Director: Stephen Sommers
Written by: Stephen Sommers
Weapon of Choice: Scarab Beetles
Based upon: none
Other movies in this series:
The Mummy Returns
Rish Outfield's reviews
So far, this is the best Horror film of 1999. "Horror film?" you say, "But I read it was Action-Adventure" (or the much more useless moniker, "Thriller"). Yes, Universal Pictures will lie to you and call it all sorts of cutsie names, but Dimension Films has nothing on this one. It's horror with a capital H. Great movie, by the way.
I've told you before, a pleasant surprise is often pleasanter than an unpleasant surprise. Such was the case with The Mummy. I mean, who knew? It was a remake of the 1930's Universal Horror film, but with updated digital effects, and features Indiana Jones' younger, more reckless cousin, Rick O'Connell. The villain was frightening (I would personally like a jaw that opened up that far to release locusts), powerful, interesting-looking, and truly despisable where Boris Karloff's original was not (although, Imhotep's motives weren't that evil, and it was all for love, I wonder why we didn't like him more).
Baby-faced Rachel Weisz was lovely, but she had something else, some kind of inner glow, that royally stole the show. I think Dr. Evil would call it "a certain I-don't-know-what." John Hannah is great, as usual. And who would've thought I would EVER like Brendan Fraser?
It showcased great Industrial Light & Magic special effects, that were one of the best three of the year. It was very funny, fast-paced, smart, and entertaining. Writer/Director Stephen Sommers is one to watch.
Best Scare: Probably the beetles. Yiiick.
I'd Recommend It To: Most movie fans. I loved it and was very satisfied. Maybe you will too.
Note: I didn't see this when it first came out. I was bothered by the trailers and the fact that nobody seemed bothered that Raiders of the Lost Ark was being so shamelessly ripped off. But everybody else I knew went to it, and my boss at work said that it was . . . blasphemy! . . . better than The Phantom Menace, which came out a couple of weeks before this did.
So, the night it opened at the second-run theater, I rushed off to see it (did we see this together, tyranist?), and really, really enjoyed it. More than anything, the film was fun. And you know what? It was WAY better than Phantom Menace!
The tyranist's thoughts
Seeing this movie and how it was sold to the public has brought all of the 'is it horror' issues back to the surface for me. Up front, I want to say that we would not review it if we did not think that it was horror. Universal worked very hard to sell this movie to the public as an adventurous special effects extravaganza. Once you see it though, you cannot deny that the heart of this movie is horror. I have talked with a number of people that have tried to tell me how this isn't horror and I kind of feel like they are being fleeced by Universal. Horror has a stigma in the industry that makes it somewhat of an outcast. Basically, the only thing worse in a studios eyes is porn (of course, there are quite a few movies that blur that line as well). My favorite example is Silence of the Lambs. The movie is so clearly a horror movie (it is even based on a horror novel) and yet people refuse to admit it because the movie is well-loved and respected. Somehow calling it horror would nullify everyone's admiration for the film. Well, it just isn't so. Look at Psycho and Frankenstein. Both are on the AFI's top 100 list along with Silence of the Lambs and I don't know anyone who would argue very hard that they aren't horror. What it comes down to is that I am pissed off that horror is treated the way it is. The Mummy had some tremendous horror in it, but it was downplayed a little and the public thinks that they are free.
On the review side of things, this is a fantastic movie. It evokes a lot of emotion and is totally worth seeing. Even fans of the old Universal picture will likely enjoy this one.
Total Skulls: 12
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Warning goes unheeded|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood spatters - camera, wall, etc.|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|