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Movie Review

The Mummy

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for pervasive adventure violence and some partial nudity

Reviewed by: Kyle Suggs
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action/Adventure
Length:
120 min.
USA Release:
1999
poster

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J. O'Connor, Jonathan Hyde, Oded Fehr / Director: Stephen Sommers

Remakes of old classic films are difficult. “The Mummy,” originally released in 1932, starred the incomparable Boris Karloff is a classic. So how would a modern day production version fair? Well, as you might expect from a 1999 action/adventure flick, it’s big and it’s loud. However, after peeling away the first couple of layers, this film has certain qualities that I think set it apart from others of it’s type.

The stage for the whole movie is set in the first 20 minutes. We are transported back to ancient Egypt where we learn of the Mummy’s (Arnold Vosloo) origin. With very nice sets, computer generated scenery and by moving along quickly the audience’s attention is grabbed.

The rest of the film takes place in 1926 when we are introduced to the suave French Foreign Legion soldier, Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser). Through a series of misadventures he teams up with an astute Egyptologist Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) and her shady brother Jonathan (John Hannah). Together they set out to find the ancient city where the Pharaohs buried the wealth of ancient Egypt called the “City of the Dead.” Unannounced to them, this is also the place where an evil mummy is buried that which, if disturbed, would unleash the 10 plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7:14 - 11) on all that were responsible. Did I mention that it would also destroy the world?

This film is very predictable in the manner in which it is carried out. The formula of hero saves the girl, hero kills the villain, and hero saves the planet is tired and old, but it will be the addition of humor, special effects, and Fraser as a brilliant action hero that will carry this movie for most viewers. “The Mummy” does not at all take itself seriously which is it’s best quality.

It should also be noted that this film carries, as the premise, that one can be raised from the dead by human hands, spirit or will. Only God can raise people from the dead and all of those who put their trust and faith in Jesus will one day be physically raised unto life eternal (1 Cor 15:35-58).

This movie contains partial nudity, mild profanity, and plenty of action/adventure violence. Children under 13 should not see this movie, and if you take small children to this film they may be calling for their “mummy.” Pardon the pun.

Films in this series

The Mummy” (1999)

The Mummy Returns” (2001)

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” (2008)


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I expected light summer movie-going entertainment and got my money’s worth. The humor intermixed with some great special effects and a couple scares is the perfect summer ride. Grab an “E” ticket, some popcorn, and enjoy the ride. I saw it first by myself because my wife thought it might be too scary, but then recommended it to her comparing it more to an Indiana Jones Adventure than to a traditional “Night of the Living Dead” movie. Except for a couple gross-out bug scenes, she also enjoyed the ride. If you’re looking for a no-brainer fun ride and the lines for “Phantom Menace” turn you off, check out THE MUMMY.
—Rick K., age 38
Neutral
Neutral—…Few recent films revel in their clichés as much as “The Mummy.” Writer and director Stephen Sommers (Deep Rising) melds all the staples of adventure films—lost treasure, hokey romantic subplot, groups of foreigners who let the hero get away with a “Don’t worry about him; he’ll die in the desert”—into a film that, unsurprisingly, is less than original.

In fairness, though, that seems to be his motive: to take the successful moments in action films, but spinning them with a more post-modern and self-referential humor… Gore is pervasive through “The Mummy;” of particular regard are scenes involving small beetleish bugs that crawl under people’s skin and slowly climb up their body in the form of a fist-sized lump. The beginning of the movie also contains scenes of partial nudity that, as is often the case, served no other purpose in the film than to draw in teenage boys.

Those who can work through these aspects of “The Mummy” and are more concerned with the enjoyment of particular scenes than originality may very well enjoy The Mummy. Those looking for something exotic and new at the multiplex should ask for a different title on their ticket.
—Matthew Prins, age 22
Neutral—My husband and I saw the movie last night. Based on the review by your critic it seemed harmless enough, but the first few minutes set the tone for the rest of the movie. I could rate this as a horror-action-commedy-romance movie, which doesn’t sound bad. Unfortunately, the graphic gore ran throughout the entire film. A multiple stabbing results in a murder/suicide leading to men being “mummy-ized” in Pharoah’s Egypt while still alive (i.e., their organs being pulled from their bodies) in the opening.

Another being buried alive with flesh eating beetles, screaming while wrapped and helpless as they put him to “rest”. In 1923 the mummy is found in a “juicy, gooey” condition. This started his continual to suck the organs from live people to “restore himself” and kill all who had disturbed him in an effort to obtain a live human sacrifice to bring his past mistress back to life.

The deaths were gory and horribly violent. Beetles ran throughout the bodies of the dead and the alive. At one point one ran from the as yet uncompleted mummy’s hole in his throat where his flesh had yet to cover and into the hole in his jaw when he, without reaction, simply began to chew.

The only thing that helped were the other actors who brought in comic relief here and there and the romance developing between the hero and heroine was fun. I was shocked to see a 9 year old boy in the audience. I would not want those images in my son’s mind. While it had its moments, I would not recommend this film.
—Tori Patz, age 38
Neutral—Personally, I found this movie particularly funny! It’s not a comedy, but it’s not meant to be taken heavily. While it’s not a very smart movie, neither is it too dumb. It’s pretty much just fun adventure with crazy fantasy action. Some of the gross-outs may be disturbing to young audiences, but for teens on up, some people will find them laughable (though some will find them absolutely unenjoyable). There’s not much in the way of a moral, but neither is there much in the way of objectionable content. I wouldn’t recommend it initially, but if you asked me, I’d say go ahead and see it. :)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Gabriel Mohler, age 25 (USA)
Comments from young people
…I now consider [this movie] to be one of my favorites, and I have also gone back since the first time to view it again. I congratulate the makers of this film on the fact that there was VERY limited cursing (I don’t recall there being any, but I could be mistaken), and only 1 scene of “partial nudity” (which, I didn’t really enjoy, that could have been altered a bit so there was a little more covered up).

