From a very young age, I’ve been obsessed with Indiana Jones (my dog’s name is Indi!). Something about discovering ancient remains and disturbing the peace was so thrilling. I also loved a little film called George of the Jungle and vividly remember having my first real crush on a man…the ineffable (but extremely effable) Brendan Fraser. Imagine my delight when The Mummy came out a few years later. My leading man dredging around the dessert, discovering lost civilizations and awakening the slumbering Imhotep? I was in love.
And still am.
When I caught wind that a movie called THE MUMMY was coming out this year, I was SO excited. But Brendan was nowhere to be seen. In his place stood Tom Cruise. I felt so betrayed. Why would they deny Mr. Fraser this part?
Turns out it’s a completely different franchise. Which led be to some very important research…Which Mummy is better?
Let’s start off with our log lines (snatched straight fro Wiki)
TM 1999: The film follows adventurer Rick O’Connell, who travels to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, with an archaeologist and her brother. There they accidentally awaken Imhotep, a high priest from the reign of the pharaoh Seti I, who has been cursed for eternity.
TM 2017: Iraq, soldier-of-fortune Nick Morton and his partner Chris Vail accidentally discover the tomb of Ahmanet after staging an airstrike on an insurgent stronghold. They unearth the tomb of erased Egyptian Princess, Ahmanet. She select’s Nick as her chosen one, determined to sacrificially kill him and turn him into a living god.
Here’s a peek at our villains:
Ahmanet’s kiss drains the life out of the receiver, rendering them a mindless mummy controlled by her will. She has a grip on Nick – her chosen one’s- mind, but it isn’t super strong.
Imothep can control sand storms and water, turn himself into sand, and control hordes of the undead.
Winner: Imhothep. Hands down.
Tom Cruise plays Nick, our solider turned Chosen One. He’s not nearly as swoon-worthy as BF but he is a solid action hero.
I am FULLY aware this is not Brendan Fraser in the Mummy, but come on. Brendan Fraser has more charisma and…depth in his portrayal of a monster-hunting hero.
Winner: BF. Obvs.
It feels a little unfair to compare the movies special effects, considering there’s nearly twenty years between the films. While TM’99 didn’t have as high of a fear factor as TM’17 does, the effects of Imhotep were pretty sick at the time.
But man, TM’17 is pretty cool. From the plane crash to the mercury embalming, the mummy army and Ahmanet in general, I can’t deny the bad assery.
I’d compare the leading ladies, but no one could possibly hold a candle to Evie. She wins. Everything. All the time. (Though I totally love that they’re both bad ass, smart women that save the day).
The 90’s franchise of THE MUMMY wrapped up each of their films nicely. They set up spin-offs elegantly enough that I was actually looking forward to them. (And the Rock is dream boat all on his own).
2017 THE MUMMY was a bit of a hot mess when it came to the various tangents. Nick’s love interest, archeologist Jenny, is not just a scientist. She works for a secret organization headed by Russel Crowe – aka Henry Jekyll (yup). He aids in capturing Ahmanet and holding her in his research facility. He encourages Nick to allow himself to be killed, saving the world from the destructive powers that is Ahmanet. When Dr. Jekyll and Nick argue, Dr. J misses a very important injection and yeah…they go there. He goes into Hyde mode. To be honest, I can’t even really summarize what happens with that whole plot line. I’m assuming it will be discussed in subsequent films. The movie ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, making me believe they’ll be more movies (even though this one was considered a bit of a flop despite raking in 385m).
At the end of the day, TM’17 won’t have the following or staying power that TM’99 does. Was it cool and a bit creepy? Yeah! Am I going to binge watch it 274 times over the next decade or two? Nope.
Winner: THE MUMMY (1999)
Brendan, in the words of Sinead O’Connor, nothing compares to you.