Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Mummy

The Mummy; Horror adventure, USA, 1999; D: Stephen Sommers, S: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah, Kevin J. O'Connor, Oded Fehr

During the rule of the pharaoh in Egypt, 1290 BC, the High Priest Imhotep was murdered for having an affair with the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I. At the beginning of the 20th century, in '23, American adventurer Rick O'Connell finds his long lost city Hamunaptra, but gets chased away by it's guards. 3 years later, archaeologist Evelyn and her brother Jonathan find Rick captured in a dungeon, so they release him that he can show them the way to Hamunaptra, yet they are followed by another group of explorers. They accidentally release the mummy of Imhotep who comes back to life and gains human shape. Imhotep turns all Egyptians into his servants, but Rick uses a special book and takes away his powers. The city collapses and the heroes save themselves.

This dry adventure film with inappropriate elements of dread was obviously inspired by the "Indiana Jones" series and, especially, by the good classic "The Mummy" from '32, yet it should have taken more care about the humor, style and characters, and not just about banal scares, even though it's mainstream texture assured it a huge box office success. The authors show themselves as phony routiners in the terrible beginning where they wake and build their attention only by using cheap methods of scare in the scenes where Imhotep is butchered and then insects eat his flesh while he is a mummy, yet the continuation of the story loosens up a bit and shows a few virtues. The best ingredients are the excellent Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz in humorous situations, like when she tells him: "The only thing I'm afraid off is your manners" or in the scene where the ship is set on fire and the owner just says: "Wait here, I'll go get some help!" and then jumps into the river and disappears. Even the action is good, but as a whole "The Mummy" is too incomplete and raw.


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