1999 was a great year for blockbuster films, it was also a great year for films in general. However, certain blockbuster films that released word worldwide phenomenons, and garnered a ton of attention for their fantastic action and set pieces, along with their unique and wonderfully lovable stories. One of such films was the mummy, a fantastical exploration of ancient Egypt combined with modern exploration.
This was a treasure hunting film that turned into a national treasure very soon after release, and it also was the franchise that brought Brandon Fraser to global fame.
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The Movie Review
The Mummy is at its core a remake of the original film, released way back in 1932. This remake follows the story of a young adventurer named Rick O’Connell, as he makes his way to an ancient civilization city known as Hamunapatra, the city of the Dead.
Accompanying Rick on his adventure is a young and beautiful librarian named Evelyn and her older brother Jonathan. However, the city of the dead is not kind to Wanderers, and during their adventure, they accidentally make an unthinkable mistake, awakening the spirit of a dark and angry priest named Imhotep, Who controls supernatural powers and is now after them.
Director Stephen Sommers decided that this film would be an all-out blockbuster extravaganza. There would be a lot of action, a lot of comedy, and some fantastic production design that would truly engage and immerse an audience into its world.
The result was an action-adventure film unlike any other at the time, and naturally, it gained a ton of popularity. Summers also wrote the screenplay for the film, which means that he was familiar with how to pace it perfectly. The movie flows through buttery smooth and features some extensive action sequences that are iconic to the action-adventure genre.
It also ensured that Brandon Fraser became a household name, turning him into a Global Icon. His work in the film is actually phenomenal. Considering the genre, there isn’t any corniness to his performance and it actually feels very sincere and reminiscent of Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford.
Rachel Weisz was also a huge discovery in this film, as she became an indie darling afterward and has a hugely successful career even now. The remaining cast fulfills their roles very well, and you cannot really say any of the performances in this film were bad.
The one aspect of this film that goes highly underappreciated is the amazing choreography and cinematography that blend together perfectly during the action sequences. The Mummy is responsible for some fantastic shots being used in modern popular action films.
The film features some fantastic color grading that truly sets the mood. It also features some of the best camera angles and shots during action sequences, making for even more intensity and truly elevating the sense of scale that this film offers.
Moving on, another aspect of the film that is extremely important for its success, atmosphere, and setting as well, is the soundtrack. The soundtrack here is absolutely phenomenal, combining both orchestral and jazzy tunes, to some classic 90s rock and roll. This results in a film that is grounded yet also fantastical. Jerry Goldsmith Make sure that the orchestra is highlighting the setting and elevating the experience for audiences in a cinema beyond exciting.
The Mummy is one of the most extravagant films of the 1990s, an action film that is spending a lot of time in investing you into its atmosphere and setting and creating a world that you can appreciate. The fantastic production design was a huge aspect of its success, and the fact that it felt so massive in comparison to the rest of the blockbusters being released at the time, really made it one of the most unique films of the era.
The Bottom Line
So, The Mummy is truly a film unlike any other. It has found its way into the historic popular culture tropes and has become one of the founding fathers of some of the most amazing action-adventure films that came after.
This was a combination of explosive visual effects, production design, amazing screenplay, and direction, which was elevated by the incredible performances, an atmospheric and amazing soundtrack, and the most over-the-top action that you could ever find. This is one for the history books, and it will forever be known as one of the most unique cinema experiences for audiences in the 90s.