The Mummy is a 1999 American film written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It is a remake of the 1932 film of the same title and stars Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Kevin J. O'Connor, with Arnold Vosloo in the title role as the reanimated mummy. The film follows adventurer Rick O'Connell as he travels to Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead, with a librarian and her older brother, where they accidentally awaken Imhotep, a cursed high priest from the reign of the Pharaoh Seti I of 1290 B.C.
This is a movie about a man who fooled around with the pharaoh's mistress and lived (and died, and lived again) to regret it. As his punishment he is "mummified alive," sealed inside a sarcophagus with thousands of flesh-eating beetles (which eat flesh "very slowly," we learn). Millennia pass. In the 1920s, a French foreign legionnaire named Rick meets a librarian named Evelyn, and joins with her and her brother in an unwise quest to find Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. (Sample dialogue: "Are we talking about THE Hamunaptra?") They get into a race with other fortune hunters, who have heard of untold treasure buried beneath the sands, while meanwhile the descendants of the high priests, who have guarded the city for 3,000 years, move against them.
There is good reason not to disturb the mummy, named Imhotep. If he is brought back to life, he will "arise a walking disease," we learn, and unleash the 10 proverbial plagues upon Egypt, of which in the course of the movie I counted locusts, fireballs from the sky, rivers running with blood, earthquakes, and flies. Also of course the flesh-eating beetles, although I was not certain whether they were a plague or came with the territory.
Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell: He is a former soldier of the French Foreign Legion in Egypt. His unit tried to prevent the Arab invasions of Hamunaptra. He is married to Evelyn Carahan and they have a son, Alex. He and Evelyn set out on an expedition to the city of the dead, where they found the priest Imothep, whom they had killed. They had to defend Alex in the sequel. They work with Evelyn as agents of the British government. Rick's main hobby is guns. He likes fish from dishes, which he can catch by shooting from a rifle. In the movie The Mummy Returns, he discovers that he is Saint Medjai.
Rachel Weisz as Evelyn O'Connell / Nefertiri: a clever but clumsy Egyptologist in the Cairo Museum of Antiquities. She, along with Rick and her brother Jonathan, travels to the lost city of Hamunaptra, where she hopes to find a rare, ancient book, the book of Amun-Ra.
Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep: The main villain in his 1999 remake The Mummy and its sequel The Return of the Mummy. It was named after Imhotep, a physician and architect who lived in the 27th century BC during the time of Pharaoh Zoser.
Very few movies have what The Mummy has. If you are in the mood for a movie that has action, romance, horror, weird CGI sand, bugs that burrow under your skin and eat you from the inside out, a cat, ancient Egyptian "history," this is the movie for you. It's really a movie for everyone. Maybe not mummies. The 1999 Mummy marked the beginning of the end of the "action-adventure" era of blockbuster movies, which gave us other great stuff like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, the Pierce Brosnan era of James Bond, Ocean's Eleven, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. There was a distinct shift in the early-to-mid-2000s, starting with X-Men and Spider-Man, that the major studios got really into comic book movies that make tons of money and are easy enough to build franchises around, and now Marvel and DC have pretty much taken over where "action-adventure" left off.
Straight-up action movies now are tonally more serious, and the flashier, more fun movies have gigantic budgets and usually a couple of superheroes or dinosaurs or X-wings. It makes low-budget, sharply-directed action movies like John Wick really stand out. The Mummy belongs to a more carefree era, where blockbusters were made for a fraction of today's price and not everything had to set up a franchise. (Yes, The Mummy spawned two sequels and a spinoff franchise in The Scorpion King, but it did that without any post-credits scenes or cliffhanger endings.)