Monday, May 13, 2019

The Mummy (1999)

After watching The Mummy (2017) I felt I had to get it out of my head with watching good mummy movie. I hadn't reviewed The Mummy (1999). So here it is. Some comparisons to 2017 version at the end.

The Mummy (1999) is adventure horror movie set to 1926. It follows two groups of archaeologists/grave robbers/adventurers as they found grave of cursed priest Imhotep. Other group gets cursed when they wake up the mummy of Imhotep. Survivors have to put end to curse before Imhotep becomes unstoppable.

Cast has interesting dynamic for this kind of movie. All three protagonists are comic reliefs to some extent. Rick is bit of a parody of typical action movie male lead. Evelyn and Jonathan are fishes out of the water as English upper class adventurers and Ancient Egypt fans. Fourth main comic relief is Beni who was Rick's untrustworthy friend and now other group's guide to the grave.  Fifth comic relief is drunken pilot who has lesser role. Everyone else play this more like serious adventure horror movie.

It doesn't go to Ash from Evil Dead territory. It stays more serious. I wonder how movie would have changed it Rick was played more like John McClane from first Die Hard or like Indiana Jones. I feel he was originally written that way but Brendan Fraser made it more parody of character type.

Watching 1999 version made me realize how Tom Cruise centric 2017 was. I was going to compare female lead Evelyn and Jenny but then I realized only Tom Cruise and Mummy did anything in 2017 version. In 1999 version Evelyn and Jonathan are important stopping Imhotep. They actually do something useful. American adventurers move plot forward by doing something. Beni moves plot forward by doing something.

I honestly can't think of any character on human side on 2017 version who did something that didn't involve getting Mummy or Tom Cruise to somewhere or telling Tom Cruise something. I take Jenny as example because she is character with most agency outside Tom Cruise and Mummy. First she appears to town where tomb is after Tom Cruise has found it. She talks herself into tomb so Tom Cruise can follow her there. She tell she wants coffin so Tom Cruise can give it to her. In England she follows Tom Cruise telling him what is happening and gets Tom Cruise to Prodigium. In Prodigium she tells Tom Cruise how to destroy dagger. It is like rumors of Tom Cruise changing the script were true.

1999 version is better almost in all ways. CGI is better in 2017 version but it doesn't matter when it is worse all the other ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment