The Mummy (1999)

Directed by Stephen Sommers

Dashing legionnaire Rick O'Connell stumbles upon the hidden ruins of Hamunaptra while in the midst of a battle to claim the area in 1920s Egypt. It has been over three thousand years since former High Priest Imhotep suffered a fate worse than death as a punishment for a forbidden love—along with a curse that guarantees eternal doom upon the world if he is ever awoken.

Okay, hear me out. What if took all the story beats from Indiana Jones, made it even more racist, and then excised all charm and removed any deeper metaphors? Not enough? Okay, let's make it almost completely forgettable.


All the Arabs in this 1999 film, set during the 1920s, are accorded roughly the same respect, affection, and humanity as black people in The Birth of a Nation. Thanks to the example of Lucas-Spielberg, guiltless colonialism backed by endless gun power is still the name of the game.

Jonathan Rosenbaum


The undead Egyptian priest, I guess, seem[s] to lack the philosophical and/or erotic possibilities of the Frankenstein and Dracula legend. […] A cheesola opening sequence [r]epresents ancient Egypt as an enormous Vegas hotel, complete with showgirls in fishnet jumpsuits and gold lami body paint. What we've really got here is a tame screwball adventure dressed up with some desert scenery and some awful computer graphics. (Somehow there's cosmic justice in the fact that movie makers can now spend the gross national product of Romania on special effects and still wind up with something that looks like a teenager's Web page.)

Andrew O'Hehir


Imhotep is gutted, bandaged and shoved in a coffin full of flesh-chomping bugs – and that's before they know about his involvement in this movie.

Desson Howe (Washington Post)