VIDEO: The Mummy (1999)

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Sursum Ursa begins her look at a franchise with 1999’s The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz as an adventurer and a librarian who team up in 1920s Egypt for an archaeological expedition, only to accidentally awake the Mummy, a high priest named Imhotep who was buried alive 3,000 years ago. Though it’s based on the 1932 Boris Karloff movie of the same name, it has just a tad more in common with the Indiana Jones films.

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  • Sofie Liv

    I don’t even remember this movie to be honest..
    I have the original Boris Karloff movie (which the hammers movie are based on and this movie is based on, I can see many of the plot points, particularly the villains motivation is taken from the Karloff movie, so that’s a slight fact you had wrong, no biggie though.)
    And I remember the animated tely show based on this movie.. as I used to watch that as a kid.. perhaps it’s time to see this again.
    I’m not even sure if it’s this one or the sequel I saw, But I know I saw one of them! 

    • The_Stig

      I have a couple of thoughts about the film that stick with me to this day.

      1. I think the “beastly Americans–no offense” line is pretty funny considering Brendan Fraser’s Canadian. and…

      2. It’s not a very well thought-out curse, is it? Cutting his tongue out and burying him alive with flesh-eating scarabs is one thing, but what idiot added the rider that he becomes godlike in the infinitely small chance he’s resurrected? Furthermore, who thought it was a good idea to leave the books containing the resurrection incantations in the same place as the mummy you don’t want resurrected? 

      My theory: There was 3300 year betting pool going among the Medjai about whether or not some idiot would stumble along and actually do it, and that Ardeth Bay wasn’t so much concerned with stopping Imhotep from rising as he was with not losing the 50 bucks he threw in.

      • Jill Bearup

        It is the stupidest curse ever thought up by man. Why? Just why? I mean surely if you’re dead set on flesh-eating scarabs you could arrange that without godlike powers thrown in? Some people, no organisational skills. 

        “My theory: There was 3300 year betting pool going among the Medjai about whether or not some idiot would stumble along and actually do it, and that Ardeth Bay wasn’t so much concerned with stopping Imhotep from rising as he was with not losing the 50 bucks he threw in.”

        Excellent theory.

        Also, Sofie, the TV show was based on the movie. So yes. But they all had palette swaps for legal reasons, so Evey’s a redhead, Rick’s a blond, etc.

        I’m going to talk a bit more about the original next time, because Imhotep is ALL ABOUT the same stuff as 1932 Imhotep, and…The Mummy Returns is a stupid movie (like it’s predecessor) but it is, for the most part, enjoyably stupid.) And Imhotep’s kind of why. The Scorpion King is the Boss Fight at the end but he’s not the antagonist for most of the movie.

        Poor Dwayne Johnson. I wonder if they told him that his character had basically no dialogue and he’d be replaced with a bad CGI replica of himself. :S

        • The_Stig

          If you think about it, it’s Seti I and the Medjai who are the real baddies of this franchise because EVERYTHING that happens in the first two films is entirely their fault. The blood of everyone Imhotep kills is on their hands. They condemned him to the most insanely stupid curse in the history of insanely stupid curses and, let’s not forget, ensured the survival and thriving of a species of FLESH-EATING SCARABS THAT CAN BURROW INSIDE A HUMAN BODY. Hell, for all we know they created and bred the damn things. 

          This says Evil League of Evil more than Vigilant Guardians of Light.Anyway I actually liked Imhotep in both the Mummy films and am kind of sad Arnold Vosloo didn’t get up to much after the second one. Either him or Billy Zane would have made a great Lex Luthor.Honestly, not even Karloff could unhinge his jaw with bad CGI and go “RAAAAAAAHRRR!” the way Vosloo could. I cannot wait to give you my thoughts on the plot chasms (because they’re too big to classify as holes) in The Mummy Returns and hope you intend on finishing up the Mummy franchise by ripping apart Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. (Why, Jet Li? Why?)Keep it up. I’m quite enjoying your stuff, Ursa. Including the whole Sherlock/Watson thing you have going with Sofie which is more fun to watch than it probably should be 🙂

          • Jill Bearup

            Yup. In fact, I was totting up the death totals, and the Medjai are the cause of quite a chunk.

            Course Seti I was dead, so I doubt it was he who gave the order for the Homm Dai. But still. That is not a policy you want to instigate, Pharaoh man!

