The Mummy (DVD, 1999, Collector's Edition Includes LAND OF THE LOST Movie Money)

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The Mummy: Action and Horror and Comedy all wrapped up together

Apr 25, 2008 (Updated Aug 14, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:A great fun movie, beautiful and engaging. Nonstop action.

Cons:None.

The Bottom Line: This is one of my favorite movies in the action genre. It has horror, romance, and humour, with top flight production: Who could ask for more?


The Mummy (1999) Directed by Stephen Sommers.

Once upon a time, there was a librarian, Evelyn Carnahan, (Rachel Weiss), and after a particularly bad day at the office, her ne’er do well brother, Jonathan (John Hannah) showed her a treasure he had appropriated, one that showed the way to Hamanaptra, a lost necropolis. Such a treasure was beyond price, both from a measure of wealth, and of knowledge.

So they look for the man who had the box before Jonathan. That necessitates a trip to the local prison, where they meet Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser). Evey has to cut a deal with the Warden Gad Hassan (Omid Djalili) to obtain his release. So now they are an expedition of Four.

On a boat on the Nile, we meet two other interested groups. A group of American Adventurers (think half Indiana Jones, half frat boy) with Beni, (Kevin J. O’Connor) the ferrety little Arab who had been in Hamanaptra with O’Connell, as their guide, and a group of Bedouin assassins looking for the Map and the Key.

The boat ablaze, the two groups end up on opposite sides of the Nile. They acquire mounts and provisions, and the quest continues.

In the City of The Dead, the two groups are confronted with many signs and ill omens. They step on each others toes, competing for the best dig sights, etc. They have more men, more equipment, etc. but the other side has Evey, and soon they find many treasures; including a mummy buried at the feet of Anubis. For someone to be buried there, they would have to be very important, or very , very naughty.

Of course the fact he was buried alive, with flesh eating beetles and is still…juicy, makes him stand out.

Hassan, the smelly little warden goes off to find a little side treasure, breaking one of the first rules of surviving the horror movie. He finds several Blue Gold Scarabs, one of which animates and eats its way into his body. It’s a grizzly way to die.

The camp is attacked again by the Bedouin. Together, the two groups manage to repel them, mostly through O’Connell’s creative use of explosives.

Then Evey gets her hands on the book of the dead, figures out that her puzzle box is the Key, opens it, and reads a few passages aloud. And the mummy is reborn!

Now, O’Connell and Evey must stop Imhotep from killing all the Americans who opened the chest with his canopic jars, and thereby regenerate himself back to life. He will become a plague, walking the earth.

I would like to get a little geeky here, if I may, and gripe about one error I saw that ticked me off. There were five Canopic Jars for his organs. There were only four used in true mummification. That was an easy catch.

This movie is not meant to be historically accurate; Hamunaptra should have been in the West, not the east, revealed by the rising sun. But the movie is fun. It is a mile a minute action packed thrill ride. It is not deathless cinema (small pun intended) but I think it is a fan favorite.

Part of what makes the film so popular are the characters. Painted larger than life, and in shades of stereotype, they are engaging and fun.

Evelyn Carnahan (Canarvan?) is the sweet intellectual. She is a scholar, above petty concerns such as treasure in favor of greater things like knowledge. But she is also brave, if not fearless, and adventurous if not foolhardy.
Evey: Look, I... I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am.
Rick: And what is that?
Evey: I... am a librarian.

Rachel Weiss does a wonderful job making her refined and virtuous, but also warm and accessible. She is the perfect love interest.

Rick O’Connell is a rogue and an adventurer. He is rough around the edges, violent and impulsive, but with a heart of gold, and good intelligence.
Evey: You were actually at Hamunaptra?
Rick: Yeah, I was there.
Evey: You swear?
Rick: Every damn day.

Brendan Fraser (one of my favorite actors) shows his butch side in this movie, one we don’t frequently see. He does it very, very well. Tough, strong, smart and witty, how can you not love him?

Jonathan is a scalawag. He has few redeeming features other than being harmless and charming.
Evey: You lied to me.
Jonathan: I lie to everybody. What makes you so special?
Evey: I am your sister.
Jonathan: Yes, well that just makes you more gullible.

I think it speaks to John Hannah’s skill as an actor that we love this character so much.

Beni Gabor however also a scalawag, but far less lovable. He is harmless, but not without malice. He is too cowardly to hurt people, but he will let it happen.
Beni: (Speaking of Imhotep): As long as I serve him, I am immune.
Rick: Immune from what?
Beni: Piszkas allat.
Rick: What did you say?
Beni: I don't want to tell you. You'll just hurt me some more.

You will love his inevitable demise; but it will sadden you as well. Kudos to Mr. O’Connor on his performance.
Evey: You know, nasty little fellows such as yourself always get their comeuppance.
Beni: They do?

Yes, Beni, they do.

Arnold Vosloo plays Prince Imhotep, the mummy. Though he does not speak English, Arnold brings a majesty and menace to the role that makes it memorable. He is not just a walking corpse, he is a man so driven by his passions that he killed his god, and defied death to be with the woman he loved. The best villains are the ones that you can empathize with, and Vosloo manages to pull this off.
The Acting is matched by the direction, and the writing. Its more than a little over the top, but it is hilarious. And it fit’s the characters; larger than life.

The cinematography is unbelievable; rich, detailed, most frames in the movie are worthy photographs. The flash backs to ancient Egypt are sumptuous and lavish, and completely transport you.

Even the music and sound score are first rate, so much so they were nominated for an Oscar.

I don’t think this movie is going to win any awards for social merit, but it wins one of the most important; people love it, and you can watch it over and over again.


Get Wrapped Up in the Adventure!
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor


Recommend this product? Yes

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