The Mummy

A mummy movie for the video-game generation, this boys' own adventure deals decisively with the conceptual absurdity that undermines many older variations on the theme: Since reanimated mummies shuffle along at the speed of your arthritic grandpa, why didn't all those terrified Egyptologists, treasure hunters and reincarnations of long-dead Egyptian princesses...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A mummy movie for the video-game generation, this boys' own adventure deals decisively with the conceptual absurdity that undermines many older variations on the theme: Since reanimated mummies shuffle along at the speed of your arthritic grandpa, why didn't

all those terrified Egyptologists, treasure hunters and reincarnations of long-dead Egyptian princesses just run a little faster? This new mummy, Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo, assisted by extensive computer-generated effects), is no schlub in moldering bandages: He's a rag-clad Terminator who turns

himself into a sandstorm, visits the plagues of Egypt upon his enemies, commands flesh-eating scarab beetles and regains human form by sucking the very life from those who desecrated his tomb. Why a 3000-year-old Egyptian priest would summon up plagues originally visited upon Pharaoh by the God of

the Israelites is a bit puzzling, but hey — he's spent a long time seething in that sarcophagus, so who knows what he's been thinking? Boris Karloff's gloomy Imhotep (in the 1932 original) may have been a more elegant creation, but this year's model kicks some serious ass. The movie's other

stroke of inspiration is to graft the mummy onto a RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK-style adventure in which a charming American adventurer (Brendan Fraser) and a lovely lady Egyptologist (Rachel Weisz) go searching for the legendary Egyptian city of the dead and find themselves battling hoards of baddies

at regular intervals. The razzle-dazzle factor is high, and many viewers won't mind that it's all rather hollow, formulaic stuff any more than they'll be troubled by the offhanded treatment of Arabs as buffoons, exotics and verminous riff-raff (it's one thing to set a movie in 1926, and another to

appropriate the era's insidious racism). In all, it's the quintessential summer movie: noisy, spectacular and disposable.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A mummy movie for the video-game generation, this boys' own adventure deals decisively with the conceptual absurdity that undermines many older variations on the theme: Since reanimated mummies shuffle along at the speed of your arthritic grandpa, why didn… (more)

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