The Mummy (1999)

Written and Directed by Stephen Sommers
Starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Jonathan Hyde, Arnold Vosloo

My Advice: Wait for MST3K.

O'Connell (Fraser) is an adventurer who's down on his luck after searching for the Egyptian city of the dead, which is supposed to have riches beyond compare.  Meanwhile--!  The beautiful librarian Evie (Weisz) and her buffoonish brother Jonathan (Hannah) stumble onto what could be the final piece to the puzzle as to how to discover the aforementioned treasure.  Together with O'Connell, they head for the hidden city to find their fortune, a really crappy CGI animated corpse, and some of the worst dialogue you'll hear this year.

No, I didn't like it.  It's not Brendan Fraser's fault--he was a likeable mugging hero, much like Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone.  At least with Stone, you had something mildly amusing.  This film here manages to make Jewel of the Nile look like Raiders.  I must admit I've never seen a film that manages to ripoff more stuff than this one: everything from Errol Flynn to Evil Dead 2 to Michael Jackson's Thriller video to the Sinbad flicks.  No, I'm not kidding.  Every plot curve (not even a twist in the bunch) is telegraphed to the audience a half-hour ahead of time.  The romance between O'Connell and Evie is so sugary that it would keep small children awake all night.  Fraser is good, Hannah is wasted as the buffoon.  He was obviously doing the Michael Caine Method with this one.

Now, I've done some thinking, and there are two reasons to see this film.  They're both fun games you can play at home.  One is to have a bunch of friends over, rent the film, and divide into two teams, seeing which team can identify more ripoffs than the other.  I think I lost count at 124.  The second game is to see if you can identify what actors they originally offered the roles to, were turned down, and so then they picked people who looked a lot like them to take their place.  For example, baddie Arnold Vosloo and Billy Zane--separated at birth?  Perhaps.  Rachel Weisz--curly dark hair, tries to be adventuresome--only one answer: Catherine Zeta-Jones.  It's lots of fun, try it.

It'll take your mind off a mindless predictable story which makes Richard Chamberlain's King Solomon's Mines look like solid gold.  For you see, Universal has done the unthinkable--they've created the Anti-Matrix, the summer event movie you simply have to avoid.

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