The Mummy (1999): Old Favorites

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The Mummy

Directed By: Stephen Sommers

Grade: A

So the current Mummy had one personal benefit. It got me to finally go through the boxes of DVD’s I’d been keeping in my mothers garage (she’s happy to) to find my copy of the 1999 version. I enjoyed the hell out of this movie when it was released but haven’t watched it in years.

Honestly, it still stands up. I definitely enjoyed it more than the current version.

Rick (Brendan Fraser at his best) teams up with brother and sister Jonathan (John Hannah) and Evie (Rachel Weisz) to follow a treasure map racing another team to the site.

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While there they unleash the mummy (Arnold Vosloo) a very pissed off Egyptian Priest and meet the endlessly patient Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) who probably would have been better off killing them all in the desert before they got to the city.

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“It’s just a book. No harm ever came from reading a book.” – Evie right before a whole lot of harm comes from reading a book.

Some of the bigger effects are a little wonky (like fire falling from the sky and such) but otherwise I thought it still looked good. It’s got great little moments like the first reveal of the mummy and those damned creepy scarabs.

The cast also has really great chemistry. I loved Rick with everyone really. Weisz and Hannah were cute as brother and sister. A good 90% of the jokes still land (mostly because everyone is so damned likable) even Rick’s weasly pal Benni (Kevin J. O’Connor) who always gets the crap deal. He may deserve it. But still.

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“If he turns me into a mummy your the first one I’m coming after.”

I still adore Evie. Smart. Bookish. Fearless. I mean honestly if you just look at the current version and see what they did with Jenny she doesn’t even come close. And Evie and Rick have such a great old school banter. I’m not one for the romance most of the time but I could totally see how these two would go for each other.

As an aside another thing this movie does well is both Rick and Jonathan are kind of jerks. But they pulled it off and it worked in character and the progression throughout the movie. Whereas in the recent one I couldn’t shake the idea that I was basically watching a standard Tom Cruise character “rogue” edition.

Oh, well.

The 1999 version of The Mummy is still awesome, some special effects and goofiness aside. It’s adventurous, funny, fun and filled with great characters and a nice romance. I was never so enamored with the sequel but still this one is well worth checking out. Or checking out again if it’s been a while.

Recommend: Yes.

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