An oversized National Georgraphic special whose images of the Nile and Egyptian ruins are absolutely breathtaking on the oversized IMAX screen. An indulgent grandfather (Omar Sharif) sits in a modern-day Cairo cafe with his granddaughter (Kate Maberly), who wants to know all about pyramids and mummies, especially about the mummy's curse. He obliges by telling her about British archeologist Howard Carter (Timothy Davies), who uncovered the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamen in 1922. The film dramatizes Carter's quest to find the virtually intact tomb which he correctly believed lay hidden in the arid Valley of the Kings, tucked behind the Theban Hills as well as scenes of life from the height of ancient Egypt's glory: the building of the pyramids, religious ceremonies, the preparation of a mummy and a trip down the Nile on a felucca (a traditional sailboat). The Carter sequences are in B&W (which may not be intended to evoke old Universal mummy movies, but inevitably does), while the rest of the film is in color. The Egyptian-born Sharif appears to be having the time of his life leading this whirlwind tour through Egyptian history, and no, he assures his apple-cheeked granddaughter, there's no truth to stories about the curse of the mummy. Though Howard Carter's patron, Lord Carnarvan, did die shortly after the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb, the culprit was a run-of-the-mill infection; Carter was 65 when he died, and others involved in the excavation lived to ripe old ages. The sheer scale of ancient Egyptian temples, monuments and statues is well served by the scale of an IMAX film, and the bullet-point history of the rise and fall of ancient Egyptian civilizations seems geared to the school field-trip groups that will no doubt make up a large portion of the film's audience.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: NR
- Review: An oversized National Georgraphic special whose images of the Nile and Egyptian ruins are absolutely breathtaking on the oversized IMAX screen. An indulgent grandfather (Omar Sharif) sits in a modern-day Cairo cafe with his granddaughter (Kate Maberly), wh… (more)