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August 04, 2008 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-08-04

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Monday, August 4, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


From Page 10
is taut and emotional, but it only
lasts for a minute. It could have
been so much more. Comparing
the thankless lives of America's
working class to the self-indul-
gent glamour of politicians, it
could have illustrated the chasm
that truly exists between the
country's elite and the lower and
middle classes. Instead, the sub-
plot is completely forgotten, and
the film reverts to its stubborn
refusal to point fingers at any-
Perhaps I'm being a little harsh;
the film has its heart in the right
place. Some critics might even
commend it for its message, for
its willingness to address some
of the inherent problems of our
democracy and the people who
live in it.
But I won't. "Swing Vote" is a
piece of shit. It's here that I rel-
egate myself to the role of the
classroom bully, mercilessly
pounding-in the face of the nice
kid in the corner - the one who
wears "Care Bears" T-shirts
and talks about clouds and rain-
bows - because, while "Swing
Vote" is completely inoffensive,
I can't stand the sight of it. Its
message is masked by manipu-
lative, politically correct sen-
timentality. Its characters, not
least of all Costner's, are atro-
cious "good ol' boy" stereo-
And for all its efforts, the
film still fails to get its message
Thanks to its gag-inducing
political correctness, the film
really doesn't make politics
appealing at all. Both presiden-
tial candidates are dimwitted,

clueless puppets, constantly at the
mercy of conniving Machiavelli-
like right-hand men. The issues
at the center of this upcoming
election are barely even touched
And, of course, we never do find
out which candidate Costner votes
for - which isn't a spoiler, since
it's obvious the filmmakers would
never have the guts to go that
route anyway.
Most will say it's harmless, but
I can't help but shudder at the
thought that this, with its cut-
and-paste storyline, heart-tug-
ging characters and "Schoolhouse
Rock"-like message, may very well
set the style for Hollywood films
to come. When the next election
rolls around, will we get a "Swing
Vote 2"? Will every film in the
future have one of these ridicu-
lous black-and-white messages
underlining it, like an afternoon
TV special?
Give me "W." any day. At least
Stone's film will incite more than
just apathy - or, in my case, anger
for wasting two precious hours of
my life.

Bury this second sequel

By BLAKE GOBLE feeling like the crappy knockoffs
DailyArts Writer you can get on I-94 through Indi-
If you ever wanted to see what Taking place after "The
a Harvard graduate setting $145 Mummy Returns" (2001), Rick
million on fire looks like, here's O'Connell (Fraser, "Journey to
your opportunity. the Center of the Earth") and re-
Wel- cast wife Evelyn (Maria Bello,
come back * "A History of Violence") are now
to Brendan retired as adventurers. At least
Fraser's The Mummy: they're retired for the sake of
"Indiana Tomb te irony, because they unwittingly
Jones" get pulled into another adven-
karaoke Dragon Emperor ture. Their 20-something son Alex
hour where (Luke Ford, "The Black Balloon"),
n imt-At Quality16 who was eight in the last movie
tion is too and Showcase (and his parents are still in their
sloppy, and Universal 30s?), has grown into another
the costs archeologist-adventurer. What a
(money, taste, sanity) are never surprise.
too great. "The Mummy: Tomb Alex has awoken the evil Drag-
of the Dragon Emperor" wants to on Emperor Han (Jet Li, "Fear-
resemble the spectacle of genuine less"), and now the O'Connells
Chinese fireworks, but it winds up must stop the evil force from

conquering the world. The rest of
it, well, has already been put to
rest. Many times. Chases, visual
effects, mystical artifacts, bad
dialogue, poor stylistic decisions,
video-game exposition and about a
million other things we've already
endured pop up at some point
in "Emperor." Proving yet again
that third films in franchises are
almost always the worst ("Spider-
Man," "Superman," "Rambo" and
so on), "Emperor" is no exception.
That's not to say all is lost here.
There are yetis. That's right, yetis.
In the middle of a gunfighta mys-
tic summons the aid of abominable
snowmen to kick the bad guys'
asses. Yeah, it sounds just as stupid
as the rest of this thing. But, hey, at
least we've never seen that before.
Expensive and over-the-top,
this feels like the product of bad
See MUMMY, Page 12

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