There was quite a bit of violence, but it wasn’t elaborate (I mean, the person gets shot, they fall on the ground, no blood?). I do admit, there were parts that I had to turn away because they were a bit disgusting (such as the mummification scene and the flesh-eating beetles (which, in real life aren’t flesh-eaters), and the first time I viewed the movie, the Mummy was quite ugly).

I definitely wouldn’t think that anyone under 10 years should watch it, but I think that this romance-horror-thriller-action-comedy movie is a great movie overall. Now, with those who are saying things about the Christian view of this movie, I agree with a lot of them. I DO understand, though, that it was in Egypt and the things were their beliefs and customs, so I can’t argue quite as much with those instances.

I do think that everyone is entitled to their opinion of any movie. I think that THE MUMMY is a great movie, with wonderful special effects, and I do recommend it to people ages 10+.
—Anna, age 13
I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about this movie—its lack of originality, violence, hokiness, etc, etc. However, I went to see it and found it to be very fun and exciting; and so now I must defend it. I can’t remember any use of bad language, and the violence scenes were very down-played and mild. They threw in plenty of laughs to make the movie a winning comedy-thrill-romantic ride. The cast was very talented and entertaining—without a doubt, I would recommend this movie, esp. for older teens and up. Younger children may be frightened by the actually “Mummy”. The special effects are incredible, and the movie will give you a fantastically fun ride this summer.
—Sarah, age 17
My friend and I went to see this movie twice and were very impressed. A lover of Indiana Jones, I found this movie exciting, thrilling, and enthralling. Not only was it great action, but the comedy and romance made this movie even better. My friend and I have totally different tastes in movies, but we both loved this one…
—Rachel, age 16
Um. I think that this movie does not mock God as some have said. The scene with the man sifting through his religious items is not to show God is not there, but just that that man has no real faith, he is only using it to get out of trouble. This movie was wacky, too goofy to be taken seriously. Why would they give a criminal the worst curse imaginable, if that curse includes making the criminal an immortal and super-powerful monster? How powerful can the Book of Life be if they can destroy all the monsters by reading the cover? that’s too much. Why can Imhotep raise zombies just by waving his hand, but has to go through a HUGE ceremony to raise his girlfriend? It’s silly. Don’t worry about it.
—Ian, age 18
This movie was pretty interesting. The special effects were great, and I like Brendan Fraser. In some parts of the film I felt like I was reading a comic book. There are some funny parts and some intense moments, but there isn’t any gore. This movie is for someone who likes “Indiana Jones” type movies and won’t be too frightened by the mummy’s appearance. I am about to go see it again in a few minutes.
—Susan, age 15
The special effects for this movie were great!! Top of the class for movies. But its storyline wasn’t too good. It featured superstitions and many curses. It also had paganness and life-from-death. It also had partial nudity at the start. If you are a person who doesn’t watch horror movies often, you will be freaked out. It is a very scary movie for people who aren’t accustomed to these type of movies. It has a lot of violence in it also, but mostly they were fighting mummies who came back from the dead. Overall, it is not a good Christian movie to go to.
—John Middleton, age 14
I rarely get to see movies at a theater. For some reason, my dad read the review and decided to take me to it. I don’t know what was meant about the partial nudity, because I never saw any. One person who commented said that it was at the beginning of the movie, and since we got there a few minutes after it had started, we must’ve missed it. The language was better than some PG-13 movies, in that we were not saturated with the s-word and a-word being used tons of times. Of course, that’s probably because it takes place before those words were used (as bad words, at least). It did contain the Lord’s name taken in vain several times, though. Overall, though, I liked it. It wasn’t for really young children, but most people my age shouldn’t have a problem with the mummy (or mummies, I should say). I liked it…
—Durandal, age 16
I agree with the reviewer. I found The Mummy to be an enjoyable film. Sure, at the beginning there was some partial nudity but that was in only one scene. I was impressed with the level of profanity—I didn’t hear much. I think that movie was well rounded in the sense of some romance, humor, action, and suspense. Just remember, this has to do with the curse of a certain mummy, so of course, there’s going to be stuff about incantations and raising from the dead—so don’t be offened.
—Andrea, age 14
I went to see this film with a group of friends who had extended the invitation. I didn’t really have the desire to see it in the first place but I thought it easier to consent to the movie than force the whole group to go to another one. In my humble opinion the movie the mummy is an aweful movie. The special effects were great but as far as christianity goes this movie bites the dust. I know the purpose of seeing a movie is to be entertained. This movie does that but is very disturbing in the same process.

A key scene in the movie involves the mocking of Christianity itself. A man holds up a cross, while chanting a few words, in order to deter the mummy. When this fails, he switches to another religious symbol, a budda, and as he procedes down his necklace he comes to the star of David. This scene is humorous but implies that God wasn’t there for him and that God wasn’t able to save this man.

And the truth is he wouldn’t have because the man didn’t have faith. This disturbs me greatly that my God, the only God, was mocked and put down. In my eyes this is good enough reason to avoid the film. One of the other reviews says at the end that the film is about mummies, so, of course, it involves incantations and stuff, so don’t be disturbed.

I think that if incantations and STUFF don’t disturb you then you have a serious problem and maybe need to do a little soul searching. God created us to bring him glory, and we are here on this Earth to glorify God. How can we do that all the while supporting a movie that mocks that very belief? Save your money and buy your friend a Bible.
—Kyle, age 16