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

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Upset Mummy

Oct 20, 1999 (Updated Mar 29, 2000)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Action zips along

Cons:Mummies shuffle along

As heís about to go into battle against an army of half-rotted corpses, Brendan Fraser is asked, "So whatís the plan?" Fraser shrugs and says, "Rescue the damsel in distress, kill the bad guys, save the world."

Give "The Mummy" credit for its cheeky derring-do attitude, even if parts of the story are, like its subject, partially decomposed. Itís the same old thing thatís been shuffling around on screen since the days of Boris Karloff: good vs. evil, Egyptologists vs. guys in bandages.

Fraser is the classic tough hero (shades of Humphrey Bogart and Harrison Ford) who is hired by the damsel in distress, who in this case turns out to be a clumsy librarian named Evelyn (Rachel Weisz). Along with her brother Jonathan (John Hannah), theyíre searching for ancient buried treasure which is, you guessed it, buried in the same pyramid as the not-quite-dead Imhotep who is a little irritated after spending 3,000 years locked in a tomb with flesh-eating scarabs. Of course the unwitting trio unwittingly recites an ancient spell that will bring Imhotep back from the near-dead so he can wreak his revenge on the world and perhaps at the same hire an exterminator for his bug problem.

What makes this version from director-writer Stephen Sommers ("Deep Rising") a cut above the rest is the effective use of special effects and the occasional flash of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Giant faces emerge from sandstorms, flesh-eating scarabs burrow under skin, ancient Egyptian architecture comes crashing to the ground. Itís all thrust at us in a whirl of zesty good fun. The computer-enhanced special effects help compensate for one of the storyís biggest flaws: mummies just arenít very scary. Letís face the facts, folks: thereís nothing very life-threatening about a lurching, shuffling corpse that moves at the pace of a bill passing through Congress. This "Mummy" sure make the monsters seem threatening with their bones draped in rags of flesh and their open-jawed growls, but theyíre still shufflers through and through. Seems to me Fraser and company could easily outrun even the most fleet-footed mummy. Now, flesh-eating scarabsóthatís something to make your skin crawl!

Fraser is no Ford, but he finds his niche here. Heís a lot more comfortable playing it straight as a swashbuckling rogue than he was as a loin-clothed buffoon in "George of the Jungle." Thereís a lot of jolly good old-fashioned fun here just like in the old daysónot the "old days" of Indiana Jones, but the really old days of Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. "The Mummy" moves quickly with a flash of swordblades, stunt gymnastics and a rousing score by Jerry Goldsmith.

The fast pace is the trademark of an action movie thatís doing its job and doing it well. The blur of motion also helps dazzle audiences so they donít see the lapses in logic or the gaping plot holes. "The Mummy" has its share of problems in that departmentÖ.but then who really cares when youíre having this much fun?


Recommend this product? Yes


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