I need to be clear about one thing off the bat: this is about the 1999 version of The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, not the abomination remake from 2017 starring Tom Cruise. And it has a 58% rotten approval rating on Rottentomatoes.
Not much gets ol’ Josh riled up, but seeing that critics disrespected one of the best late-90s action/adventure movies? Oh that’ll do it. Luckily, I have Terrible Movie Thursday so every week we can point and mock those stuck up “professional” movie critics who were so clearly wrong in their opinions. And boy were they ever on this one.
It’s difficult to make a persuasive argument for The Mummy as any kind of meaningful cinematic achievement, but it’s undeniably fun to watch.
I just drove to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and bought a pillow just so I could scream into it for a minute straight.
“Difficult to make a persuasive argument” that this movie is a “meaningful cinematic achievement?”
I’m sorry, do you not think that some of the best special effects work of the era is meaningful? I mean, Imhotep still looks scary today, those scarabs are a thing of nightmares, and the face on the sandstorm looks legit. Those CGI should be on par with like Mortak Kombat: Annihilation (which was only 2 years older) but it could easily have come out ten plus years later.
And do you not like break-out performances by Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz? I mean, just about everyone agrees that this franchise was the apex of Fraser’s career and there’s a movement to get the man the Oscar that was so horrifyingly stolen from him for his work as Rick O’Connell. As for Wiesz, she’s an Academy Award-winning actress, and this was where she showed the first glimpses of greatness. The Constant Gardner and The Favourite? Those don’t happen without The Mummy, so you get the fuck out of here with your “meaningful cinematic acheivement” bullshit.
Now we have to admit…
Nothing. I mean seriously, what is the flaw in this movie?
I tried, I assure you I did, but what the hell is wrong with this movie? It’s paced perfectly, the acting is astounding, it’s got great effects, the music is even wonderful. Fraser and Weisz are stars together, with incredible chemistry, which is still evident even during the early stages where they hate each other. Even though Weisz is written to be a bit shrill, it’s not annoying, but instead is a kind of charming, nerdy female shrill. Fraser is effortlessly cool both in how he deals with her and in all the action sequences.
Speaking of, the action in this movie is fantastic. I mean, it’s constantly coming at you, but it never feels like you’re watching the same sequence twice. There’s a battle scene at the beginning, a boat fight, a night skirmish, a car chase, an airplane battle, and a fight with zombies.
I mean, if you want to nitpick you can say that there are some convenient plot holes…okay fine I’ll list all the plot holes below. But I’m not happy about it.
- Why don’t the Medjai kill O’Connell instead of just leaving him in the desert to die after he discovers Hamunaptra? Or kill him and all the Americans when he leads them back there?
- How convenient is it that Imhotep can’t go near cats? And why don’t they just surround Evie and all the Americans with cats at all times?
But you have to admit…
- I said it before but I’ll say it again: Fraser is effortlessly cool in this movie. I mean, if you don’t think a guy who kisses a girl he just met and cops to it by saying “I was about to be hanged it seemed like a good idea at the time” and then wins that girl over has big dick energy, I don’t know what to tell you.
- There are so many quotable lines! From “Patience is a virtue…Not right now it isn’t!” to the classic ” Hey, Beni! Looks to me like you’re on the wrong side of the river!” this movie is a gold mine.
- Gotta say it again for those in the back, the action sequences are dope. In fact I’ll rank them worst to best: night battle at Hamunaptra < airplane battle < car chase < final battle with zombies < opening battle at Hamunaptra < boat fight.
- We get to learn about history! Like Imhotep and Anuk-su-namum were real people! Sure, the movie has been wildly panned for being historically inaccurate, but it’s not like I was going to need to know what the Book of Amun Ra actually does in my every day life.