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The Mummy

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz
Director: Stephen Sommers
Genre: Action
Year: 1999
Rating: 3 / 5

When Indiana Jones last graced movie screens in 1989, a huge void was left in the realm of adventure films. Some of us can remember trashy pieces like King Solomon's Mines or enjoyable romps like Romancing the Stone, but the general worry was that the genre as a whole was in trouble. After all, who would whisk us away to another time, one when the hero had no superhuman powers, yet he nonetheless defeated the villain, discovered the treasure, and made off with the beautiful girl? Director Stephen Sommers attempts to take us back to such a time with The Mummy, an entertaining, albeit shallow, offering to the barren adventure library.

Noted swashbuckler Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) kicks things off in Egypt in the 1920s, the sole survivor of a bloody massacre which leaves him stumbling incoherently in the desert. He had nearly found a mythical forgotten city, and he is determined to one day find his way back. Enter Evie (Rachel Weisz) and Jonathan (John Hannah) Callahan, a brother and sister pair looking for a sacred book buried inside the city. They enlist Rick's help to locate the book, only to find that they are not the only ones interested in traversing the vast desert. Another faction, led by a former comrade of Rick's (Kevin J. O'Connor), is in fact racing to the very same spot.

Upon reaching the city, the two teams begin searching for the fame and riches that treasure hunters invariably seek. They stumble upon the buried remains of Ihmotep (Arnold Vosloo), an Egyptian high priest who was buried alive thousands of years prior. When Evia inadvertently reads an incantation from yet another sacred book, Ihmotep is awakened. Apparently, a man does not die peacefully when buried in a coffin, and Ihmotep seems to have devised a masterful plan should he ever rise again. It starts with bringing his lover back to life, and it ends with world domination.

Brendan Fraser has been many things throughout his career, but he always seems immensely likeable. Such is the case here, as his Rick O'Connell mixes humor with a hero's natural inclination to "do the right thing." Is Fraser essential to the film's success? Not essential, but the role is not one which could have accepted just any actor. Fraser fits nicely because he does not seem to take himself too seriously, and because he clicks nicely with co-star Rachel Weisz. Weisz (Enemy at the Gates) is adorable as the damsel in distress, even if she does little beyond looking bookish and screaming in fear. Oded Fehr is the "muscle" on hand to deal with any untimely disturbances, as this film features no shortage of those. The Mummy is good, harmless fun - a popcorn film for those seeking an entertaining diversion.

Cast:

Brendan Fraser..........Rick O'Connell
Rachel Weisz..........Evia Carnahan
John Hannah..........Jonathan Carnahan
Oded Fehr..........Ardeth Bay
Arnold Vosloo..........Imhotep

Certification: Rated PG-13.
Running Time: 124 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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[critics]