In 1999 we got a taste of what would happen when a classic horror moved was revamped with heavy elements of nostalgic action/adventure.
I remember the trailers appearing on TV when I was younger and being excited about something that felt entirely like a mix of movies that I knew and loved and a whole new boundary being entered… death is only the beginning, The Mummy Trilogy Review begins!
Once Upon A Pyramid
“We are part of an ancient secret society. For over three thousand years, we have guarded the City of the Dead. We are sworn at manhood to do any and all in our power to stop the High Priest Imhotep from being reborn into this world.”
The first movie introduces us to the tale of high priest Imhotep, who was in a forbidden relationship with Anck Su Namun, the Pharaoh Seti’s Mistress. When the Pharaoh discovers their deception, the two turn the tables murdering him.
What could have been a happy ending quickly turns into tragedy as the guards catch up to them. Anck Su Namun chooses to commit suicide while Imhotep is bestowed with the Hom-Dai, the most feared curse of all. He is mummified alive in Hamunaptra, the city of the Dead.
Fast forward to 1923; adventurer Rick leads Egyptologist Evelyn and her brother Jonathan to mysterious Hamunaptra. While Jonathan is only out for the treasures, Evelyn wants to search for the Book of the Living, to clarify knowledge about the ancient Egyptians.
Unfortunately, they and a rivaling group of careless adventurers free Imhotep’s mummy from his eternal prison. Freed of his bonds the high priest is on the loose, the adventurers and scientists face not only a dangerous enemy but also Imhotep wants to bring Anck Su Namun back to life by using Evelyn’s body.
While his ideal is to bring his vision of the world by annihilating any who oppose to him, Rick uses his cunning to try and save the world.
So overall, I loved this movie, everything came together and made it a great cinematic experience that I still go back and enjoy even today. The cast does an excellent job of not only playing off each other’s characters but also at creating a defined sense of drawing us into the story.
“Lady, I don’t behave for my parents. What makes you think I’m going to do it for you?”
The Story Isn’t Over
All right so the first movie garnered a reaction that led to a sequel. It came just 2 years later, and our cast returned to give us another adventure in which not only do we gain more characters but also a harrowing storyline that draws our characters deeper into danger than they have been before.
Set ten years after the first movie, the film features the now married Rick and Evelyn O’Connell who now have an adorable and mischievous son, Alex. While they are enjoying married life, Imhotep is resurrected by an Egyptian cult to steal the Army of Anubis from the Scorpion King.
The Scorpion King is an ancient immortal warlord who will join his army to end the world if he is awakened. When Alex is kidnapped during a raid on the O’Connell’s home, they must get their son back and save the day.
While this one is one of those that for me didn’t hit the same notes as the first, it still had its charms and defining moments. Ones that held you in their world, where you couldn’t dare to turn away. The new characters did add to the movie, and the dynamic was terrific.
“The curse must never be lifted… or the Emperor will rise again, to enslave all of mankind. On that dark day, there will be nothing and no one, to save us.”
Wrap It Up!
Last in the series came seven years later in 2008, this time with a different location and a new villain. In Ancient China, the tyrannical Dragon Emperor united the kingdoms under his rule after acquiring magical powers.
However he betrays the woman who helped him, and as revenge, he is sealed away. In 1946, the O’Connell’s are on an archeological survey in Shanghai when two members of a rogue military faction release the Emperor to use him to reunite the war-torn country by any means necessary.
This one for me wasn’t in the vein of the previous two movies, but I adored Jet Li and loved his Emperor. It is still worth a watch and re-watching as each time I watch; I take it as a separate part of the story.
It makes me think of all the adventure novels and how each time the hero would be in a different world almost, even if the story arcs always played the same notes. You know the damsel in distress, a villain who must have a monologue, the champion hero and scrappy sidekick.
All In All?
Overall this series is a favorite of mine; I admit they are not up to everyone’s alley and quite honestly they are not without flaws. However, they do have a good story that I enjoy and a cast that makes the series enjoyable. What about you readers? What are some of your favorite guilty pleasures?