When I learned that Tom Cruise was starring in a movie called The Mummy, I was both excited and confused. Excited, because there is no better campy blockbuster franchise than The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. And confused, because there is no better campy blockbuster franchise than The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.
From what I can glean from its trailer, the Tom Cruise version, which also stars Algerian-French actress Sofia Boutella as the eponymous mummy, is a loose reboot of the franchise. It's also the first installment in Universal's Dark Universe, which will include reboots of classic horror films like The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Phantom of the Opera, among others.
Many of these films have already enjoyed truly forgettable reboots in the past — remember that terrible Van Helsing starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale? Or, Emmy Rossum's turn as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera alongside Gerard Butler? And let's not overlook that time The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen tried to assemble all these iconic monsters in one, very male-dominated film. Many of these late 90s, early aughts adaptations do not deserve to be remembered. The Mummy is not one of them.
The original trilogy, which premiered back in 1999 — and gave us the gift of The Scorpion King, the spinoff that launched The Rock's acting career — is a gem. I have nothing but fond memories of sitting with my brother, watching Brendan Fraser fight off the undead as Rick O'Connell, while John Hannah's Jonathan Carnahan bumbles through joke after joke. Must I remind you that we are on the brink of a Frasernaissance? The man is about to star in an FX anthology series, which is comeback gold — just ask Cuba Gooding, Jr. or John Travolta.
But beyond pure nostalgia, as a really nerdy pre-teen girl who held secret ambitions of becoming an archeologist, Rachel Weisz's character, Evelyn Carnahan, was an inspiration: she was smart, she was beautiful, she was ambitious, and she could kick ass when needed.
And don't even get me started on my feelings for sexy Medjai warrior man. (Can he get his own reboot?)
Sure, The Mummy is a product of its time. It has a distinctly 90s vibe, and has most likely not aged well as a piece of art. But for those very reasons, it's a movie worth remembering. It represents a time when the distinctively non-Efron-like (read: swoll) Brendan Fraser was considered leading man material; a time when a fresh-faced actress like Rachel Weisz could wear her hair curly, and still be a sex-symbol; a time having a villain dissolve into a swirling sand storm was the height of special effects; a simpler time.
This isn't to say that I won't rush to see The Mummy when it premieres in theaters on June 9. (The more Mummy, the better, I say!) But I'm just as, if not more excited that I'll get to re-watch the original movies right after.
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