Written by Patrick Sambiasi
Today we're talking about The Mummy, in particular the 1999 adaptation starring Brendan Fraser and its 2001 sequel. Let’s immediately jump in by saying that the third installment is worth skipping, and actually, it’s already forgotten, buried under a pile of Michael Bay's Transformers. It’s garbage. Why, you might ask? Let’s refresh your memory: they recast Rachel Weisz’s character with Maria Bello who seems to think she’s in a Bond movie, Alex O’Connell has grown up to be an annoying rebel frat boy, Luke Ford thought he could just pull off some sort of Indy rip-off, and the Emperor mummy is not even a real mummy… It’s a pile of terracotta. Trust me, let’s forget about it.
Recently there's been a resurgence of classics: Kong: Skull Island at the beginning of the year, Jumanji this fall, last year it was Ghostbusters, The Jungle Book and even Ben-Hur ( a pointless remake that no one watched). And to prepare myself for these remakes/reboots I’ve done a couple of film marathons, the most recent one obviously being The Mummy. I was particularly attached to this franchise, to the point of saying that as a child, O’Connell was MY Indy. He was charming but at the same time quite dorky and hilarious. Brendan Fraser didn’t try to be cool and he knew exactly what film he was in, something that Tom Cruise, for example, didn’t. The Mummy & The Mummy Returns introduced me to the adventure genre and also, yes some of you might eyeroll or giggle, to the horror genre as I found Imhotep’s first transformations absolutely horrifying. Years and years have passed since I used to close my eyes shut to the screams of HE TOOK MY EYES! HE TOOK MY EYES! (the beetles crawling under people's skin had the same effect on me! -ed). And has anything changed? How does The Mummy hold up, especially in comparison to the new interpretation? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it holds up really well!
Just read through this small exchange to understand how writer/director Stephen Sommers easily blends exposition, comic relief and a call to action in just a couple of lines. This scene takes place in The Mummy Returns and Ardeth Bay is referring to the bracelet of Anubis.
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Random Fact of the Week: A cloak lent by the British costume rental company Angel and worn by an extra in The Mummy was discovered to have in fact been made for Alec Guinness when he played Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).
Video of the Week: