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

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Popcorn Mummy.....

Jul 8, 2008 (Updated Jul 12, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Has the gusto of Indiana Jones and the fun quotient to boot.

Cons:Action intensive style tends to wear on you after awhile.

The Bottom Line: A slam bang update of The Mummy that doesn't quite reach the level of Indiana Jones. Sure is fun though....


I'll say this for "The Mummy...." For a film that is laden with special effects, there was never that cringe worthy moment where I could see a green screen. I mean, nothing is more annoying than plopping down ten bucks to see a summer blockbuster only to witness a scene that is obviously fake. I mean I know that the effects are achieved via technical hocus pocus but i don' t want to KNOW that.... or.... SEE that per se. Know what I mean? I'm thinking about this one sequence in "The Mummy;" it's when O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) is flying towards the the lair of the mummy, Imotep (Arnold Vosloo.) Great effect here....the sand forming a wall that eventually turns into a facial image of Imotep himself. I think the key is.... director Stephen Sommers doesn't really call attention to the effect itself. He stays on the image of Imotep oh so briefly and then he quickly cuts to O'Connell's plane as it's about to fly into the wall of sand. I say.... you over shoot a scene like this.... you're eventually going to show the audience what's behind the curtain.

I think what kept me watching this film is its spirit. Like Indiana Jones before it, "The Mummy" can't help but to give you a little wink from time to time. Come on, a film like this... taking itself seriously..... nothing but disaster. To me, a big part of the reason that "The Mummy" succeeds is due in large part to the work of Brendan Fraser. I liked the O'Connell character from the get go, that's probably why I didn't end up breaking bad on this film in the first place. It's my golden movie rule; if I like the characters, I usually end up tolerating a silly popcorn flick like "The Mummy" a whole lot better. But back to Brendan Fraser.... he has a rather stellar moment where he finds out that his former guide, Beni (Kevin J. O'Connor) is helping The Mummy, Imotep, in his quest to regenerate into human form. It all goes back to what I said in my review of "Evan Almighty......" the idea of an actor or actress getting laughs by doing so little. When Beni starts taunting O'Connell, Fraser delivers a huge laugh by making like he's going to back hand him one. It's a small gesture but it packs a whole lot of comedic punch.

Before I get to the plot synopsis, I have to give kudos to John Hannah (Jonathan) and Arnold Vosloo (Imotep: The Mummy.) Usually, I'm not a big fan of the actors who play the second banana/comic foil role. Often times, the actor or actress gets in the way or tries way to hard to get their share of the laughs. Hannah manages to get laughs without holding the material hostage and that's a big key. Plus, he and Brendan Fraser seem to have a nice repoire together. There's a great moment where O'Connell (Fraser) is hard at work during the expedition and Jonathan (Hannah) can't help but to besmirch all things American. It's a funny sequence because Fraser and Hannah sort of step back a bit, they don't go for the comedic home run.... if you will.

Plot: Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) is a member of the American Foreign Legion who almost ends up getting himself hanged during an archaeological dig in the city of Hamunaptra. Enter, a librarian named Evelyn (Rachel Weisz.) It so happens.... Evelyn has a great interest in leading an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra. This leads her to O'Connell (Fraser) who is doomed to meet his maker until Evelyn offers to free him... caveat not with standing. O'Connell helps lead her dig in Hamunaptra and she frees him from certain death. Along for the ride is Evelyn's career challenged brother, Jonathan (John Hannah.) Jonathan is all for an archaeological expedition but he's also interested in the idea of PROFITING from said dig.

Fast forward a bit.... during the dig, Evelyn (Weisz) stumbles upon a mysterious spell like book.... the same book that she accidentally uses to resurrect a flesh hungry mummy named Imotep (Arnold Vosloo.) After being awakened from exile, Imotep sets out to eradicate everyone involved in the dig.... feasting on flesh until he is able to regenerate into human form. Oh by the way.... he also needs to take Evelyn as his sacrificial bride in order to fully complete his transformation to human form. I'll stop there, you can decipher the rest of the plot on your own.

It's strange but I think that "The Mummy's" biggest asset... its effects and its action heavy spirit.... well, they sort of spoil you after awhile. What do I mean? Well, take a look at the sequence where Evelyn has to think fast in order to save O'Connell's neck. Gotta say....I was kind of disappointed that this scene wasn't capped off with a slam bang action sequence. I was kind of expecting explosions and fist cuffs and a slick get away to boot. Nah, director Steven Sommers plays it surprisingly low key. Although, strangely enough, the slam bang video game like style of "The Mummy" did start to wear on me after awhile. I'm all for the lively banter and the by play between the characters as they wind their way in and out of trouble but after awhile.... you start asking yourself.... is this all this movie has to offer?

Oh heck, I liked "The Mummy." Somewhat...I guess. I wasn't annoyed by it but I wasn't quite ready to place it in that top tier with "Indiana Jones." Then again, you can't hate a popcorn flick that provides a few chuckles and some good old fashioned action. I'll give director/writer Stephen Sommers one thing..... his incarnation of "The Mummy" certainly isn't dull.


Recommend this product? Yes


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