When’s the last time you watched O’Connell tell Benny that he was on the wrong side of the river?
This is literally the best part of the movie, aside from other scenes. I quote this scene often. Alright, so what do we love about this movie and what do we hate about this movie?
I’ll start with hate. When you rewatch this movie, please ignore the graphics. The graphics are terrible. We’ve watched all kinds of Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, and anything in between movies, so we’re spoiled when it comes to visuals. But and however, DC movie graphics are miles better than the graphics display in this film, and that is saying something because you all know how much I loathe DC movies and their graphics. Ignore them. It will be really hard but heed my warning now. Other than the graphics, I don’t really hate anything else about this movie. They do scramble the history of Ancient Egypt but the adventure overshadows the missteps. And for someone who LOVES Ancient Egyptian history, that says a lot. What’s wrong you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Ankhesenamun is the half sister of King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut. They are the children of Akhenaten and she is the daughter of Nefertiti. We’ll talk about Nefertiti in the next movie soon but let’s focus on this. The Book of the Dead didn’t being people back to life but it makes it funnier to imagine it that way. According to on source, the Book of the Dead was kind of s cheat sheet to the afterlife (where was this when Marc and Steven needed it).
You know I love a visually stunning movie and I do appreciate how they shot this movie for the its time. Released in 1999, I think it’s safe to say that this was Brendan Frazier’s breakout role. Before this, he was George in George of the Jungle two years prior. If you’re a 90’s kid like me, you vaguely remember this film, but here he was strong, sarcastic, funny, and witty. Richard O’Connell was easily one of your favorite characters, with Jonathan as a close second. Rachel Weisz, spouse of Daniel Craig (just learned that and thought I would add in case anyone else just found out like I just did), was brilliant as Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan. I don’t think we think of her in any other role, to be honest. She was the sweet intellect who no one took serious because of her “lack of field experience,” which what does that even me? And why didn’t couldn’t she just go on a dig with the archeologists? I guess because of the time, but she made it seem like that’s all she needed and it was within reach so…I’m not understanding. Any who, she was gorgeous, smart, and very resourceful. John Hannah as her brother Jonathan….what can we say about him? He was a nuisance for….all of the movie but he came in the clutch when it counted. I do want to take the time to mention that they gave us the clue that Evie and Jonathan’s mom was Egyptian but didn’t really use that fact until the next film which seems like a missed opportunity for the first movie. Would have made more sense to mention it in the second film, but I guess it was supposed to explain her fascination with Egyptian history and culture. Who knows?
I always forget that this movie is set in the 1920’s. I’m just sold on the adventure that the time period just becomes a backdrop. It’s not too much of a character like it is in most films. Take note Fake Jafar from the new live action Aladdin, Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep is how you do intimidating and scary. Is he the scariest villain we’ve seen? No, but does he get the job done? Absolutely. What I never understood about the curse was why they made it a reward. Sure, he was eaten alive by scarabs, but it said that if he were to be resurrected that he’d bring all the plagues with him. How does he get to continue his reign of chaos in resurrection? That shouldn’t be a thing.
Going back to what I enjoy about this movie, I do enjoy that the love stories played a role but O’Connell and Evie’s love story was subtle. It was never forced and they inserted moments where you would see O’Connell admire Evie and vice versa, but it wasn’t overdone. Don’t you hate a movie that is clearly trying to get you to believe in the love story they’re selling you? I do! Stop doing it! If we don’t believe, we don’t believe. Leave me alone.
Beni…Beni, Beni, Beni, played by Kevin O’Connor. Beni is the person that we weren’t sure would die at the end of the movie, but when he did, we all said, “That’s what you get!” Characters like him could go either way, honestly, and I remember watching this movie and thinking that his lil snake-self would get away. I was surprised and relieved when he didn’t.
The Americans were a cool touch. I didn’t pay much attention to them and they’re not people you really remember. Oded Fehr who plays Ardeth Bay, the leader of the protectors of the tomb, was fine as hell and I’m glad they carried him into the second film. Similar to National Treasure, The Mummy gave you adventure, it gave you comedy, and it attempted to give you some knowledge of Ancient Egyptian history…just don’t take any of this knowledge to Jeopardy (RIP Alex Trebek).
Tell me, what is your fondest memory of this film? Was it when the scarabs ate the warden, who I figured would died early? Was it when Imhotep started to regenerate by taking the organs of the Americans who opened a box that had a clear warning on it? Most of these incidents could have been avoided if people actually did what the inscription said to do.