Why I love Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy 

I have always loved the 1999 Brendan Fraser version of The Mummy and I was outraged when the Tom Cruise reboot was announced. ‘They can’t do that’, I thought, ‘Everyone loves the previous movie!’ Turns out I was mistaken and very much in the minority of those who loved it.

At the time, the 1999 version received mixed or average reviews, with critics claiming there was bad acting, an incoherent plot and more focussed on effects than developed characters and a decent story. What’s funny is that it now seems to be getting a bit of respect following previews of the new one, which hasn’t fared too well critically either. Some reviewers have reflected back on the Fraser movie to do comparisons and give it props for at least being fun.

I’m feeling so smug that the reboot hasn’t won rave reviews because it vindicates my one. For years, it seemed to be ridiculed or treated with disdain or like it’s a guilty pleasure when to me, it has always been awesome and I’m not ashamed to say so.

Here’s why:

– it is hilarious, entertaining as hell, funny, scary and action-packed all in one

– it has a sense of adventure that you rarely see anymore

– it is hammy as hell but it knows it and plays into it. It never takes itself seriously.

– it has many quotable moments such as Evie (Rachel Weisz) drunkenly declaring “I’m… a librarian!”

– Fraser, Weisz and John Hannah are all so funny

– Hannah plays the wimp Jonathan while Weisz is a scholar

– it came out when I was 10 years old and I saw it a few years later and was terrified. The scarab beetle scenes, any time Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) killed someone, and his eventual transformation from Mummy to Imhotep, all scared the shit of out of me. That’s nothing compared to the bespectacled dude who loses his glasses and everyone leaves him alone in the pyramid and he is attacked by the Mummy. You don’t see anything (although you later see his eyes and tongue were pulled out) but the build-up to it is scary

– the ending where Beni (Kevin J. O’Connor) is trapped in the pyramid and all the scarab beetles come flooding in genuinely gave me nightmares and stayed with me for days, which is brilliant cause, again, you don’t see anything, you just hear a bite and a scream, but it’s so effective

– the special effects seemed great at the time and I think they’ve not held up too badly

– needless to say, I have watched it many times and I have it on DVD as well as The Mummy Returns.

Suck on that new Mummy!

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