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Laramie Movie Scope: The Mummy

Gross-outs, violence, jokes and special effects galore

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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May 9, 1999 -- "The Mummy" is probably the kind of movie that the makers of "Godzilla" wished they had made, a big, sprawling adventure-horror with some comedy to go with all the special effects and stunts. Only Hollywood can make this kind of film. That's either good or bad, depending on your point of view. It's good in that the movie is entertaining, but bad in that you could probably make 20 good, high quality films like "October Sky" or "Waking Ned Devine" for what it cost to make this one, goofy camp horror film.

"The Mummy," is sort of a cross between the old Mummy films which date back to 1932 and a movie like "Raiders of the Lost Ark," where there are elements of horror, adventure and comedy, along with a very high body count. Be aware, this is no movie for little kids. Parts of it are scary and there is a lot of violence and a number of gross scenes. Most of the violence is directed at zombie-like creatures and creatures raised from the dead. There is also a secret society of black-garbed warriors who protect the tomb, just like the guys in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

The plot is that a group of adventurers find the tomb of a mummy and inadvertently wake it up and unleash a curse upon themselves and the world. The mummy seeks to kill those who desecrated his tomb and also seeks to bring his long-lost love back to life. Unlike Boris Karloff's old mummy, this one is not slow and it has supernatural powers, such as the ability to turn into sand and become a whirlwind or a sandstorm.

The story is set in the 1920s and features some treasure-hunting American cowboys as well as another American adventurer Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser of "Gods and Monsters) who teams up with half-Egyptian Evelyn Carnarvon (Rachel Weisz of "Chain Reaction") and her brother Jonathan (John Hannah of "Four Weddings and a Funeral").

Fraser, a versatile actor, does a good job of playing the swashbuckling hero, Hannah is quite good as an amiable rogue, while Arnold Vosloo is properly threatening as the high priest of Osirus, Imhotep, (The Mummy). The stunt work is very good as are the special effects. While some of the jokes fall flat along the way, for the most part, the film is amusing enough and there is plenty of action to carry it along. It is somewhat reminiscent of an earlier film by the same director, Stephen Sommers, called "Deep Rising." This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1999 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]