          • The_Stig

            Well yeah, of course Seti I was dead, but he did drive his smokin’ hot wife into the arms of the second Darkman. 

          • Red Cardinal

             I don’t know that I’d say that he “drove” her into Imhotep’s arms. More that she was a two-timing tart 🙂

            In fact, id put the blame on her. Talk about selfish, it’s all me me me 😉

          • Jill Bearup

            So true. Mind you, if my outfits were solely composed of glitter body paint and netting, I’d be cranky too.

        • MephLord

          I liked the cartoon series, I thought it was very underrated in its quality (watched it in an hour block with Jackie Chan Adventures, both good shows).  Mummy Returns and Scorpion King were pretty mediocre, but nothing compares to Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.  I am sure you’re going to get to it, but what do you think of the accent of Maria Bello?  My ex-girlfriend (who happened to be from London) absolutely hated how fake it sounded and was always groaning at her lines.  It certainly didn’t sound natural to me either, not that I’m an expert on the various accents in the UK.  Also, the idea of Brendan Fraser losing to Jet Li in a fight is pretty absurd, just as absurd as Cory Haim beating Cynthia Rothrock in a fight.

          • Sofie Liv

            You’re not asking me that accent question are you?
            Cause I am an absolut and utter derp when it comes to accents in English!
            I was never ever able to even tell an Australian and a british person apart, and when I myself tries to speak any english accent I fail with an captial F fooling absolutely no one!

            Which is weird, considering I possess absolut musical ear I actually should be a lot better at speaking accents and recognising accents then I am.

            Button line, I thought all of their accents were just okay, I don’t know better I am that big a derp at it X)

          • The Australian/Cockney accent confusion is very common so you’re  not alone on that one. The one that really annoys me is confusing a Geordie accent for a Scottish accent. I know there aren’t many Geordies known around the world, except for Sting, Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Heather Mills and Eric Burdon of the Animals but confusing them for Scots drives me up the wall. I’d love to see anyone outside the UK try and do a Geordie accent I really would. Let the lulz commence!

            Maybe I’m just really anal about various british accents and dialects seeing how they can almost change a person’s mannerisms to hilarious effect, but I’m pretty sure some American would give me a bollocking if I confused a North Boston accent for a South Boston one.

          • FullofQuestions1

            The accents I confuse the most often are New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. I can hear differences when I listen to them, but it’s still very hard for me not to mix them up.

            Brewerman: This will sound ridiculous to you (I’m a dumb American), but I legitimately cannot hear a difference in accents between Manchester, Yorkshire, and West Country. 

          • Sofie Liv

            Those have different accents?

            I do know Lister from Red Dwarf have a very odd accent, but I have no idea what part of England he is from, do you know that Brewerman?

            As for Scottish accents, funny fact, if you go to the absolut east of Denmark, by the coast, they have a very peculiar accent. (Yep, even though my country only have a grand total of five million people with STILL have five or six different accents!) but our absolut east have an accent peculiarly close to Scottish! And there’s even a reason for that, the fisherman at the Danish east coast would always sail up to Scotland where they would meet the scottish people for centuries and they would communicate thus developing each others accents.

            Languets are so weird that way… funny, but weird..  

          • Jill Bearup

            Word. And Lister’s accent is Liverpudlian. Craig Charles is, in the vernacular, possessed of a Scouse accent. 

            It’s easy to get confused though. The only British accents on American telly are Received Pronounciation (posh) and Really Bad Cockney, so…yeah. You are now conditioned to think the rest of us are just putting on a fake accent for effect. 🙂

          • It is indeed a Scouse accent Jill and thank you for answering Sofie’s question for me. That accent is probably more well known in the states because of the Beatles. Apart from that, not many other dialects are known outside the UK. It’s a shame because there’s some real crackers. Anytime I hear a West Country accent I smile e.g. The Wurzels or Wheatley from Portal 2. Stephen Merchant you legend!

            FullofQuestions: Mancunian and Yorkshire I think is forgivable but with West Country? if I ever here a Mancunian go Ooh Arr I think they’ll be listening to Gina G! That’s like me confusing a Brooklyn accent for Valspeak. Then again, I’d be just as bad with any other country’s accents so I’m just another uncultured Brit. Plus, the South African accent is one of the weirdest to me. It sounds like if you took the Dutch, French and Australian accents and put them in a blender to create one of the hardest accents to imitate!

