New Reviews
Django Unchained
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Les Misérables
Chernobyl Diaries
The Cabin in the Woods

The Mummy (1999)

Death is only the beginning

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 124 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


Not so long ago – well, in the 80s, actually – movies like this were all the rage. Remember the whip-crackingly brilliant Indiana Jones trilogy, not to mention the rollicking treasure hunt that was “Romancing the Stone”? Well “The Mummy” is essentially present-day Hollywood's best attempt at taking that formula and throwing some disgustingly-expensive special effects into the mix.

So for Harrison Ford or Michael Douglas read Brendan Fraser, here in the role of foreign legionnaire-turned-swashbuckler Rick O'Connell. Having been saved from a hanging by passing Egyptologist Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) and her deeply irritating brother Jonathan (John Hannah), Rick agrees to guide the pair of them to the lost city of Hamunaptra. What, “THE Hamunaptra”? Yes, that one.

Having reached the city and sniffed around for a while looking for treasure and artefacts, it starts to look like our hardy gang won't need to worry about buying lottery tickets for quite some time. Unfortunately, they're also a tad careless and accidentally awaken the cursed corpse of Imhotep, a mummified High Priest who, it's fair to say, the years haven't been overly kind to.

Imhotep – who starts out as an FX-generated monster thingy but gradually turns into actor Arnold Vosloo as he grows stronger/smugger – sets about unleashing the “10 plagues of Egypt”, which appear to include locusts, earthquakes, rivers of blood and some particularly nasty bed sores. He's also intent on kidnapping Evelyn and using her soul to revive the woman he was caught nookying with a few millennia ago – what an old softie.

Director Stephen Sommers goes for all-out entertainment every time, though often it's at the expense of character development, plot and basic common sense. If you're anything like me you'll also have a bit of difficulty accepting Fraser as an all-action hero – tellingly, he always seems much more at home when playing an out-and-out doofus. But “The Mummy” makes for some good light entertainment for any time you fancy watching something that doesn't involve bothering to switch your brain on. That, in itself, is often no bad thing.

It's Got: Some mesmerising special effects.

It Needs: Bandages. Is this a mummy film or not??

DVD Extras Two discs packed with more extras than you’ll know what to do with – commentary with the director/actors, mummy-building documentary, visual & special effects, storyboard-to-film comparison, deleted scenes, Egyptology 101, highlights of the "Mummy Returns" sequel, Pharaoh lineage, photo montage, trailer, production notes, website archive, interactive game, screen savers, live webcast, script-to-scene comparison, link to the sequel’s website. DVD Extras Rating: 10/10


A visually stunning action-packed adventure story – just make sure you don’t try thinking too much.