Looking Back on The Mummy (1999) and Its Action/Adventure Glory

by Aaron Bilal

If adventure had a name, it would be Indiana Jones. However, in 1999, the stars aligned for one of the greatest action-adventure romps of all time, and the famed archeologist was nowhere in sight. Stephen Sommers The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, is one of the most entertaining films of all time.

Looking to put a new spin on the classic Universal monster movies, The Mummy combines horror, action, and comedy to tremendous effect. Set in the early 1900s, the story follows adventurer Rick O’Connell (Fraser), and self-described librarian Evelyn (Weisz) as they journey to the lost city of Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, to search for fortune and glory. Our characters face great peril, however, when they unwittingly discover and reanimate the remains of Imhotep (Billy Zane), a disgraced high priest of ancient Egypt. Rick and Eve accidentally resurrect Imhotep, who is said to bring down the seven plagues and destroy all of mankind. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

While The Mummy is now over twenty-years-old, it continues to provide many thrills and chills. Everyone loves an adventure, and this film serves one of the best. What makes it so entertaining is how the film knows exactly what it is. It has no pretentious pretenses, nor does it think it’s a piece of high art. The filmmakers knew exactly what they were making and they leaned into it, creating a film that’s somewhat self-referential and conscious of all the action-adventure tropes audiences have come to expect. Rescue the damsel in distress, kill the bad guy, and save the world. A line said by Rick even nudges the audience to let us know that we’re all aware of how these movies play out. And yet, it still remains a great rollercoaster ride of a movie.

With the world still under lockdown during the pandemic, the days can become excruciatingly long with nothing to do. A person can only watch reruns of The Office for so long before even the staff at Dunder-Mifflin become tiresome. So, if you’re ever bored and have nothing to do, definitely check out The Mummy. It has everything: adventure, romance, lovable heroes, menacing villains, and ancient curses! What’s not to love?