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Overall Rating
3.45

Awesome: 24.24%
Worth A Look27.27%
Average: 26.41%
Pretty Bad: 12.99%
Total Crap: 9.09%

12 reviews, 159 user ratings


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Mummy, The (1999)
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by Scott Weinberg

"The eyes feast while the brain starves."
3 stars

I realize that this mindless big-budget stuff is precisely the kind of movie we should be bashing here at HBS, but The Mummy is just one that's grown on me a bit over its short life. In honor of the upcoming sequel, I decided to polish off this old DVD and give it another shot. If I had written this review a month ago, it would have consisted mainly of me trashing the stop-and-start plot machinations, the silly and ponderous screenplay and a couple truly awful acting performances. But after another viewing (with me most likely being in a better mood), I'm willing to up my rating to three stars, basically because The Mummy, despite being a sloppy and shallow movie, is a pretty damn good ride.

Most of my praise for this one can be directly attributed to the tone of this film. And by tone, I mean that when an ominous and obviously malicious breeze swishes by onscreen, one character turns to another and says "That seems to happen a lot around here..." While writer/director Stephen Sommers (Deep Rising) will likely never be accused of being an Alfred Hitchcock (or even a Robert Zemeckis), he does know how to deliver a one-two cinematic punch, and do it with a smirk on his face.

Brendan Fraser stars as adventure Rick O'Connell, who is rescued from a Cairo prison by the lovely Eveyln and her callow brother Jonathon. Evelyn's goal is to uncover the lost city of Hamunaptra, despite all the talk of curses and undead spirits and what-not. But the audience is well aware of what awaits our heroes in the forbidden city, as there is a healthy amount of backstory presented in the visually impressive prologue.

Along the way, the trio come across friends and foes alike, most notably a sleazy guide named Benny, a drunken fighter pilot a trio of American treasure hunters, a feverishly devoted historian and a mysterious man in black who guards the entrance to the forbidden city. If nothing else, The Mummy is packed to the rafters with lots of potentially colorful characters.

I say potentially because (aside from the outstanding action sequences) most of the scenes in this movie consist of random stock characters spouting a bunch of malarkey about spells this and curses that. It's OK to have the action scenes be your focal point, but not if the intervening exposition scenes are this transparent.

On the positive side of the cast, Brendan Fraser gives a strong (albeit somewhat vanilla) performance and he proves he's more than capable of being a big-budget action star. With his matinee-idol features, off-hand charm and affinity for swordplay, he more than holds his own. A little less refined (if due to lack of experience) is the slight but charming Rachel Weisz. She's certainly not bad and she actually has a few of the movie's funnier scenes, but she's just sort of insubstantial. (It probably didn't help that her character is introduced as a cute buffoon.)

The supporting cast is a mixed bag, with Arnold Vosloo as the evil Im-Ho Tep being the standout. Although he only appears in about 20% of the film with his actual face, he is more than ominous enough to keep you interested. Oded Fehr is good enough, although fairly underused as the Magi sworn to defeat the evil Mummy, and John Hannah is surprisingly cliche-free with his comic relief performance as Evie's money-hungry brother.

But there is one character that stops The Mummy dead in its tracks whenever he's onscreen. Perhaps it's just that it is such a poorly written role, but the one played by Kevin J. O'Connor is so unpleasant and annoying that it conjures up visions of Jar Jar Binks. As the slimy and duplicitous Benny, O'Connor employs an awful Egyptian (?) accent and hams up his punch lines to an astronomical point. Although Benny reaches an ironic fate indeed, I wished he had disappeared 55 minutes earlier. (Kevin J. O'Connor offered a slightly better variation of the same guy in Sommers' own Deep Rising.)

So here's what's known as the all-important bottom line: If you like to watch movies that stimulate your eyes and ears before anything else (if at all), then this one is worth a look. It's a (slightly) better-than-average combination of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the original Mummy pics and even a light-hearted romance. It might be stupid, but it sure isn't boring.

Of course I realize that basically everyone in the known universe has already seen this movie, but that's never stopped me before. The Mummy is not particularly smart and it's certainly nothing revolutionary. But if you've got 2 hours and 11,000 brain cells to go through, you could do a heck of a lot worse than this one. Clearly I'm a fan of mindless Popcorn Flicks.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=439&reviewer=128
originally posted: 05/01/01 16:07:11
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User Comments

