The Mummy

1999

The Mummy

Critics Consensus

It's difficult to make a persuasive argument for The Mummy as any kind of meaningful cinematic achievement, but it's undeniably fun to watch.

59%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 90

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 946,619
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Movie Info

Loosely adapted from the classic 1932 horror film starring Boris Karloff, The Mummy is set in Egypt, where over 3,000 years ago the high priest Imhotep (played by Arnold Vosloo) was given the all-important assignment of preparing the recently dead for their journey into the afterlife. However, Imhotep made one terrible mistake - he became smitten with Anck-Su-Namun, the mistress of the Pharaoh himself. Driven mad by jealousy and love, Imhotep murdered the Pharaoh, and his punishment was to be buried alive and suffer the torment of an eternal life in his wretched tomb. In 1925, a band of adventurers seeking fame and fortune - led by Rick O'Connel (Brendan Fraser), an American expatriate who has joined the foreign legion, and Evelyn Carnarvon (Rachel Weisz), an amateur archeologist - find a previously unknown burial site in Egypt. The team starts to dig, hoping to find lost riches, but instead they disturb the tomb of Imhotep, and soon the cursed priest rises from his grave to wreck vengeance on humanity. The Mummy was written and directed by Stephen Sommers, whose previous cinematic journeys into the past include The Jungle Book and The Adventures Of Huck Finn. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

John Hannah
as Jonathan
Patricia Velasquez
as Anck-Su-Namun
Oded Fehr
as Ardeth Bey
Erick Avari
as Dr. Bey, the Curator
Stephen Dunham
as Mr. Henderson
Corey Johnson
as Mr. Daniels
Tuc Watkins
as Mr. Burns
Jonathan Hyde
as The Egyptologist
Omid Djalili
as The Warden
Aharon Ipalé
as Pharaoh Seti I
Bernard Fox
as Capt. Winston Havlock
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News & Interviews for The Mummy

Critic Reviews for The Mummy

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (37)

