Friday, May 10, 2024

The Mummy

Returning to theaters 25 years after its release, The Mummy is an odd bit of entertainment. When it was released you could refer to it as a poor man's Indiana Jones (of course, that was before the two lackluster attempts to revive that franchise in both Crystal Skull and Dial of Destiny). Part B-movie serial, part Evil Dead 2-style horror flick (never read the ancient evil book aloud!), and part wacky over-the-top comedy, it's hard to argue that The Mummy is a good film, in fact in many ways it's certainly not, but that doesn't mean it can't provide a good time proving that charm can get you an awful long way.

After a narration heavy flashback explaining the backstory of high priest Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) and his forbidden affair with Anck Su Namun (Patricia Velasquez) which got them both killed and cursed into the afterlife, we jump ahead to the early 20th Century where American soldier and adventurer Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) is hired by Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) and her brother (John Hannah) to show them to the buried city of Hamunaptra known for its legend of wealth and evil.

After the extended opening it takes an hour to get back to the film's title character, and his rise with the ten plagues of Egypt, while focusing instead on Evelyn acquiring O'Connell's services and the group racing a group of Americans to discover the secrets of the tomb and also fighting off the Medjai who are charged with not letting the evil of the tomb be unleashed. With the arrival of our Mummy the film's effects ratchet up a notch. A quarter of a century later some fo these sequences work better than others (although the practical effects of the tomb sequences have an old school charm).

Steering unapologetically into its B-movie roots while borrowing various themes, dialogue, and scenes from better films, The Mummy is mildly diverting entertainment that works in part because of, and in part in spite of, its goofy nature that relies heavily on physical comedy at times. Fraser and Weisz are having fun (although the charm of the film proves stretched far too thin over the film's sequels). It's a guilty pleasure that for the right audience may be worth a trip to theater 25 years later.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: The Mummy
  • IMDb: link

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