The Mummy (1999)

Mar 24, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:  Fun, great pacing, good acting

Cons:  Villain isn't evil enough, special effects look dated

The Bottom Line:

A fun movie, it's too bad we can't get an update on the CG

  This is your typical action-monster movie. What sets it apart is it is very well done. You don't just have a hack and slash movie, you have a movie that takes you step by step, developing the characters along the way. It also provides some mystery and puzzles along the way.

The plot
This is your basic monster movie. Monster is born, monster grows, then monster is killed. Ok, so there I spoiled it for ya. But it really is that simple of a plot. But for those romantics out there, there is a love story that is developed well.

The story and writing
The story to me was simple, it was the writing that really made it work. The writing of the character was beautifully crafted to not only bring the story along, but also develop the characters. I am easily bored with dialog, but not with this movie. The human interaction is still fun to watch even after seeing this movie a dozen times. Each character has a relationship with someone else that makes sense. Everyone has a place and a purpose. As far as love stories go, I loved the way this one was developed. It was not your typical love story that made you sick to your stomach. Instead it felt like a naturally progressing event.

The character development
Along with pacing, this was one the two best aspects of the movie. The best way to do character development (in my opinion) is through action. The first two scenes Mr. O'Connell is in show him as first a brave and fearless leader that knows how to fight. The second is showing the animal that he really is. It is acted perfectly (if not a little typecasting added in) and you got to know everything about O'Connell that you needed to know in those two scenes. So am I saying love is animal like....?

Vivian's introduction was also perfect. Through the few lines she had in the library and the action scene in the library developed her perfectly in less than 3 minutes. You know what to expect from her for the rest of the movie from that scene. What I also liked was the writers warmed you up to her. You developed this emotional attachment to this odd girl.

Vivian's brother was both a gem in the writing department and a bit of needed comic relief. He reminds me of the Two featured droids in star wars. If you saw the movie through anyone's eyes it would be his. While his role was better developed in the third movie, he still did a great job acting in this movie.

Development of the mummy was simple, because his character was simple. There wasn't anything interesting to his character, he was just the big bad evil guy that you had to hate.

The pacing
Along with character development, this was also the best part of the movie. The movie just goes and goes and goes. It is virtually nonstop and you are entertained the whole way through. And even though the pacing is perfect, there is still a lot of character development and story development in this movie that makes everything complete.

The acting
While the acting isn't going to win any awards, the acting is top notch for a movie like this. The character are unique in their own way and react to each other in a realistic fashion.
Rachel Weisz plays Evelyn and is the strongest actor in this movie. She is funny and comical at times, and at other times she is brave. But at all times she keeps her personality. Her character is a brainy and young Ancient Egypt scholar.
Brendon Frazier is your typical strong/confident/animal hero type. He plays the role perfectly and with a little humor added in. He is a great contrast to Evelyn and even adds a little charm to the film.

The special effects
This is a sore spot now. When it came out it was the best example of computer graphics in the year it was introduced. Well 10 years has seen an increase in computer speed by about 32 times. So you will notice some flaws in CG in this movie and it looks dated at spots. This is a case where simpler would have been better in some scenes. The main example I will give is when the scarab is under the skin it looks like a giant pimple moving around with no definition and the skin also changed to a flesh colored bulge then reverted back to looking like real skin. CG really has gone a long way.

Replay value
This movie does have average replay value in my book. I will watch this every few years.

The music
The music is done by Jerry Goldsmith, one of my favorite conductors. He did an awesome job with the soundtrack and one day I will probably pick it up, after I pick up the Alien soundtrack.

Should children watch it? Teens only.

The reason it didn't get a higher score.
Some aspects of this movie are perfectly done and a good movie that demonstrates how an action flick should be crafted. But there are a few glaring issues. One is replay value. Yes I will watch this again but it isn't a movie I will watch at the drop of a hat. The second reason is there is no deep humanistic (or spiritual) message in the movie. I don't leave the room feeling compelled to look deeper into myself or others. The third reason is the excessive use of outdated CG. The computer graphics just looks dated to me and it is very hard for me to forgive them for that. They should have used more models in this movie or found a way to improve a few of these effects. And lastly, the movie just isn't that creative to begin with. Do these make it a bad movie? No, it is a very well done action flick with a few flaws. Definitely a must for your queue list.

Genre: Romance, Suspense, horror

The key players
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writers: Lloyd Fonvielle, Kevin Jarre, & Stephen Sommers
Music: Jerry Goldsmith

Yahoo users: B
Yahoo critics: None listed
Metacritics users: 4.5
Metacritics critics: 48
Rotten Tomato community: 83%
Rotten Tomato critics: 54%
My score: 4.60

MPAA rating: PG-13

Running time: 124 minutes

Year released: 1999

My End Line.
This is a great action flick and a fun movie. It is good enough to have spawn 4 other movies that had their moments but never caught up to this one. So needless to say, this is the best of the bunch and worth owning.

© Common Loon Productions

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