Audience Reviews for The Mummy

  • Jan 23, 2019
    I've talked about nostalgia in the past and I'll talk about it now. Nostalgia is both a good thing and a bad thing. Sort of like how some people who lived through The Great Depression and World War 2 call it the good old days and lament the state of today's world. Or complain about the younger generation. But I'm not here to talk about that, of course, I'm here to talk about nostalgia when it comes to all forms of the entertainment medium. I have suffered from looking at things through rose-colored glasses, as it were, from time to time. For example, I grew up loving the Naked Gun trilogy (and Leslie Nielsen as an extension) and I re-watched some of the old movies (the second and third) and I definitely enjoyed them, but they weren't great. And, to be fair, the sequels aren't exactly comparable to the original (which I did not watch at the time I watched the sequels). I also loved TMNT and the movies they were in and, of course, now I know that those films are quite likely terrible. To be fair, I also liked the animated show, which was much better. I loved the Power Rangers. In short, in all honesty, I think the only thing that has held up from my childhood, that I still think is great to this day, are the first two Terminator movies. That's what I can think of at this very moment. This brings us to The Mummy. Though, in this case, this is a very different type of nostalgia. I do remember really enjoying this movie and The Mummy Returns (which I'll watch tonight). But it's not like I was in love with these movies or that I was obsessed with them, even as an eleven and thirteen year old (the ages I was when both films came out). The type of nostalgia I'm talking about is the one where I watch the third movie a week and a half ago and it's just not good, like, at all (it's fine, if I'm being honest) and I'm nostalgic for a considerably superior experience, even if nobody can claim that this movie, or its sequel, are any sort of amazing cinematic achievement. The funny thing is that I remember much less about this movie than I do remember of The Mummy Returns. I remember them stopping the movie (the sequel I mean) halfway through because they were having some technical difficulties. I went, or my mom and aunt went, and got me a second bag of popcorn. I remember this vividly, like it was yesterday, before the movie was started up again. It was actually pretty fun. I also remember liking the sequel enough that my mom bought me the DVD when it came out. The funny thing about that is that The Mummy Returns is probably not as good as this one. So, yea, spoiler alert, I legitimately enjoyed my time with this movie. So much more than I was actually expecting. For a movie that actually turns twenty this year (now I feel old), this has held up surprisingly well. I'm not saying it can compete with everything that we've seen since. There are better popcorn movies out there, to be sure. But the fact that the movie is as fun as it is, to this day, is a testament to the quality within it. Again, I'm not suggesting that the film is a work of high art. But I do think that the cast and crew understood what this was meant to be and they worked hard to achieve that goal to make this movie as fun as it could possibly be. Hell, even the special effects hold up better than those in the third movie. Those yetis in the third movie looked downright awful. And yet Imhotep, a high priest who has been cursed for eternity by a pharaoh, looks better when he is accidentally brought back from the dead and he is, quite literally, just very little skin and mostly bones. How in the fuck is this possible? That a movie that is NINE years older than its 2008 sequel has better special effects? Well, that's an answer that is easily answered. Industrial Light and Magic did the effects for this movie while, for Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, was done by two different companies. One of these companies, Rhythm and Hues, has won THREE Academy Awards for their visual effects. They won in 1995 for Babe, in 2008 (the year Tomb was released) for The Golden Compass and 2013 for Life of Pi. Fucking what??? I suppose that's neither here nor there. Everything in this movie is better than anything Tomb of the Dragon Emperor did and I'm not even joking. Name one thing the second sequel did better than the 'original'. With that said, I think we should move on. Like I mentioned earlier, I think the people behind the making of this movie understood that this was meant to be a summer blockbuster. With that said, I am quite surprised with the fact that this movie chose to wait for, just slightly, over half of its running time to finally revive Imhotep. I seem to have forgotten. Either that or I spliced this and The Mummy Returns together in order to create this image in my memory that, at least in this movie, Imhotep was a more constant threat. Having said that, however, I don't think the movie misses a beat in its lead up to Imhotep's revival. The cast is a lot of fun and their interplay definitely carries the load until Imhotep arrives. This is very much the adventure film. Rick is the dashing hero, Evy is not your typical damsel-in-distress, but there's obvious teases of a romance between the two. Johnathan is the comedic relief. Gad is a sleazy prison warden. In short, this, while I made comparisons to Indiana Jones with Tomb, this film feels so much more its own and not necessarily a copy of the action/adventure formula established by Indy. Don't get me wrong, there's clearly some influences of that here and there, but the film manages to stand up on its own feet thanks to its reliance on Egyptian mythology and a larger cast of characters to play with. At the same time, the movie also does not forget its horror roots and they do a surprisingly good job at mixing the action/adventure elements with the horror. Something that Tom Cruise's reboot failed to do. Now, of course, I'm not saying that the movie's horror is on the level of, say, a film like Hereditary. Hell, I don't think it's even on the level of a series like Insidious and others like it (Conjuring, Annabelle, Ouija, etc), which is what mainstream horror looks like. This movie isn't on that level either, but they still do a good job at keeping some of those horror roots in place and I gotta commend them for that, in particular when other franchises have failed to do so, Underworld and Resident Evil, I'm looking at you. It feels like I'm raving about this movie and, in a way, I am. Even with all of that raving, however, I'm still gonna give this just three stars. I don't feel comfortable giving it three and a half. I don't know why, but I don't think this movie ever reaches the level where I feel it should get that rating. Using my own Letterboxd profile, if I gave this three and a half, it'd be getting the same rating as movies like Summer of '84, Revenge, Gerald's Game, among others. And while my reasons for giving a film 3.5 stars is gonna differ from movie to movie, I don't think this movie, once again, reaches those levels. It's better than I was reasonably expecting in my mind and I had a lot of fun, but it's not a very good movie, in my opinion. It's a very good good movie, a term I've used before and that, I'm sure, some of you don't get, but it makes sense to me. Regardless of all of that, I still had a great time with this movie and I'm glad that it held up better than I would have expected. This review might have sucked, as all of my reviews do, but if you're looking for a fun action/adventure film, then this will be a great choice for anyone. Hopeful that The Mummy Returns holds up as well as this one. I'm cautiously optimistic however, it's rare, for this type of summer blockbusters at least, for the sequel to be better. Fingers crossed but, as I mentioned, I'm cautious. Still, I enjoyed this movie and that's a good start.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2017
    This is definitely more grand and light headed than the current Mummy film. It's enjoyable, even though it is a little too cheesy at times to be taken entirely too seriously.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2017
    Trying to cram action, adventure, fantasy, romance, comedy and horror into a single should not have worked, especially not in a Universal Monsters reboot, but 1999's The Mummy is so much damn fun, that they manage to pull it off with aplomb.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2017
    It's always difficult for brainless action movies to hold up over time. It's incredibly rare that such films can stand more than a decade or so without feeling too silly. The Mummy, which was made nearly 2 decades ago, definitely falls under this category. With a dumb script, exaggerated acting, dated CGI, and a dopey tone, 1999's version of The Mummy is a cable movie at best. It's amazing to see how far this series has come, from the intellectual 1932 film to the blockbuster action 2017 feature, it's clear that this is a property that people are interested in no matter the genre it forms. With that said, if a film titled 'The Mummy' never manages to offer a single scare or thrill, there's something seriously wrong with the direction. "But that's not the direction they wanted to take with the movie", some may say, well then make the film you intended at least a little bit entertaining. I had heard this film wasn't to be taken seriously, but to show no respect or knowledge for the source material at all feels disappointing to say the least. The acting is abysmal. Some of it can certainly be contributed to the dialogue they were given and perhaps the direction as well, but the line delivery here is just brutal. I know Brendan Fraser isn't particularly regarded as Oscar caliber, but Rachel Weisz definitely is. To see all them do such poor work is more than difficult to watch. But I think this can all come back to the tone established by director and writer, Stephen Sommers. The lighter, goofier tone is clearly purposeful, but it only works if you buy into the characters. I always bring up the Fast & Furious as examples for these types of films because they succeed in making over the top action movies without sacrificing the dynamics between their central characters. The Mummy doesn't do that one bit. I think one of the things that does work is Jerry Goldsmith's beautiful score. Not only does it harken back to the days of John Williams' heroic theme for Indiana Jones, but it actually complements the action quite well. It's just too bad I didn't particularly care for the action that was going on anyway. Overall, this film displays a serious lack of awareness in tone, humor, and writing, even if some of the action provides brief swashbuckling fun amidst a great score. The Mummy is forgettable. +Score -Tone -Rough acting & writing 3.8/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer

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