3/05/12 Silkworm Would have be great, but too cheesy and made worse by Fraser 3 stars
11/21/11 cr a action packed thrilling remake with good effects and cool characters. 4 stars
6/07/11 Silkworm Could have been made less facetious 4 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles I LOVE YOU RACHEL WEISZ! 4 stars
3/19/10 PAUL SHORTT NOISY, DISPOSABLE ACTION ADVENTURE WITH OVERBLOWN EFFECTS 2 stars
12/26/09 Jeff Wilder An okay popcorn flick. No more no less. 3 stars
7/18/09 Dageron Number 1!!! 5 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. better than its sequels. 4 stars
9/16/08 Ravenwest Not bad. 4 stars
7/24/08 Shaun Wallner Great film!! 5 stars
11/25/07 g webster a fun comedy/action film 4 stars
11/16/07 spongebob it wuz ok lol 4 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK Dont let any copies of this film into your home. if threatened, destroy the brain to kill. 1 stars
3/06/07 Donny M Fun movie. Good to watch when your sick. 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Scared me when I was a kid, loved it whan I was older. 4 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega So much fun. If you like indy, you'll love this 4 stars
1/17/07 del Big, dumb bad movie that's nearly unwatchable. 1 stars
1/15/07 David Pollastrini great fx 3 stars
11/02/06 cody a cool visual effects and action packed remake with good performances. 3 stars
7/29/06 Hina Malik this is fantastic 5 stars
6/28/06 katinka YESYESYES 5 stars
6/25/06 MP Bartley Big, dumb fun that's easily rewatchable. 4 stars
4/25/06 ms. sumita roy its my favorite movie, i love to see this movie every time for its story & casting. 5 stars
8/23/05 Quigley the special effects and action made up for brendan fraser's piss-poor acting 5 stars
7/22/05 tony i rented this and it was a great shooter! 5 stars
6/02/05 Chris My Mummy told me to RENT this one 3 stars
4/22/05 klee better then the mummy returns...but still crap 3 stars
1/10/05 keithers.. pointless silly fun the delivers what it advertises 4 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams dumb, stupid, FUN! 4 stars
11/06/04 TCIC Fantastic. Ruined by its preceders 4 stars
10/29/04 Bree the movie was alright 3 stars
9/25/04 Lord Durvok 2 Below average, over-hyped piece of turkey big enough to disgust a family of four. 2 stars
9/20/04 Viktor Navorski movie good very!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/01/04 A upton great special FX 5 stars
8/27/04 American Slasher Goddess Dumb fun, but that's about it. 3 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G I need to take a shit 2 stars
7/31/04 conor great good 4 stars
6/02/04 876 blah 1 stars
5/08/04 Daveman Superficial, fluffy and a little routing but still entertaining and at times charming even. 3 stars
4/16/04 Crystal COOlL MOVIE!! A Sahara a Selata Lau!! Oded Fehr Rocks ^-^ 5 stars
1/18/04 jmsynth V. Enjoyable old fashioned adventure flick 4 stars
12/30/03 Littlepurch Funny, gr8 action and exciting. Even the love scenes work because of their comical value. 5 stars
11/30/03 john pretty good adventure movie with a likeable cast 4 stars
10/05/03 Deidre DeSantis I thought this movie was great, I know all the lines to it!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/13/03 Gray could have been better with less gore 3 stars
5/02/03 JL Ok, so the script had some weak points, i still really like this movie! 5 stars
4/29/03 Dave Rachel Weisz and John Hannah are really good, shame about the plot, and it's not scary. 3 stars
4/19/03 Ubu the Ripper Cool special effects, but Fraser is a poor man's Harrison Ford. 3 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon Frasier = dork. Weisz = very bangable. Raiders of the Lost Mummy blows piss bubbles. 1 stars
3/02/03 R.W. Welch Overreliance on FX saps what might have been a pretty good yarn. 3 stars
2/10/03 Joe The best action film of the 90's. 5 stars
12/23/02 3man Encino Man+special effects=garbage 1 stars
10/24/02 Interrog8 This movie was loads of fun. Indiana Jones - The Next Generation 5 stars
10/16/02 M Top stuff. I prsonally love it 5 stars
9/30/02 Charles Tatum Cool effects do not a good film make 2 stars
8/22/02 Brian Jacobson Cliched. the sequel is a LOT Better 3 stars
7/23/02 Bueller I've seen Indiana Jones, I know Indiana Jones. Mummy, you're no Indiana Jones. 3 stars
6/09/02 Gummibear X Cool mummy and a not bad story line. I just love to watch Rachel Weisz run! 5 stars
