Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Pyramid (2014)

Archaeologist Holden and his team, which includes daughter Nora, have discovered a pyramid buried in the sands of Egypt. It's three sided which confounds and confuses everyone. How can it be?  Either the excitement of their discovery overwhelms caution, or they aren't competent archaeologists, since they allow a worker to open the tomb without any concern for safety. A blast of stale air and toxins hit the poor worker in the face and he's quickly frothing at the mouth and convulsing.

A reporter and cameraman arrive for an interview, and prove to have limited intellect.  When the team  mentions they've discovered the apex of the pyramid, the reporter quizzically asks, "Apex?"  They then have to explain that the apex is the top of the pyramid.  So were the filmmakers going for a mentally challenged audience, or has society gotten so dense that simple words like apex need to be explained?

After a riot breaks out in nearby Cairo, the military shows up and tells Holden the dig has been shut down. Everyone must vacate the site.  Since they don't know if, or when, they'll be allowed to return, they insist on staying a little longer so they can send a borrowed NASA robot - who I kept expecting them to call Wall-E -  into the pyramids corridors to get video of what's inside.

After something runs past the robot and the feed goes dead, the group surmises that it must have been a dog who decided to attack it.  Yes, because recently unsealed pyramids are always filled with dogs that hate robots.  The second stupid assumption is that it's a good idea for everyone to pile into the pyramid in an attempt to retrieve the robot. You see, NASA will kill the guy who borrowed it if it's not returned.  I'm not sure NASA would actually let someone borrow a million dollar robot, but what do i know.

Instead of being cautious due to the known toxic air released upon opening, or the possibility of deadly fungus or mold inside, Holden, Nora, her boyfriend, the cameraman and reporter all troop into the structure, wearing only charcoal masks for protection.  It doesn't seem likely that would protect them from anything toxic, but everyone is willing to risk their lives for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Once inside, they locate the remains of the robot, end up lost, try to find their way out, find lots of creepy little cat monsters, and discover Anubis has been sealed inside the pyramid.  Oh the humanity!

Wow, this is a train wreck.  First of all, I swear I saw a mummy in the trailer, but there are no mummies in the movie.  So it appears I was mistaken. I must have assumed the dark shapes moving swiftly past the camera were mummies since the movie takes place in a pyramid, and mummies are known movie monsters.  Honestly, I think it would have been better if there were tons of killer mummies in the pyramid.

The movie switches between point of view/found footage to standard filming, which happens whenever the cameraman isn't at a point to film the action. So it can be a bit distracting to switch between the two when there's no real reason other than the convenience of the film.  On the plus side, the movie is not the herkey jerkey type of camera work that makes one nauseous, so that's a plus.  But on the negative side,  that doesn't make up for the lame CGI or ridiculous goings on.

You'll end up with more questions than answers:

  1. If someone is impaled upon wooden spikes, why would you try to lift them up and off said spikes?  That will mean nothing is blocking the blood from flowing out of the wounds. Dur-hey
  2. Since the wooden spikes are hundreds of years old, would they still be able to impale you, or would they be brittle due to the dry air, and crackle to dust when you fell on them?
  3. Why are they confused about where to look for Wall-E?  No one has been in there for years.  Just follow his tracks in the dirt and dust on the floor.
  4. What happened to the wire/string they were using so they could find their way out? Did I miss the explanation? 
  5. When they discover that string is gone, why don't they just take the only freaking corridor that has footprints in it? 
  6. Why are they traveling further down into the pyramid rather than trying to get back to the top?  The top is the only part that isn't buried under tons of sand?  
  7. As an archaeologist, shouldn't they realize there is the potential for booby traps set by the ancient Egyptians to keep their kings tombs safe from crypt raiders?  That's basic history, pal.
  8. If there are five of you, then why doesn't someone stay outside to ensure if there is a problem and they don't return, someone can go get help.  They have no way to contact the outside world but they're all going to stupidly troop into the pyramid.
  9. If a group of you is in a room and the floor starts to crack with the potential to give way, doesn't it make more sense to move closer to the wall, rather than have those at the edge walk across the center?  
  10. And if you decide to walk across the center, shouldn't the people already in the center move to the edge before adding more weight to the already fragile structure?
  11. Why are there no mummies in what should very clearly be a mummy movie?
  12. And why doesn't anyone seem even remotely qualified to be on this dig?

Ridiculous dialogue that insults the viewers intelligence:

Archaeologist: See this tunnel here? This is our way in. It leads directly to the apex of the pyramid.
Reporter: "Apex?"
Archaeologist: It's the top of the pyramid.

I'm not buying that the ancient Egyptians constructed a pyramid
using blocks that are sloped, (note the lines on the side). Also each
rock is the entire length of the structure, and with only three sides,
there wouldn't be much room inside that thing.

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