Released in 1999 (and acting as a remake of the original 1932 film) The Mummy sees us tagging along as Rick O’Connell and company, in the words of O’Connell himself “…Kill the bad guy, save the world.”

Featuring a rather jovial cast of characters, most notable among them being Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell — gun slinger, wise-cracker, tough guy. Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan, a bookish Egyptologist. John Hannah as Jonathan Carnahan, Evelyn’s loose-lipped, irresponsible, cowardly brother. Oded Fehr as Ardeth Bay, apparent leader of an ancient order of guardians, and Arnold Vosloo as High Priest Imhotep — the titular mummy.

While there are certainly others that add to the roster, The Mummy does well to focus on the chemistry between its characters, whether they are with, or against each other — much in the same vein as other film series such as Star Wars or Indiana Jones.

Honestly, the chemistry between leads Fraser and Weisz does well to keep this movie’s entertainment well from running dry, as does Fraser’s chemistry with practically everyone.

They made good casting decisions.

So the cast may be jovial, but the reception for The Mummy was less so. Most of the reviews I read (from recognized film critics, not simply fans) were in a consensus that the strength lies in the cast, while everything else is kind of ridiculous.

I am inclined to agree. However, I had a blast with this movie.

To sum it all up, this is a movie where you just sit back, relax, turn your brain off, and watch Fraser shoot things and drop one-liners.

I mean, the plot of “An Egyptian mummy is accidentally brought to life and seeks revenge on those who awakened him, and whom also wants to bring his dead girlfriend back to life” does sound ridiculous, but this movie makes a case for why having decent, likeable characters can make a ridiculous plot a fun romp as opposed to an insufferable nightmare.

Rick O’Connell is basically Indiana Jones if Indiana Jones found himself in Egypt.

He has that “dashing rouge” style, he’s brusque in his interactions, isn’t afraid to shoot his way out of a situation, and is always ready to make a quip or drop a one-liner.

For all his macho gruff though, some of his reactions are what you would expect from a normal person, such as a wide-eyed stare or an incredulous “Oh, my God.”

Evelyn Carnahan (or “Evie” as she is normally referred to) is actually a pretty well-rounded character, and she’s honestly a good example of a well-written female lead.

Her knowledge of ancient Egypt comes in handy throughout the entirety of the film, and she’s allowed to make mistakes too.

For example, she’s the one who awakens the mummy, but she realizes her mistake and vows to correct it, and she can arguably handle herself as much as any of the other cast.

She’s not pointing a gun at anything that so much as moves, but she survives long enough on her own to steer clear of “damsel in distress” territory.

Not to mention that her first scene involves her knocking over an entire library’s worth of bookshelves (arranged in a domino-like manner, for whatever reason), but that scene isn’t played for “Wow, look, she’s really dumb” type laughs because it’s made abundantly clear that she’s intelligent.

She’s not there just to look good, ladies and gents.

I won’t analyze every single character, but the point is that the cast is this movie’s greatest strength.

Now, I really don’t have any criticisms of this film that aren’t just nitpicks, but I would be remiss to not mention the effects.

They were great in 1999, but in 2020… not so much.

That sounds bad, but they’re really not bad as much as they’re obvious, such as the opening scenes that recreate an Egyptian city, or the mummy in his decomposed form.

It’s very obvious, but at least in the case of the mummy, it’s so grotesque that it doesn’t even matter because looking at it just sends… something down your spine. (Whether that’s chills or laughs depends upon you, but I thought it was pretty gross.)

Although some of them are still subject to some “Wow” moments even today, like the sand wall.

There also is a little bit of “telling the audience things so they’re in the loop.”

For example, one character mentions Pharaoh Seti I, so another character asks who that is so the audience knows what’s going on.

Of course, I can’t really fault that because unless you’re an Egyptologist, the average person isn’t going to know much (or care) about ancient Egypt other than “pyramids and mummies” so I’ll give it a pass.

Final Rating: B

Of course, what makes this movie “work” so to speak, is that it’s not trying to be anything else. It doesn’t pretend to be some historically accurate drama or character-driven study about the trials of being human.

It’s entertainment, point-blank, and entertainment should be, well, entertaining. On that front, it certainly succeeds.

So would I recommend The Mummy? Yeah, I would. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a shot.