(Review originally written at 6 May 2007)

At the time of its release, both the public and critics were screaming and shouting that this movie for being to much of an Indiana Jones wannabe. Now that this storm has settled down, I hope that more people will be able to take this movie for what it is; pure simple entertainment.

This is certainly a movie that entertains. It's clean and simple and makes no attempt in putting in any realism or much originality for that matter.

It's obvious that Stephen Sommers, just like with his other movie "Van Helsing", was attempting to revive the old adventure genre from the '30's/'40's. And just as with "Van Helsing" was the case, it doesn't do this very successfully. Modern movie-making and '30's/'40's adventurous storytelling just don't go together well anymore. The movie is perhaps more of a spoof than an homage at times. And although I certainly enjoy and admire Stephen Sommers attempts, I just don't think these sort of movies will ever make a large impact, or revive the genre from the old days. But I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more simple big blockbuster movies from Stephen Sommers in the future.

The movie is loosely and I mean very loosely based on the 1932 "The Mummy", starring Boris Karloff in the title role. The movie mostly chooses its own approach and simply uses the concept of the mummy for an overblown entertaining movie with a simple story.

But entertaining this movie surely is. The movie is filled with fun characters, lots of over-the-top action and a perfectly adventurous feeling all over it, due to the movie its settings and traveling elements.

The characters are perhaps the foremost reason why the movie works out so entertaining. All of the characters are extremely simple and stereotypical but that works really well for such a movie like this one, that obviously doesn't take itself too serious. On top of that the movie is also really well cast. It was the movie that introduced the world to Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah and Arnold Vosloo, though his career never really got off the ground. Brendan Fraser shows how well he can handle the comical sequences but he also is convincing as the action hero of the movie, mainly because he has the right looks for it. Rachel Weisz plays a more light and naive kind of role and it actually is hard to believe that she is mostly playing now more demanding roles in movies such as "Constant Gardener" and "The Fountain". John Hannah is perfect as the more comical sidekick of the movie and also Arnold Vosloo impresses as the villainous mummy. Also the supporting roles of the movie are very entertaining, such as the stereotypical cowboy-type Americans and Kevin J. O'Connor as Beni, who also provides some comical notes. The characters are also made more entertaining by some fine and fun written dialog.

But there isn't much else to the script really. The movie purely is an excuses to show off some new special effects and let the mummy cause all kind of mayhem across Egypt. Yes, its incredibly simple but perhaps also all the more entertaining because of that.

The sequences with the movie definitely are the highlights of the movie, as he unleashes all the biblical plagues across Egypt. The special effects are convincingly looking for the mummy and his neat tricks, though it's definitely true that by todays standards the effects are all quite slightly below average.

The settings of the movie are nice, though some are obviously fake, and they help to give the movie its adventurous feeling. The movie obviously had an high budget and it shows in its action sequences and special effects. The musical score by Jerry Goldsmith is also fine and truly uplifts the movie. Jerry Goldsmith has made a couple of epic scores for some not so epic movies.

Good simple quality entertainment. Just sit back and enjoy!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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