Deadlines (Countdown, 2019)

Countdown_PosterPeople download a new app that predicts the time of your death. The thing is, people who get information regarding an upcoming date, end up dead. Nurse Quinn Harris downloads the app and finds out she has about two days to live. She and others with short time frames team up to try and beat the app.

Countdown is sort of like the Final Destination films, though without the elaborate death sequences. And, really, this is a reasonable idea for a horror film. I kind of like the idea that people start seeing a grim reaper like figure as they get closer, which has shades of stuff like the Rings films.

Another thing I liked was how the story played on our habits of just agreeing to terms of service.  At the same time, there is a bit that just seems like overkill.  For seem reason, they included a mythology where you can break the terms of service.  But the thing is? Breaking the terms of service does not actually change anything.  Your countdown still continues. It feels like breaking the terms of service should cause instant death or something. Instead, when people change plans for the date of their death, apparently that breaks the service. Why? Even though the movie gives an explanation, it seems pointless. If avoiding your death means you still die right on time…what does it matter?

Ultimately, Countdown is passable Halloween movie entertainment…but is, in the long term, a forgettable film.

Kingly Status (The Scorpion King, 2002)

Scorpion_King_PosterSo, in the Mummy Returns, the Scorpion King is a threat to the world, a servant of Anubis.  In this prequel, set well before that part of the story, the Scorpion King is more the underdog hero, seeking vengeance on the King responsible for the death of his brother.

Mathayus is a mercenary hired by free tribes to kill a sorcerer who works for the evil King Memnon.  The mission goes awry and his brother is killed.  Mathayus seeks vengeance and finds himself teamed up with happy fool Arpid.  When his attempt at assassination of Memnon is thwarted, he discovers the sorcerer is, in fact, a sorceress…and a beautiful one at that. He kidnaps her to use as a means of luring Memnon out into the open.

The Scorpion King is a pretty typical light fantasy film in the vein of Conan the Barbarian.  It does not get anywhere near as given to magical dealings as it’s Mummy brethren, the story hints of magic, but we do not see a lot of magic in practice.

The fights are pretty well choreographed, but the film lacks a lot of the humor of the Mummy franchise with only a few really funny moments.  This is probably one of the Rock’s most charmless roles. The female characters are treated as objects first…characters second.  This is unfortunate for Kelly Hu, as the film basically places it’s emphasis simply on how attractive she is.

The digital effects run from okay to pretty unimpressive.  There are digital snakes towards the end that look like cartoons.  Nothing about the film really stands out at all.  It remains a rather forgettable exercise, in spite of spawning three o it’s own sequels (all lacking Johnson).


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