The movie was directed by Robert Kurtzman, one-third of the amazing KNB Effects house, so I knew before the movie started that at least the effects were going to be awesome. And indeed the opening scene in ancient Persia where the Djinn mutilates various people is freaking amazing. How could any horror fan not love the part where the guy's skin rips off and his skeleton comes out and attacks people? Sadly, that's probably the coolest thing to see in the whole movie and things pretty much go downhill from there.
The film can at least boast that it has an impressive cast of actors and horror icons, even if they just make cameo appearances. Robert Englund has the most starring role as Raymond Beaumont, the man who buys the statue where the jewel that holds the Djinn is trapped, and his assistant who bites it right off the bat is a personal favorite of mine, adorable little Ted Raimi. Tony Todd makes a short appearance as doorman Johnny Valentine, and Kane Hodder is a security guard who meets a very strange demise. Kurtzman himself appears as the man attacked by piano wire, and I think that was Howard Berger getting his face smashed in by a mace. The cameos are nice and bring a smile to the horror-lover's face when you see them, but they are not good enough to make the movie any better.
I actually want to watch the sequels to see if they get any nastier than this one, but I don't have much hope. It seems like there is probably a reason why I don't hear the Wishmaster series talked about more often - it's not that great. The Djinn as a villain is a very cool idea and had great potential but this film does not take advantage of that.