Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Mummy (1999) Review:

Director Stephen Sommers' version of the horror classic, The Mummy (1932), has been one of Universal's most successful franchises. It's also because of this that got Stephen Sommers famous. It also made a slew of other celebrities famous as well. And although it does not play like an Indiana Jones film, it pays homage to archaeologists and the magic within old architecture. Not mention this film made two more sequels.

Rick O'Connell and Evelyn scared out of their wits
Starring in this film is Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Arnold Vosloo as the mummy called Imhotep. This is the first film that I witnessed Arnold Vosloo and then later on I realized he also played in two other sequels of Sam Raimi's Darkman (1990) series, which I thought he played really well. Brendan Fraser is not one of my top favorite actors but I do like the way he works in these kinds of films. I enjoyed his performance in Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003), but I liked him even more in this film. The character of Fraser, Rick O'Connell has serious personality but in a goofy fashion. The rest of the characters in this film act the same way. Rachel Weisz's character, Evelyn can be klutzy at times and so is her nitwit brother Jonathan played by John Hannah.

John Hannah as Evelyn's funny brother
The goofiness is what's good about this movie. The actors know their characters are silly and that makes it funny to watch. The stupidest person of all in this film is Jonathan. Truly, he does not know what he's doing and in the end, he's never satisfied; shows you how grateful he is to be alive (after all he's been through). What also works great is the dialog. So much of it is serious but in such an indirect way that it doesn't come off as serious. I guess this was the idea of Sommers' mummy film. He wanted the audience to enjoy it with some decent action and funny one liners,...and it worked.

The Mummy has a mix of multiple genres because how the screenplay is set up. Arnold Vosloo can play a pretty scary mummy; little kids will be terrified by him. The whole undead idea is the horror aspect. As for the silliness, that's the comedy aspect. The action is great in this film too. Most of it using firearms but it does involve an interesting flight sequence and the finale is really fun to watch. Seeing O'Connell fight off a slew of undead Egyptian guards. Bring it on! Or as O'Connell said sarcastically, "This just keeps getting better and better". Because 1999 was the time where special effects were really starting to get high- tech, this movie has some really nice visuals. Also the music is great which Jerry Goldsmith composed. I enjoyed this film very much and it really has a good reputation although less than half of critics liked it.

Besides having a villain with the same name, this mummy movie is nothing like the original classic from 1932. What makes it different is Stephen Sommers' direction of abandoning the slow droning tone and mostly replacing it with comedy, action and some shades of horror.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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