aislinn: Cougar and Jensen on their knees, cuffed (Default)
([personal profile] aislinn posting in [community profile] a_better_mousetrap Mar. 27th, 2010 11:05 pm)
Title: The Mummy (1999)
What I was looking for: Adventure, mummies, Brendan Fraser in a good haircut
What I found: All of that and so much more than I was expecting

I'm a huge fan of Brendan Fraser, and this movie is the reason why. The first time I saw it, I meant to go see The Matrix. It was opening weekend, and even the matinee on Sunday was sold out, so we decided to see The Mummy instead of waiting in line for hours.

I had never heard of the movie before that, so I went in with absolutely no expectations. I'd never heard of Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, or John Hannah before either, but now I will go to a movie specifically for any of those actors.

This movie is brilliant on so many levels. It's action-adventure set in Egypt, and there's just enough comedy to keep it nice and light even through the parts where the characters are in peril or they're schmoozing it up with the romance. Actually, the romance is nicely subdued - I don't mind a good old romantic comedy, but when the romance is a B plot, I prefer it to really be a B plot, and not interfere with the action too much (I mean, if it must be there).

The action is good. Fraser is better at it than I expected (or anyone else expected, including the director, from what I hear), with a nicely smooth style, and he's always just a little tongue in cheek, like he can't quite believe he's trying to be an action hero either.

Non sequitur time: Man, that haircut really is brilliant. "Wait here," he says to the guy on a burning ship, "I'll go get help." Also, Ardeth Bay is hot like burning.

The cinematography on it is isn't super-duper wonderful, but it does everything it needs to, and doesn't get in the way. There's some beautiful shots of the desert and the architecture, though, so maybe I'm being a little harsh.

The soundtrack is perfect; it makes use of romance, adventure, and horror themes, and keeps them all intermingled nicely, going all the way when warranted. It's Jerry Goldsmith (of Star Trek: Next Generation fame, among many other things), who is one of the best out there, though part of it is that his style just works for this movie.

I can't say enough about Rachel Weisz, who is a brilliant actress all the time, no less in this campy movie than in The Constant Gardner. John Hannah has brilliant comedic timing, and I happen to love his little face.

The special effects are surprisingly good, and still are pretty impressive eleven years later. The mummy itself is a piece of work, way better than the scorpion in the second movie. D:

I have issues with Stephen Sommers as a director. The commentary is heavy with praise for Kevin J. O'Connor, who is, admittedly, quite good as Beni, but with an utter lack of everything Brendan brought to the table. I get the distinct feeling that he doesn't like Brendan much. Now, Brendan does have an over-the-top comedic style that needs to be toned down often - a lot like Jim Carrey, I think - and he's gotten worse with age (and all those working with animation movies). So, Sommers does manage to pull a really excellent performance out of him and he should be congratulated, but Brendan isn't some hack of an actor - he's really quite good. And if he needs to be reined in a little, okay, that's your job, mister director.

Opinions, I has 'em.

The plot hangs together well enough... well, okay, not so much, but I don't think anyone is watching it for the plot, really. It's good enough to hang an action-adventure movie on, and the characters are well-played enough to distract you from the biggest plot holes. With the exception of a few minor things here or there (there's one shot of the Egyptologist saying "What have we done?" to the camera that makes me cringe every time), this is just a beautiful, fun, enjoyable movie, with explosions, pretty people and good times for everyone.




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