The Mummy (1999)
Main cast: Brendan Fraser (Rick O' Connell), Rachel Wiesz (Evelyn), John Hannah (Jonathan), Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep), Kevin J. O' Connor (Beni)
Director: Stephen Sommers
The Mummy is all good fun. Brainless, fast-paced, totally exciting. Evelyn and Rick absolutely sizzled on-screen. But the real surprise here is Imhotep. More on that later.
The story started out with Imhotep and the Pharaoh's mistress (who went around wearing fishnetty see-through costumes) having a tryst and a ball of a time murdering the Pharoah. The woman killed herself, and Imhotep vowed to restore her to life. Before he could do that, he was captured, mummified and buried alive with some sacred relics required for that reincarnation spell to occur. This mummification scene was totally creepy. Being mummified meant having your brain taken out via your nostrils. Imhotep experienced this while he was still alive. Can you imagine? Luckily this movie didn't show any graphic horror scenes. I was still a little disappointed at that too, come to think of it. I'm quite contradictory in nature.
Cut to the 'present', er, 1920-something, where our hero Rick escaped a skirmish at the evil mummy's tomb in the city of Hamunaptra. Our heroine found the clue, a key to unlock the tomb in Hamunaptra that her brother Johnathan (trivia: John Hannah was the guy in Sliding Doors) bought from Rick. Rick was to be hanged, Rachel saved him from that fate, and let's face it, the plot isn't important. What's important is that Rick, Rachel, Johnathan, and many expandable extras that were obviously doomed to die took off to Hamunaptra. Here was where the fun started. Rachel freed the Mummy, they fled to Cairo, Imhotep the Reincarnated Mummy followed because Rachel was his lover reincarnated, and we all had fun.
Brendan's Rick was a wonderful devil-may-care explorer hero, in the tradition of Indiana Jones. Spunky, reckless, easy with witty repartees and enough befuddledment when he met his match in Evelyn, he was a delight to behold. Fit of mind and body, the actor slipped easily in his role, smiling cheekily as if he knew some private joke I don't. Evelyn was a wonderful heroine. She might be a librarian on her first adventure, but heck, she wasn't ashamed of it. The scene where, drunk, she declared, "I'm... I'm a librarian" with such pride and gusto I couldn't help but to applaud. Dreamy women everywhere should be proud, Evelyn's a gem. John Hannah's comical skills were underused in this movie, but I'm not complaining. The Mummy is fun, rollicky, and all-so-exciting I couldn't help but to hold my breath and go along the ride.
Imhotep, oh, he might look like a Billy Zane clone but he was a surprisingly poignant figure. He was doing it all out of love after all. I couldn't help feeling sorry for him at the end.
Oh yes, the grand finale, which was the one disappointment. After all the tension build-up and thrills, the final confrontation was... this? Johnathan walking around the tomb translating hieroglyphics in bad Egyptian while mummy soldiers trotted out after Rick and Evelyn like those bad guys in a computer game - that was not fun. Worse, those mummy soldiers were like the battery rabbit, coming back again and again and again, totally spoiling an otherwise wonderful summer movie. What a cop-out. The ghostly chariot scene was wonderful though.
My verdict? The Mummy was fun, and apart from the last thirty minutes, I had a wonderful time of my life.
This movie at Amazon.com
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