The Devil’s Tomb – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll May 29, 2009, 16:56 GMT
Academy Award® winner CUBA GOODING JR. (Best Supporting Actor, Jerry Maguire, 1996) battles for mankind\'s survival in this action-packed, apocalyptic horror thriller. When the scientist (RON PERLMAN)leading a top-secret Middle Eastern archeological site goes missing, an elite military unit is sent on a search and rescue mission. Descending deep below civilization, Captain Mack (GOODING JR.) and his team soon find themselves face-to-face with an ancient evil. An evil that may ...more
Oh I wonder who could be buried here. Could it perhaps be…Satan! Putting aside the Church Lady for a minute, Cuba Gooding Jr. once again stars in a direct to video flick that tarnishes his Oscar, but this time he’s put through the paces by Sean Connery’s kid.
Mack (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is the tough-as-nails leader of a group of Special Forces. Their latest mission is to escort CIA operative Elissa (Valerie Cruz) into an underground bunker in the Middle East to retrieve Dr. Wesley (Ron Perlman). The team consists of Yoshi (Stephanie Jacobson), Hammer (Frankie G), Hicks (Jason London), Nickels (Zack Ward), Click (Brandon Fobbs), and “Doc” (Taryn Manning).
When they get there they find the base locked down and the Click, the hacker, has to crack open the system to get in. They find that the scientific team has been killed or dying and the priest they encounter (Weston Blakesley) appears to have radiation burns although there’s no radiation detected.
They also encounter Professor Duncan (Bill Moseley) who appears to be possessed and the scared Father Fulton (Henry Rollins) who warns them to leave the facility. The team discovers that Wesley’s team made a shocking discovery that led to the tomb of an entity imprisoned over 2000 years ago…and it ain’t Jesus.
Cuba Gooding Jr.’s career has been slowly slipping for years now. He started out well and won an Oscar for Jerry Maguire, but has been appearing in direct-to-video dreck that is populated by the likes of Wesley Snipes, Val Kilmer, (who both also started off well) and Steven Seagal (who had a high dollar career, but questionable acting skills).
This horror themed film is sure to show up in the Sci-Fi Channel (or whatever they call themselves these days) soon. It’s not exactly territory that hasn’t been mined by other, better films.
Of note is that Jason Connery, Sean’s son, steps behind the camera to perform directing duties. Maybe it was the Connery name, but Ray Winstone also shows up for a cameo, though it’s not very much. He’s in a flashback sequence, that’s fed to us in small snips, and pops up at the end to personify Mack’s temptation.
I’ve been knocking on Cuba a lot so far, but his acting is much better than most of his team. Taryn Manning is pretty horrible as “Doc” and you have to laugh that she’s supposed to be a physician. We do have some genre cred in Moseley and Perlman, but the film they’re in gives them little to shine about. Henry Rollins is given little to do, but definitely plays against type as the befuddled priest. There’s not much threat or excitement as we’ve seen the plot all before, and done better.
The Devil’s Tomb is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features include a commentary with director Jason Connery and Cuba Gooding Jr. You also get alternative scenes, outtakes, and a making of documentary.
The Devil’s Tomb is pretty obvious about what it contains – a typical direct-to-video horror flick. It’s nothing to dig up and maybe should’ve stayed buried. The genre vets do what they can with the material, but it never rises to the occasion.