5/12/02 Spanky What a stinking load. Corny and stupid. 1 stars
4/21/02 Film Guy Yea it was good. 4 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee Leave your brain at the door and this movie is a lot of fun. 4 stars
1/16/02 David A. Spoofs black and white Mummies from the 40s. Fun for those of us who remember Lon Chaney 4 stars
1/10/02 R.W. Welch Nicely paced but leans too much on F/X and "Raiders." 3 stars
11/22/01 steve goldenbaum movie for fucking retards. 1 stars
10/02/01 Phoenix An excellent thrill machine. 5 stars
10/01/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! better then any other mummy movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/02/01 Butterbean Wietsz and Hannah and a stupid comedic take on this movie ruined everything! 2 stars
7/29/01 Beethoven Brendan Laochuazon I like it. Awsome 5 stars
7/28/01 Henry Ginsberg If you whent to see the sequal ,Ipitty you . 2 stars
7/07/01 Kelly Black LOved it.. stirred the imagination. 5 stars
6/29/01 Geebo Enjoyable 4 stars
6/19/01 Jessica (lunartemis87@hotmail.com) I thought the movie rocked! I can't think of a better movie made recently. 5 stars
6/17/01 Angela was totally cool! Brendan Fraser GOOD actor!!!!! 5 stars
6/17/01 Trekker The best movies in a long time! Most sequels SUCK, but the Mummy Returns was AWESOME! 5 stars
6/13/01 Brendan fraser I starred and what do i think????? 1 stars
6/09/01 Roxanne it is CRAZY 5 stars
5/22/01 Connoisseur too many complications in the plot and lame jokes ruined this movie. 3 stars
5/12/01 The Moorhen I liked it. My kind of movie. Can't wait for the sequel. 5 stars
5/08/01 Rampage Right on, Ryan_A, Indiana Jones lite has a nice ring to it. 3 stars
5/05/01 bullit17 One more in a line of movies that think special effects make up for lack of plot or script 2 stars
4/29/01 Bront fun movie, recreating the Indiana Jones style of movie 5 stars
3/30/01 BART I expected scariness. It was comedic 4 stars
3/23/01 Andy Meakin What a load of ARSE!!! Acting=bad Script=poor. AVOID 2 stars
3/07/01 Onyx Loved it, loved Brendan, loved John, loved Rachel, loved Arnold especially.. 5 stars
2/26/01 fifu a neat and fun movie 4 stars
2/15/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi I agree with Ryan A. Indiana Jones lyte pretty much sums it up. 4 stars
2/13/01 Richard Wright When John Hannah tried to kiss that camel at the end, I realised I did not like this film. 2 stars
1/14/01 Invader You have to believe in the spirit of the thing,once done its great action flick 4 stars
1/03/01 Emily not many actors can pull off Indy, and i thought brendan frasier did a really decent job. 4 stars
11/20/00 N Martinez Vosloo was a great "mummy" FANTASTIC film!!! A MUST SEE 5 stars
10/30/00 Dave FANTASTIC - looking forward to the next mummy! Worth the rental fee 5 stars
10/28/00 Terrie Smith Outstanding visual/special effects but the plot sure as hell wasn't much. Acting the same. 3 stars
10/23/00 P. Rodriguez Oh dear someone forgot to turm Off the SHIT PRODUCTION VALUES knob at the film studio 1 stars
10/18/00 Jed Alright film brendan fraser was great though it was mainly average. 3 stars
10/10/00 Kevin Action Packed! Great Special effects. Wonderful acting. Well worth your time and rental $$ 5 stars
10/09/00 Napster Supporter This was 100 times better than I thought it would be. Rent it you won't be disappointed! 5 stars
9/11/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble I wish the mummy had killed them all. 4 stars
5/04/00 matt Scary, Funny, Suspenseful, Actionpacked, Adventure, Indiana Jones type thrill ride!SEE IT!! 5 stars
3/10/00 David Rogers The SFX were good, but a little weak. 4 stars
3/03/00 Dr. X entertaining movie 4 stars
2/16/00 Kyle Broflovski I walked in with a pained look and walked out with a cheese-eating grin. 4 stars
1/21/00 Hangman this movie is great. 5 stars
1/15/00 D.D. entertaining 5 stars
12/27/99 tanya brilliant 5 stars
11/28/99 Krissy Pretty good I really enjoy the refrence to ancient egypt 4 stars
11/25/99 Dr. Acula Lot's O fun but Please see the 1932 version with Karloff, it's a poem. 4 stars
10/17/99 Jim Ragsdale Totally entertaining; funny; I had a great time. 5 stars
10/11/99 Weird Andy Dumb fun, but fun nonetheless. 4 stars
10/04/99 Lindsey This movie rocked!! Brendan Frasier was awesome in it, I absolutely loved it!!! 5 stars
9/29/99 Weezal316 Great Action and Effects. Funny and Fun. 4 stars
