1999. It was the year we had our minds blown by The Matrix and teens snuck into theaters to see American Pie. A highly anticipated The Phantom Menace was about to hit cinemas, but a week earlier Universal Pictures released The Mummy.
18 years later and the reboot is just a week from cinemas, so we thought we’d go back and resurrect the original (well, not the 1932 one) and check it out.
So, is it still any good?Perhaps nostalgia has a hold of me good, but I had a blast revisiting The Mummy. It isn’t a cinema masterpiece but damn it if this movie isn’t a lot of fun. Brendan Fraser is Rick O’Connell, an American adventurer with knowledge of an ancient Egyptian city Hamunaptra. Throw in archaeologist Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz), her annoying brother Jonathan (John Hannah) and resurrected priest Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) as the titular character and boom – you’ve got a fun, 90s action-adventure-horror movie.
Now you hear the name Brendan Fraser, you don’t immediately think ‘action star’, but I kind of buy him in this role. He’s funny, athletic, has a number of good one-liners, and really carries the movie on his shoulders. Weisz and Fraser both work well in scenes together, especially when they bring in some of the smaller moments of comedy. Seeing Fraser casually reload his pistol while bullet holes get closer and closer to his head, only for Weisz to whisk him out of harm’s way at the last second still managed to get a genuine laugh from me.
The action scenes in the film are all fun, whether it is the opening battle for the ruins of Hamunaptra, the riverboat shootout or Fraser hacking up CGI mummies – it all hits home and is undeniably entertaining.Now let’s talk about those mummies. Imhotep was scary as hell to me as a kid, especially at the beginning of his second life. A decayed body with newly acquired tongue and eyes, bits of flesh still missing – this was pure nightmare fuel back then. Now, it all looks a little goofy and really hasn’t aged that well when put up against other films from that time.
Sadly it has lost a lot of the scares, too. Whether I’ve just gotten older or it wasn’t that scary to begin with, but it becomes a bit hit and miss. The initial rebirth of Imhotep still hits home, as do some of the ten plagues of Egypt scenes. A revived mummy sucking you dry to regain his life = scary. A revived mummy deathly afraid of cats = hilarious. I mean, come on…There isn’t a whole lot to really say about The Mummy. Sure you can poke fun at the aged CGI, the goofy story and dumb characters. For me, however, the movie never overstays its welcome. It knows what it is and it plays to its strengths. While it may be a silly 90’s movie, it still remains an incredibly fun and enjoyable one.
What do you think of The Mummy? Love it, hate it, never seen it? Will you be seeing the reboot starring Tom Cruise? Sound off in the comments below and on Facebook. Don’t forget to check back here soon for our review of the new Mummy film soon.