Saturday, September 19, 2009

#44 - The Mummy

The Mummy (1999)
Extremely Trashy

Written and Directed by: Stephen Sommers, loosely based on the 1932 screenplay written by John L. Balderston.

Plot: A young archaeologist (Rachel Weisz) seeking artefacts in a ruined city in Egypt accidentally revives the three-thousand year old corpse of a priest (Arnold Vosloo). And then some really bad shit happens.

Review: This movie is kind of a joke amongst my friends and immediate relations. It’s one of those things that comes up when your bored. “Hey, it’s raining” “Yeah. Let’s watch The Mummy again”. I swear to God I’ve seen it over a hundred times, and you know what, I never fucking get tired of it. The only thing that’s happened is that it’s gotten funnier. Practically every line holds some weird in-joke for me, after having quoted and re-quoted everything back at Mr. Blue or Mr. Green.

Classics include: “They are lead by a woman. What does a woman know?”, “No! You must not read from the book!”, “Stupid superstitious bastard”, “Yeah, I’ll get yer damn bourbon”, “Awfully”, “This I do not know, but when I heard you were coming, I asked him. He said he was just looking for a good time”, “Who has touched you?!”, “Sounds like… bugs” and so much more. I could go on for pages. But why? You can just go look on IMDb for more of the quotable wonders of The Mummy.

In fact, I almost compare my affinity for this movie with that some people have for The Big Lebowski. I also spend long periods of time quoting that movie, but I think I’ve only seen it four or five or maybe six times.

But anyway, it’s good stuff. This movie is not really a horror movie either, although it does borrow heavily from the horror genre and is actually a much better movie than the original. It takes all the conventions of the Universal horror genre and turns it into an extremely fun, modern, action-adventure movie - one of the best, for my money. Sommers tried to do the same thing with Van Helsing with no success. I tried to watch that again recently and just couldn’t do it. I can’t remember which part exactly turned me off, but it was just not happening for me. I’ve seen it twice all the way through and that’s quite enough. Actually, I think it was Kate Beckinsale in her sexy suit that made me stop watching. I ended up watching some other thing, I forget what it was. Somethin else. Oddly enough, Kate Beckinsale's sexy suit does not bother me so much in the Underworld flicks.... there's just something else about Van Helsing which bothers me. Possibly the fact that every single character in the movie was cast wrong. Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing, David Wenham as that guy there, the guy who played Frankenstein's monster, Kevin J. O'Connor as Igor, Richard Roxburgh as Dracula. Actually, I do think that he was a pretty good choice and that could have been the best thing in the movie, but they kinda wasted every opportunity they had there. The whole movie was full of wasted potential.

Moving on. This is good, old fashioned, (mostly) wholesome entertainment without a whole lot of brain, but that’s alright. It is respectful towards the old classics, never trampling on them, and also doing its own thing.

I watched it last night and almost feel as though I could watch it again right now. It's just so jolly. Wow.

Favourite Part: The opening scene set in whenever BC, where we get to see all the cool old-timey Egyptian stuff in all it’s CG glory. The CG in the movie is actually surprisingly unobtrusive. It only bothers me in the scene where the Mummy takes Mr. Burns’ eyes and you can see his CG eye stalks, although in that scene I am usually giggling at the fact that, though the mummy took his tongue, he can still pronounce the word ‘tongue’, which you kind of need a tongue to do… but the set up scene was cool in a major way. Also, the movie is literally stacked with hot guys. That's a plus.

Other versions: The 32, and the one from the fifties.

Sequels: The Mummy Returns (sucked), The Scorpion King sort of (sucked), Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (haven’t seen - no Rachel Weisz though which is a bummer). Supposedly they’re going to do one set in South America next, which I think is cool.

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