9/24/99 KK A rehash of thousand other adventure type movies already made. LOUSY!! 1 stars
9/18/99 Ratso About as fun as a papercut on my dick. 1 stars
9/11/99 Timbo Should've been Bruce Campbell 3 stars
9/03/99 godsdog Hey Mukinda, GET OVER IT! Hollywood does that to EVERY sacred religion and culture! 2 stars
8/10/99 Eric The best action/adventure/comedy film of the decade. 5 stars
8/01/99 Blue sky Brendan Fraser was H-O-T! 5 stars
8/01/99 Obi Wan Thank God I didn't pay for this! Hated it! I just wanted to see the girl get naked 2 stars
8/01/99 Mukinda White Hollywood once again attaches negativity to sacred African religion and culture. 1 stars
7/31/99 Kitty purr I liked this movie. Maybe it was because of all the hot guys. Could have been scarier. 4 stars
7/29/99 PhilmPhreak Reminds me of the Saturday Matinees of my youth 4 stars
7/25/99 Movie Freek in agreement with ChefADogg. This film was cheesy and cliched. That actress sucked! 2 stars
7/25/99 Bob, Lord of Evil It takes alot for me not to like a flick. This film figured it out. 2 stars
7/14/99 Marshy Not quite the film it could have been. Needed tighter editing. Overall, though, fun. 4 stars
7/13/99 Sara Pattinson I thougth that it was one of the best movies that I have seen in quite a while. 4 stars
7/12/99 ken heine the dust storm scene was cool. 3 stars
7/10/99 Daria Silly, forgettable, but undeniably fun and enjoyable. 4 stars
7/10/99 Alexander I loved this damn movie... action and acting were high quality! 5 stars
7/09/99 Jarrod Walker Why be so harsh on this?, hell, it entertained me more than star wars! 4 stars
7/08/99 AD disapointing, lack of feminist perspective 2 stars
7/03/99 Costars Stunning visuals overcame hokey plot;supporting actors should have been computer generated 4 stars
7/02/99 Matthew Bartley It was a lot of fun...what more do you want from this kind of film? 4 stars
7/01/99 little jerry If Spielberg makes Indiana 4 I doubt it will top this.Visually beautiful,very entertaining. 5 stars
6/29/99 MRHOLLYWOOD !! KICKS STAR WARS' ASS!,great directing and suspense! 5 stars
6/28/99 Stevo B. Pretty cheesy and some questionable stereotyping - but fun as hell. 4 stars
6/25/99 midson I'd rather watch teletubbies make love 1 stars
6/24/99 Tim A really bad plot & hokey acting, great effects 2 stars
6/17/99 LB The effects are what made the movie. 3 stars
6/15/99 Tony Daquano one hell of a kick ass ride 5 stars
6/15/99 David Exciting, scary throwback to the 30's style serials. Brendan Fraser is always good. 5 stars
6/09/99 Voyant Im-ho-tep....Im-ho-tep...Im-ho-tep....Im-ho-tep...Im-ho-tep...Im-ho-tep...Im-ho-tep...Im-ho 4 stars
5/28/99 pipeman Cool special effects prove that special effects alone do not a good movie make. 3 stars
5/27/99 Zoie Awsome! 5 stars
5/23/99 Ami the Wonderbread Bad Indy rip off, but at least it rips off something good! 4 stars
5/22/99 GothamDK Visual effects are second rate. Would be a good Disney channel movie of the week. 2 stars
5/21/99 Jimmy I didn't know you could wind fecal mattter on a reel. 1 stars
5/21/99 brentley It's like a watered-down Indiana Jones, but I still enjoyed it. 4 stars
5/17/99 Beno Indiana Jones without a good plot or good actors. 2 stars
5/16/99 The Bomb 69 usual summer film, funny lines, great special effects 4 stars
5/14/99 Emerald Storm This movie was just brilliant! Tho I do think billy zane was a more appropriate Imhotep 5 stars
5/13/99 Jeffie Crap on celluloid 1 stars
5/13/99 Freyja Fun in an Indiana Jones corn-fest kind of way. 4 stars
5/13/99 the DUDE Very Cool effects-Fucking great-More of a Comedy the A Horror. 5 stars
5/12/99 Jim Fay Not a dull moment in the thing. Entertained the hell out'ta me. 4 stars
5/12/99 Bill Hartman Not as good as The Matrix, but still a great summer movie! 4 stars
5/10/99 Jason S. Good way to kick off the Summer! 5 stars
5/10/99 Mr Showbiz A heaping helping of deliriously sill, action packed, eye candy. 3 stars
5/10/99 Ah Dooey Not as cool as Virus 4 stars
5/10/99 Arkansas Jon The special effects raise "George of the Jungle Meets the Mummy" to an enjoyable flick. 4 stars
5/09/99 dolt a couple cool scenes but thats abuot it *LOTS OF BLAINTENT RIP-OFFS* (special effects) 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  07-May-1999 (PG-13)
  DVD: 29-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Jun-1999 (M)




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