          • MephLord

            I was asking Jill actually since she’d be the most familiar, although I’m sure Blockbuster Chick would be adept at answering the question as well.  Liam would be insulted if he wasn’t mentioned as being an expert in UK accents as well.  I’m sure Film Renegado could spot the difference between a Mexican and a Colombian accent, but I sure couldn’t!  It was just watching the movie with an accent specialist (she knows Yorkshire, Midlands, Manchester, Far North, London accents instantly) it immediately became a focal point, rather than enjoying the movie without critiquing it.

            Also, Rachel Weisz is a fucking awesome actress, I love her to death.

          • Sofie Liv

            I thought so X)

            But yes, in spite of me being able to sing a large variety of songs, recognise off tunes and beats and so on, I am just a complete and utter derp at this!

            I wish I could speak with a british accent…

          • MephLord

            You are bilingual and English isn’t your native tongue so don’t feel bad.  I am Canadian and won’t even try to fake either an Aussie, Kiwi, UK or South African accent ever.  I can’t even sound New York or Boston, or Nova Scotia or Newfoundland!  I can play “Generic North American Voice Actor #249” without a problem though.

          • Jill Bearup

            Yeah, Maria Bello’s accent is…well, the accent itself is really, really painfully fake, but the delivery just makes it even worse. It physically hurt to listen to her on occasion. Though with the amount of stupid going on in the rest of the movie, sometimes I didn’t notice so much. 🙂

          • MephLord

            It made me miss Rachel Weisz some fierce, she deserved better than to have her as a replacement.

          • The_Stig

            I happen to adore your accent.

  • The_Stig

    This movie is actually on my list of “stuff I like”. Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be ripped to shreds. It’s dumb as hell and derivative as all get out, but for some reason I just dig it for reasons other than Rachel Weisz is smoking hot.

  • I remember this movie mainly for the death by scarabs at the end. That was very memorable to see the underling trapped in the room full of scarab beetles and then his match goes out and…it’s all left to your grisly imagination. Mwahaha!
    I honestly don’t mind Brendan Fraser even though a lot of people find him to be insufferable. He isn’t badass, but he’s not too annoying either. Just middle of the road. I’d have a feeling that if anyone else did this review they’d go on a 30 minute tirade on why Brendan Fraser sucks but again, he doesn’t annoy me as much.

    • Jill Bearup

      The match going out scene is very, very creepy. *shiver* But by that point he’s dodged karmic retribution so many times that it’s inevitable. Or, as Jonathan puts it to Winston, 

      “Well, everyone else we’ve bumped into has died, why not you?”Ah, Brendan Fraser. I have never found him particularly annoying. Wait…there was George of the Jungle.Though he didn’t wear a shirt for most of it, so that helped.And that whole movie was probably worth it for the narrator:”They gazed at it in awe.””AWWW.””No, AWE. A. W. E.””Oooh””Better.””Don’t worry, nobody dies in this story”Yes, I’m easily amused. But you will pry my nostalgia goggles off my cold, dead face. 🙂

  • edharris1178

    Great review, I love the film too.

    • Jill Bearup

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Cristiona

    Love this movie.  So damn fun.  I also liked the sequel and even Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.  The whole thing hangs on Fraiser’s shoulders, and he carries it like a champ.

    • Jill Bearup

      Bless him, he gives it his all. Though frankly the third one gave him very, very little to work with. And yet he was still adorable. Just…inexplicable. 🙂

  • Thomas Stockel

    I thought the first movie was great, the second mediocre, and once I discovered Rachel was not coming back for the third I knew it was going to be Bad.  The fact that Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, legendary Hong Kong action icons, fight a whopping two minutes(!) is proof that Hollywood only makes movies people genuinely like more by accident than design.

    Great review, by the way.

    • Jill Bearup

      Yeah. When you can’t get your very sensible lead actress back, you know something’s up.

      And it was a TERRIBLE waste of Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. EPIC FIGHT! Nah…let’s do more CGI instead. That’s what the kids want, right?

  • Garferty

    Do you take requests? Because I have a strange hankering for you to tackle Return To Oz. But if you don’t like it, I guess… not.

    • Jill Bearup

      I fairly happily take requests, on the condition that (if I don’t have it) I can get the footage. I see it’s on…a place…so it’s definitely a possibility! (Probably not for a few months at least though)