- Movie Rating -

The Mummy (1999)

| July 20, 1999 | 0 Comments

“The Mummy” is a movie that only lingers in your mind for about ten-minutes. You go in, you see the sights and when it’s over you give it about ten minutes before it leaves your mind completely. It’s bright and loud and flashy but there is nothing really to hang on to.

The movie begins in ancient Egypt as Im-Ho-Tep (Arnold Vosloo) is punished for having slept with the Pharaoh’s mistress. He is mummified, put into a coffin with flesh-eating beetles and buried in the sand for 3,000 years.

Flash forward to the 1920s and in the midst of a war, a foreign legionnaire named Rick joins that quest of a librarian named Evelyn and her brother to find Hamunaptra nicknamed ‘The City of the Dead’ (I tried to imagine that printed on a highway sign followed by a detour signal). They hope to get the Hamunaptra before opposing adventurers and also Im-Ho-Tep’s descendants who are trying to keep him from being brought back to life.

The characters all serve basic functions. Rick is the Indiana Jones-style roguish hunk whose job it is to get everyone past the pitfalls and woo the heroine. Evelyn (the beautiful Rachel Weisz) is one of those experts on Egyptian lore and can explain the meaning and history of every artifact that she touches. Her brother Jonathan is one of those tag-along characters who is there to give clever little comments.

As for Im-Ho-Tep himself well he isn’t much more then a good looking guy standing around in rags throwing the hero against first one wall then that next. I did like some touches that the script gave him like the fact that he fears cats because they were the guardians of the underworld (having been told that I would have bought out an entire pet store before proceeding). I was also thankful that, for once, a creature reborn after many centuries didn’t speak English.

Stephen Sommers directed the movie and has taken this road before. He made a similar (but better) live action version of The Jungle Book in 1994. That movie was along the same lines but it had a little more meat then ‘The Mummy’.

I have a requirement for movies like this: Is the movie giving me more than I paid for? Example: The elevator and subway scenes that book-ended the main story of ‘Speed’. Those were elements that I didn’t expect but was grateful for. ‘The Mummy’ doesn’t fit that requirement. Unlike movies like ‘The Relic’, ‘Anaconda’, ‘Near Dark’ and ‘Deep Blue Sea’ there just aren’t any fun surprises here.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.