The Mummy (1999)


The Mummy

Normally, when a movie is really bad, the best part of watching the film is watching the previews. When watching The Mummy, Stephen Sommers ‘not-quite-a-remake-but-really-is’ of the 1921 version, I didn’t even get that satisfaction. I think one of the previews was good, but not good enough for me to remember its title. I remember that Jan de Bont is coming out with a new chic horror film called The Haunting or something equally cheesy, which looks to be worse than his last one. I also remember seeing a preview for a new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that didn’t even dare put his name on it after having been in the double-trouble combination of Eraser and Jingle all the Way.

So, when the movie was as bad as the previews, I was not a happy camper.

To dispel a rumor this is not a remake of the 1921 film with the same plot, same title, and same main idea. To those people in charge of movie studios who are telling me this, I ask you: What is it?

Going on with my ripping the film to shreds, I will say that it has as cheesy of a plot as The Mummy (no matter what year) has ever had: ‘it’ boy Brendon Fraser (portraying a French Legion Soldier who happens to be an American) has to save the world with British-thief Jonathan (John Hannah, hopefully no relation to the talented actress Daryl) and more-frigid-than-Antarctica archeologist/librarian Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) have to save the world from a very dumb, very ugly ‘mummy’ (although he ends up with a fairly good complexion and a full bunch of skin before he is killed), played by Arnold Vosloo.

To all of these people I say this: is this the best you could do?

Let’s face it, every time that Brendan Fraser tries to do a mainstream role he either fails miserably or pseudo-fails. In George of the Jungle, which I will only now admit to seeing, he made something that was already stupid look dumber. In Blast from the Past, a mediocre movie due to its script, he almost took a wrecking ball to it.

Vosloo and Hannah are people that I’ve seen before but haven’t remembered enough of to pay attention. Stephen Sommers is someone who continues to be a thorn in my side after killing two Mark Twain books and then coming out with Deep Rising.

Sommers’ very own tailor made script shows that people should not buy books on ‘How to Write your Screenplay in 21 Days’ or ‘How to Make a Movie that Sells’ on a matter of principle. Sommers tries and fails at juggling Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Action, and Horror around all at once. In the desperate attempt to keep the balls from hitting him on the head, he ends up placing one-liners right next to screams of terror as a flesh-eating… BEETLE?… devours someone from the inside. Also we get to see Rachel Weisz go from sub-zero to just plain zero as she ‘warms up’ to Brendan Fraser.

This is a film at which I took my own advice. My advice: always get a head start on an angry mob. Hence, I watched the last thirty seconds from the back of the theatre.

As promised by the preview for The Mummy, the special effects are good. They are not, however, anything compared to what we normally see in the pre-summer gameshow. And, when I say special effects are good, you know what that normally means… It did also live up to its tagline, but not in the way intended. Let me tell you, personally, BEWARE OF THE MUMMY.

Mummy dearest.