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Click on me! Monstrously
entertaining


Brendan Fraser partners up
with More, Bigger and Louder for a ton of scary fun




"The Mummy"

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Reviewed by Carlos deVillalvilla

Note to Hollywood filmmakers, class of 1999: now this is how to do monster movies in the 21st century. Something old (the setting), something new (the effects), something borrowed (the premise), something blue (a couple of racy outfits).

Click on me!Brendan Fraser is Rick McCollum, an adventurer in the tradition of Indiana Jones. He's smart, strong, a crack shot and as it happens, one of two survivors of an ill-fated expedition to Hamunaptra, the legendary (some would say mythical) Egyptian city of the dead. It's reputed to be the resting place of Egypt's treasure.

It's also the resting place of Im-Ho-Tep, the high priest of the dead and murderer of Pharoah Seti II. Seems he got the nastiest Egyptian punishment there is - to be slowly devoured by flesh-eating scarab beetles after being entombed while still alive. That definitely leaves a mark.

Cut to the 1920's. After a sweet-natured librarian (Rachel Weisz) discovers a map to the legendary lost city, she enlists McCallum, her ne'er-do-well brother and a corrupt local official (read designated victim) to help find the site, where the Book of Amon Ra, which contains the secrets of Egyptian magic, is said to reside.

DVD notes

Like most DVDs, you get theatrical trailers and multiple languages. The collector's edition includes filmmaker commentary, some step-by-step behind-the-scenes footage on how some of the special effects were achieved, deleted scenes, a DVD-ROM game for your computer, weblinks, and a nifty Egyptology 101 that gives you some background on the mythos that made the Mummy. A first-rate presentation.

What they do find when they finally get there is the Book of the Dead. This awakens Im-Ho-Tep, who is mighty steamed - as you would be if you had been buried alive with flesh-eating beetles. He brings with him the ten plagues of Egypt (the ones in Exodus - check out "The Ten Commandments" if you aren't up on them) and the ability to control the elements.

He wants to re-animate his dead lover (after 2,000 years, a fella's got needs) and kidnaps the librarian to do so. From here on in, it's a roller-coaster ride of dazzling special effects, spine-tingling thrills and daring escapes.

This is one of the best movies -- in terms of sheer entertainment -- that's come down the pike since, say, "Aliens." It moves at breakneck speed and visually is superb eye candy. Director Stephen Sommers took a fairly hackneyed monster movie and turned it into a potential franchise for Universal, which sorely needs one.

And Brendan Fraser as an action hero? Who'da thunk it, but it works. Fraser is very likable, in the tradition of Mel Gibson. But you're not watching the movie for the acting. It's all about More and Bigger and Louder, and "The Mummy" delivers.

While some of he scenes are a bit too intense for younger children in general, this is one fine family entertainment that you'll want to add to your video library.

Theater or Video?
If you can see this on a big screen, by all means do. If you can't, see it anyway. You'll be glad you did.

DVD at amazon.com.
VHS at amazon.com.

See other information about "The Mummy" at Internet Movie Data Base.