The Mummy

on May 07, 1999 by Christine James
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   This isn't your mummy's "Mummy." This isn't the meandering, bandaged, only somewhat undead corpse who you could run behind, kick the ass of and run away before it could even turn around. This is a supernatural, plague-wreaking, organ-removing, fly-spewing Creature of Eternal Night who, after 3,000 years entombed under the sands of Egypt, is inadvertently awakened by a prim but nubile 1920s-era librarian ("Chain Reaction's" Rachel Weisz). Now she must stop him, with the help of a brashly charismatic adventurer ("Blast From the Past's" Brendan Fraser) and her comically alcoholic gadabout brother ("Sliding Doors'" John Hannah), before he destroys the world.
   Aspiring to combine the mystical epic adventure of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with the larger-than-life Love Never Dies impetus of "Dracula," this "Mummy" comes off more like the monster of Frankenstein--a rudimentarily-stitched aggregation of elements that comes alive in spite of itself.
   The romance never quite sparks, the dangers are standard genre-issue and the plot has holes more conspicuous than the desiccated mummy's beetle-ridden body, but the effects-driven film should still be able to perform a feat even more formidable than resurrecting the dead: holding a teenager's attention for a two-hour span. Starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah. Directed and written by Stephen Sommers. Produced by James Jacks and Sean Daniel. A Universal release. Sci-fi/action. Rated PG-13 for pervasive adventure violence and some partial nudity. Running time: 124 min
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