Years ago, "The Mummy" walked around, clothed in rags and raising its hands to grab the nearest person. I remember in one version a man, who, after seeing the mummy come to life in an Egyptian tomb, dies of laughter. The deaths in Universal's new version of The Mummy, starring Brendan Frasier and Rachel Weisz, are not quite so tame. And the mummy is not some stuff figure walking around in gauze...
The mummy is actually a 3,000 year old priest who was cursed to eternal damnation for having an affair with the Pharaoh's wife and killing the Pharaoh. When he comes to, he is an extra large abomination of computer graphics and oily veins, with a standard monster look. And, as he sucks the bodies of those who released him dry, by taking their organs and other parts that he needs, he begins to look a little more human, but still maintains that computerized look. He is not some gauzed bimbo; instead, he is a fully flexible creature who does more than raise his arms; he can turn into dust and move through the desert as a whirlwind, he can summon a great cloud of sand to crush down on his enemies, and he can raise his dead guardians to defend him. He is definitely not the mummy of old.
And really, the name is deceiving. While nothing less could be expected of a modern day The Mummy, there bears no resemblance to the older movies, which thus makes the title somewhat of a misnomer.
The acting and script make The Mummy somewhat of a "B" film. Containing several impressive visuals and non-stop action, the writers and actors also forgot that people pay attention to things such as script and acting. While the lack of quality in these two areas does not squander the movie too much, it is noticeable and the general feeling of the movie is lowered. The movie contains several one-liners, mainly done by Brendan Frasier (George of the Jungle), which expresses how shallow the dialogue really is. There is a lot of mindless and obvious things that shouldn't be so mindless and obvious, such as reversing the curse. The acting suffers as well: Brendan Frasier is the Indiana Jones of the movie, swashbuckling and never afraid to run away. But he's not quite Harrison Ford. And Rachel Weisz (Chain Reaction) is not exactly Karen Allen. Her rather scraggly but appealing look all but matches her clumsy and stupid behavior, and while she is entertaining to watch, she also gets extremely obnoxious at times. Her brother in the movie (John Hannah) is even worse, although at least they didn't give his stuttering stature the dishonor of being afraid to use a gun.
The Mummy was pretty mindless, but that is okay. It was still an enjoyable film, and while the characters and script were pretty cheesy, they did give some comedy to it. A "B" movie at heart, The Mummy is definitely worth a watch... horror movie at first, and then action movie at the end, with lots of exciting visuals that definitely tops any of those old mummy movies.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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