Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (2)
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This lavish Hammer Films production proves to be a dull remake.
About 50 percent campy fun -- with another 50 percent of rather dull adventure.
She is a Hammer flick high on style and weak on story. It might pass for a precursor to one of the latter-day Mummy movies or a really woeful Indiana Jones movie. She is a decent adventure movie where an in-her-prime Ursula Andress plays an immortal queen out to find the reincarnation of her lost love. For as foxy as Andress is in this movie, her charms kind of wear off once she starts spouting her dialogue (not that I'm expecting David Mamet, mind you) but Peter Cushing (who kills in the bellydancing scene at the beginning) and Christopher Lee never disappoint. The last act falls apart but I liked the lack of an upbeat ending.
The stunning Ursula Andress plays an immortal queen waiting century after century for the reincarnation of her love who bears a striking resemblance to John Richardson, who promptly falls under her spell. He and companions, archeologist Peter Cushing and likeable working class valet Bernard Cribbins, travel to her lavishly realised forgotten kingdom where he becomes torn between the coldly beautiful yet cruel "She who must be obeyed" and a warm and compassionate slave girl. All the best scenes are of course between Hammer stalwarts Cushing and Christopher Lee, but Andress is strangely convincing as the irresistible yet heartless Ayesha. The story constantly surprises, and despite the rather wooden performance by Richardson, always entertains. A solid old-school adventure yarn, which combined with some great production design, unusually (for Hammer!) well executed effects and location camera work makes this one of Hammer studio's finest moments.
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