hiring a pair of actors you can’t deny it’s cunning.
Every now and then Glover pops up in the bottom left of the screen, to utter something pointless, “Where’s the diamond Jack?” “Jack, don’t forget about the diamond.” “Have I ever told you how much I like diamonds, Jack?” It’s the cinematic equivalent of a first-person shooter game, albeit where there’s nothing to shoot.
While we stare at nothing of interest, McNamara growls at rocks, Danny Glover and Andrea Monier (as Kate “I’m head of security and, yes, before you mention it, I know I’m a woman” Alvarez).
Monier has a much more difficult job than her character (who does nothing). She needs to bring all her acting training into play in order to shift from Pretend Feminist Character to Whimpering Love Interest within five minutes. The only assistance she has achieving this character journey is McNamara’s charm. Which is to say, no assistance at all. The fact that her character sleeps with McNamara is the only thing in the movie capable of making the audience squirm.
We then have arguments in the dust for an hour while the producers count their budget. Finally, with quarter of an hour to spare, a mummy turns up and we beg it to kill everybody. Which it almost manages in its four or five minutes of screen time, being careful to never engender any excitement while it does so.
I’m a sucker for a mummy movie and notoriously blind to the stumblings of low budget cinema but DAY OF THE MUMMY is unfortunately a dull mess.
The blurb promises ‘terrible and tormented death to all who dare witness the DAY OF THE MUMMY.’ Which is an exaggeration, but only just.