The Mummy
(By Gerry Wang)

(Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz)
Gerry Wang

mummy.jpg (6800 bytes)    I know what you guys are thinking. You're thinking, Gerry never gives a bad review to any movie, since he's a sucker for cool special effects and anything dealing w/ fantasy. And that's basically all the movies he's willing to dish out money for! Lah-hoo-ser!

    Well guess what folks, I'm about to buck a trend. THE MUMMY, while not officially filed under "stinker" in my mental file cabinet, was just not a fulfilling movie. It left me feeling empty, and a little disappointed despite all the potential it had. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled by the special effects. Those were awesome. But what totally made THE MUMMY crappy was its hokeyness. It was too light-hearted to convince me that it was scary. Damn them for not making a straight up horror flick.


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  You see, THE MUMMY is a remake of an old horror classic. And I tend to think remakes should at least retain the spirit of the original, if not totally improving and going more overboard with it. But here, THE MUMMY detracts from what made it a classic, and it ends up being only mediocre fluff, despite all the promise it had. With modern day technology, THE MUMMY, if made right, could've been something spectacular. It could've been truly terrifying. But no, the 90's THE MUMMY is targeted at all audiences, young and old, and not just the horror junkies.

    Part of what made the mummy so creepy was that it would hunt you down no matter where you were. It would never stop. You couldn't sleep. You couldn't run far enough. No time to rest. The mummy would slooooowly but surely track you down and kill you somehow. Plus it had bandages on, over the eyes too, so it would at least have some semblance of telekinesis. And all this is because you pissed him off by bothering his eternal slumber. It's the mummy's curse, as we Westerners would say. At least this "pissed off mummy" notion is in THE MUMMY.

    But THE MUMMY's mummy is a new brand of preserved corpse. He's naked, for one, no bandages at all, and he's rather agile and strong. I think this improvement was pretty good, although my purist side kept telling me that the mummy still oughta be bandaged, like the old school type. But once we see the mummy twirl and vanish into a cloud of sand, we're convinced this mummy is the most badass ever. When the mummy is first brought back from the dead, and it roars, wow, that was pretty freaky. Too bad this scariness wasn't consistent. There were just too many scenes w/ joking around.

    I think Brendan Fraser killed this movie for me. I like him, he's cool. C'mon, who doesn't like ENCINO MAN? But his role was reduced to merely being the typical buffed up hero who spews one-liners although he's in a bad dilemma. Who has time to think of a quip while facing mortal danger??

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    The Gilbert Gottfried-like character, Rachel Weisz's greedy brother, was also extraordinarily irritating. Damn I wishing he'd get mauled by the mummy. Oh shit, I gave a spoiler. Oh well. I need to warn people about how irritating that character was. And I'm no exaggerating on the Gilbert Gottfried comparison. Both squint and just totally get under your skin. Damn I wish he was ripped to pieces. Jar Jar seems like a godsend compared to this prick.

    Damn this corny trend of turning horror flicks into smart-mouthed cheese. Look at URBAN LEGEND. It had potential as well. But it got caught up in its own smugness w/ itself. Same here w/ THE MUMMY. I'll never forgive UNIVERSAL. Well, maybe when JURASSIC PARK 3 comes out. Again I think this should be a horror movie about dinos running amok. Not all hokied up like THE MUMMY. Yeah right. We know this won't happen because the studios have to make their money, and they have to cater to the mass audience. Damn capitalism! (Ok, no more Communist talk).

    So if you're bored at the theaters and have already seen THE PHANTOM MENACE a million times and AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME hasn't come out yet, go check out THE MUMMY. Approach it as an adventure story, like Tomb Raider, except there's no cleavage to look at. Admire THE MUMMY's great computer generated imagery. It won't disappoint. But just don't expect THE MUMMY to scare you.

    Actually, what WILL scare you is how it's made a shitload of money. This represents a deadly trend in Hollywood over making horror movies into blockbusters, thereby perfuming up the script so it'll be accessible to all audiences. The truly scary pictures, like PSYCHO and THE EXORCIST are a dying breed. Please, Mr. Studios, take them off the endangered list!

**1/2 (the 1/2 comes from the superb special effects)
Babe-o-meter: 2 - Semi Do-able (Rachel Weisz was cute in a spunky sorta way. Plus she was smart, which I like. My bitch gotta have brains, you know what I'm saying?)