The Mummy

5 out of 10


Horror Action Comedy

Why is it that if you give a British film production team the change from a cup of coffee they`ll make a classic that`ll win Oscars, but give them $50,000,000 and they`ll turn it into crap?

"The Mummy" is just such an example, an all-adventure action film about a group of English adventurers who accidentally reawaken an ancient Egyptian priest, Imhotep, who has been dead for 3213 years and then struggle to stop him destroying the world. The filmmakers have spent millions on special effects and in gloriously recreating the era of 1923, yet fail laughably on the ordinary effects. For example, the camera regularly drifts in and out of focus, the continuity is poor (a man`s arm that was sliced open to extract a parasitic bug is undamaged by the next shot) and the characters have no difficulty crossing the desert as they should have been able to follow the film helicopters` shadow.

Entirely one-dimensional, the script gives one a strange "deja-vu" - "Blade", "Vampires", the X-Files movie... yet again, the heroes are battling a risen god and the ending is as surprising as hearing that Christmas fall on the 25th December this year. Furthermore, I am left baffled why they should have picked on Imhotep to victimize, for yes, he was a priest 3213 years ago, but this is the guy who invented the calendar we use today with 7 days a week and 12 months a year, and for a man who did so much for us all, it seems a cruel betrayal.

There are many amusing lines, but they go unnoticed amongst childish slapstick gags and poor jokes that deluge the script like a Biblical flood. Not only does the film border on the surreal with almost the entire absence of any sign of Government, Police or the military, but behaviour of the characters is so laughably unrealistic that one almost wishes the Mummy would win as he`s the only one with any idea of what he`s doing .Despite the beautiful costumes and the expensive on-location filming in Morocco, the characters in them are such ugly, shallow stereotypes that it borders on blatant racism and sexism. The English are all brave, drunken aristocrats, the Yankees are swaggering, trigger-pumping cowboys or be speckled college kids, and the Egyptians are greedy, stupid cowards who die in droves like Star Trek ensigns...and almost the only woman in the film is the archetypal 1960`s dumb bimbo whose only purpose is to twist her ankle in the chases, scream for help every time she`s captured and grate on the nerves of anyone with an IQ over 3.

This is an enjoyable fun-film with spectacular special effects, yet, by the end, one starts to get bored watching the uninterrupted slaughter of an army of computer-generated, semi-decomposed, ancient Egyptian zombies, the heroes have to fight at every corner.

Fun movie that fires on 3 of its 8 cylinders

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett