The Book of the Dead? Are You Sure You Want to Be Playing Around With This Thing? It’s Just a Book. No Harm Ever Came From… Reading a Book.: The Mummy (1999)

The Book of the Dead? Are you sure you want to be playing around with this thing? It’s just a book. No harm ever came from… reading a book.

I love The Mummy (1932), Boris Karloff is an amazing actor.

And you all know that I don’t like remakes…usually. There are always exceptions, such as this film.

First of all what I think works in this film’s favor is that there is no actual source material. material. The original Mummy was based on the discovery of King Tut‘s tomb and the controversy over “his curse”. It is the only one of the Universal Classic Horror Collection that is not based off of legend, myth, or classical fiction; but was created all on its own. Because of that it is open to a variety of interpretations, allowing the remake to be just as good as the original.

I remember when this movie first came out, I was seven years old and saw trailers on TV and every where. I loved anything with Brendan Fraser (still do).

Look at this man

I didn’t see it in theaters as my mother was afraid it might be too scary for me. I actually first watched the film at SEARS, when my parents were shopping for an appliance. After we both saw scenes from the film, my mom and I had to watch it and rented it from Hollywood Video.

And of course we would also rent the second film when it come out, The Mummy Returns. I also watched The Scorpion King, The Mummy Dragon Empire (not that good), and The Mummy (2017) {extremely terrible}.

I just love this movie. Brendan Fraser at his finest and hottest. Why can’t I find my own one of him?

But enough fangirling, let’s get on to the review!

Anck-su-namun is the mistress/concubine to the Pharaoh and has a love affair with the priest Imhotep (fun fact he was named after an architect of the Stepped Pyramids of Djoser). The pharaoh discovers this and condemns them both to death. Anck-su-namun kills the pharaoh and then herself, in order to save Imhotep.

Imhotep steals her body and tried to bring her back but is stopped befor he could complete the ritual. Instead he is buried alive with scarab beetles. And a curse that he will one day rise again.

Fast forward thousand of years and we have the foreign legion storming through Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. Something comes (our mummy) that destroys everything with only two survivors. One of which is our very hunky Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell. I could just watch him do literally anything for days.

Soooo cute!!!!

Fast forward a few more years to 1923. Tons of treasures have been found by archeologists and everyone is convening in Egypt to dig and make the next big discovery.

At the library, Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) dreams of being more than just a librarian, she wants to make the next great discovery too! Unfortunately, she often causes trouble as seen when she knocks all the bookshelves over and creates a giant mess of mixed up books. The head of the library is so mad at Evie he wishes for plagues, locusts, flies, etc rather than more of her. Oops, better watch what you say say!

I understand his anger as not only is she lucky she didn’t knock a torch down and burn the whole library (Library of Alexandria Part II), but now they have to go back and reshelve everything.

Speaking of a fire torches, what kind of library would use that when the possibility for it burning everything down is so high.

While Evie is cleaning up her brother Jonathan visits, who is always getting into trouble with some money making scheme and dig. As I said before, Evie wants to become a real “archeologist”, so when her brother shows her his latest acquisition, she is happily surprised to see it is something real! It appears to be a puzzle box with a map to the lost city of Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. She shows it to her boss who sets it on fire. They save most of it, but are missing a part, all is lost!!! Now why would her boss do that?

However, it turns out that Jonathan did not dig it up but stole it from someone. They go to find the man, and hopefully answers, which leads them to a jail where Rick O’ Connell, is being held. I know she found him in jail, but I don’t care. I would be just as into him as she is, especially after that kiss.

In order to save Rick and find Hamunaptra, they need to free him. Evie tries her best negotiation skills and is finally able to talk the jailer into letting Rick go for 25% of whatever they find.

The next day they meet up and go on their cruise down the river and also discover that they have some competitors. Some Americans who have also hired a man who has been there before.

Hmm…

Unbeknownst to all on the ship a group of Bedouin row to the boat and sneak on.

On the ship Rick and Evie talk and my friend and I would always say this is one is the sexiest scene not meant to be sexy. Brendan Fraser with his sleeves rolled up, gun hostlers, and unrolling his weapon (No innuendo intended). What a fine looking man, no wonder Evie can’t resist him.

Evie can’t stop thinking of the kiss and just has to know why Rick kissed her. She asks him and is expecting something sweet and romantic but all he says is basically, you were there.

He literally could have said anything else and it would have been better.

Seriously!

The Bedouin start causing issues on the ship as they want to stop them from continuing on their trip. I love how Jonathan comes running in and gets the key, knocking the Bedouin guy over. Jonathan is basically Shaggy Rogers with nicer clothes and a British accent.

All our characters make it out okay, with Rick, Evie, and Jonathan ending up on the correct side of the river. They later have to get camels and new clothes, with Evie’s new look causing Rick to give her second, third, fourth, etc glances.

They reach Hamanuptra, but aren’t able to go right away as the sun has to be just right. The two parties race to be the first ones. At one end of the city, the group of Americans are digging in the wrong area, while Evie leads them to the book of Amun-Ra using mirrors.

Rick has completely fallen in love with Evie and steals tools for her to properly dig. Aw what thoughtful gift.

How sweet!

When both find the best place to dig and start in on each other with guns blazing. Before we have a shootout at Hamanuptra, Evie convinces Rick to let it go as there are other places to dig. He immediately listens, what a gentleman.

Evie and her group are trying to get under Anubis and Rick listens to her talk and is interested in everything she says. This is the type of man I need. One who likes listening to me talk about books, history, and art.

Soooo cute!!!!

Their jailer partner has scored some beautiful beetles, lapis lazuli, but they turn out to wake up and attack him.

That night they both groups are attacked by the Bedouin and join forces to try and stay safe. Rick finds it odd that they would be after them as they don’t value riches the same way. Hmm? Evie and Rick stay up practice fighting in case another situation comes up.

Evie and Rick have such a cute scene together as she has been drinking and is really open about what she is feeling. I also like how when she tries to kiss him and passes out he just leaves her alone, such a gentlemen.

In this scene we also learn that Evie and Jonathan are biracial, and as a biracial kid growing up with not a lot of biracial characters on the screen, that’s just another reason why I loved this film.

The “Americans” have found a sealed chest tha has a curse laid upon it. They don’t care about curses and open it anyway. They also find the book of the dead and the organ bottles (although these were just ceremonial as they buried the mummy alive.) The Book of the Dead brings people to life, while the Book of Life sends them to their death.

That’s not good.

Back over at our party’s camp they find Imhotep and all are surprise to discover he hasn’t been decomposing as he is still, as Rick puts it, “juicy”.

That evening all are resting when Evie decides to steal The Book of the Dead and take a look at it, after all it was their spot they were digging in that the other group stole. Rick isn’t so sure, but as a librarian Evie assured him “no harm ever comes from reading a book”. But just as she says that a big giant spooky gust of wind blows-if I was me I would have stopped right there as I have seen enough movies and read enough books to know, something bad is going to happen.

She should not have done that.

She also reads it out loud which I never would have done but in done it in my head keeping the curse from being enacted, but unfortunately she was kind of trying to impress Rick and instead leashed a horror into their world.

He attacks them all and of course the one with the glasses dad is the first to be attacked. The mummy Imhotep takes his eyes which is really odd as he has the worst of the lot (being the only one who wears glasses) like I would have taken a different organ. I bet he has nice inner organs that would be a better choice. And again, man the person with glasses is the one who further loses his sight. Poor guy.

Scarab beetles come shooting out and our team finds themselves running in fear for their lives. Evie ends up activating a secret passageway and finding our eyeless American and mummy.

Imhotep calls her Anck-su-namun and decides to use her body to resurrect his lost love.

Rick and Konathan are trying to find her when a bunch of scary beetles attack. They run and luckily Rick finds Evie and the mummy, shooting him with a shotgun.

On their way out they are run into the Bedouins who warn them of the evil they released. They encourage them to leave as they will try to hunt him down, although Rick is certain he killed him. Unfortunately, no mortal weapons will work on him.

Back in the fort Rick wants to Evie and him to leave, but she wants to save the world. Rick gives Evie an ultimatum, but she chooses the world over him. Meanwhile, the other solider who survived and was leading the Americans, Benny” has been employed by Imhotep, and seeks out those who opened the chest to continue the stealing of the organs.

And while that is happening, Imhotep has also released the curse of the mummy awakening, it being the 10 plagues of Egypt. The water turning to blood, hail, fire form the sky, etc. it’s an interesting choice as the plagues of Egypt are so powerful and easy to visualize; along with the fact that Universal made The Ten Commandments and has it in their repertoire. As a lore choice though, this is odd as God choose the plagues specifically to show his power over the Egyptian gods and every plague is specific to counter one of their gods. So it seems odd that something that was used to refute the Egyptian gods is being used by a priest who worships those gods.

The mummy attacks Evie and all seems it might be lost as nothing works, however a cat comes and scares him away. See cats are always good to have around.

Evie needs answers and goes to see her old boss who turns out to be a member of the secret society who is dedicated to keeping Imhotep from ever awaking. He tells them that until Imhotep has consumed all the people who opens the chest he will fear cats and they can be used to stop him.

The professor also reveals that Imhotep needs a human sacrifice in order to bring his lady love back to life. They decide they need to find the Americans as Imhotep is hunting them down; along with to protecting them and Evie. Rick leaves the Americans he has already found and Evie together, while he searches for the remaining one, the Professor. Meanwhile the glasses guy is dead. Rick finds the professor too late as well.

The rest of the American group isn’t long for this world as they make terrible decisions. Imhotep goes after Evie by turning himself into sand and trying to seduce her, but Rick saves the day by bringing in a cat. See cats are super important, everyone should have one just in case.

The remaining players regroup as they have a new idea. Find the Book of Life and send Imhotep away. They head to the Museum of Antiquities to discover where the book of life could be hidden, but as they are searching for answers, Imhotep approaches with a zombie army.

Zombies from Night of the Living Dead

While the zombies converge on them, Jonathan leaves the others to the researching while he tries to get their getaway car ready, pretending to be a zombie. Jonathan is like a live action Scooby-Doo character.

They try to get away but the zombie army is too much. They are out of options and Evie goes off with Imhotep after he promises to let her friends go. But of course he reneges on his promise, seriously Evie that never works. Good thing Rick is there as he spots the sewer and uses it as an escape route. Jonathan worries about his sister, but Rick promises he will get her back. Of course, that’s his lady love.

How sweet!

The remaining group finds Rick’s old friend and pilot Winston who has hated retired life, wishing he died in the glory of war like his contemporaries. They recruit him and head to Hamunaptra to try and save Evie.

Imhotep spots the plane and creates a giant sandstorm with his face in it. This scene is awesome and the first one I ever saw, making me desperate to watch the film. In order to save her group, Evie takes one for the team and kisses Imhotep to distract him.

All I can think is, he probably has really bad breath .

Winston dies, getting exactly what he wanted: going out in a blaze of glory. The rest of our adventurers get to the city and start digging for the book of life to stop him. Of course Imhotep can’t have that and they have to try and battle scarab beetles, Imhotep’s mummified priests, and more. These last scenes are fantastic as the action is great and the CGI/animatronics are still really really good.

They find the book and it’s up to Jonathan, who only had a mild interest in his Egyptian roots to save them as he needs to speak the words. While he’s trying to remember everything, Imhotep has begun the ritual to bring his love back. Rick tried to help Evie and distract Imhotep, using an awesome sword he discovered that can hurt mummies.

Jonathan tried to stop the mummy and accidentally awakens more mummies, and if that wasn’t enough drama, Anuk-Su-Mun attacks Evie. There is a lot happening and the only one who can fix everything is not that reliable Jonathan.

Being biracial myself I really have always love this movie for showing biracial characters and I really like this scene with Jonathan struggling with speaking Egyptian. I can easily relate as my Spanish is okay, but when I’m stressed or in a new situation my mind will go blank.

From Clueless

Thanks to Evie’s help he is able to figure out the last word and ends the ritual.

Imhotep tries to kill Jonathan, but Rick saves him with his sword. Imhotep focuses on Rick so much he doesn’t even feel the lift that Jonathan does, making him able to steal the key, open the book to the page needed, and take away Imhotep’s immortality with Rick ending him.

Benni I has found the treasure room and been loading up all the camels to take them with him, but unfortunately due to his greed he takes more than he should engages the self destruct button of the pyramid. Our trio runs away, and are even nice enough to try and save the traitorous coward, but it is no use. Everything collapses and closes.

Our group get on the camels and discover they have all kinds of riches, but Rick and Evie don’t care as they found something more important, each other.

How sweet!
1999themummy

And that ends The Mummy, one fantastic movie I highly recommend.

For more on The Mummy (1999), go to Heaven on Earth: 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

For more mummy movies, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

For more Rachel Weisz, go to I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

For more remakes, go to I’m Not Special, I’m a Monster!: Firestarter (2022)

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