The larger-than-life Omnimax format attempts to translate the mummification process (and the human biological elements) into an awe-inspiring feature capable of matching the Cincinnati Museum Center's interactive exhibition Lost Egypt with its replication of a field site and laboratory along with various mummies and smaller-scale video interviews.
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharoahs, as with most Omnimax presentations, mixes historic reenactments with investigations by contemporary field practitioners engaged in intense studies (with the results of DNA analysis being hyped as a blueprint with miraculous potential in modern medicine), yet the great importance notwithstanding, the film lacks the real thrills one might expect, simply because the format cannot imbue the material with the necessary rush and grandeur; it must exist inherently.
And, sadly, mummification fails to match the experience of racing along raging rivers, scaling icy mountainous heights or soaring beyond the clouds — although the discovery of techniques to not only mummify a human body but also gather DNA evidence from mummies certainly casts a new light on the study and exploration of ancient Egypt and its secrets. Fortunately, the Cincinnati Museum Center pairs the large-scale with the more intimate examination for proper perspective and an enriching journey for all audiences to appreciate. Grade: B-
Opens Oct. 9. Check out show times, see the film's trailer and get Cincinnati Museum Center details here.