Citizen Kane it ain't, but if you're looking for good, silly, H. Rider Haggardesque fun, this is the film for you. While it hasn't replaced the Universal classic in my affections, let's face it, the venerable original creaks a little. I mean, Karloff's Imhotep only moves two feet per hour -- geez, how will I ever escape him? Arnold Vosloo's Mummy is considerably more fleet, and frankly (from the dirty old lady's perspective) is pretty darned buff for a dead guy. A modern affectation, sure, but I like the idea of a mummy with a great butt.
Brendan Fraser looks good, has a fabulous voice, and a whole boatload of goofy charm. Hey! Call me shallow, but that's pretty much all I'm looking for in a screen idol. John Hannah was acceptable, if not inspired, as the wastrel brother. Rachel Weisz is gorgeous, and acquits herself well in the role of "Heroine in an Adventure Film;" i.e., she screams and gets rescued a lot.
OK, I lie. The modern "Heroine in an Adventure Film" is SPUNKY, screams, and gets rescued a lot.
And as to Oded Fehr, who plays the mysterious desert guardian of the mummy's tomb (a role traditionally assayed by Welsh character actors) -- I and the rest of the ladies in my party indicated, through a series of incoherent grunts and some unattractive drooling, a strong desire to see much, much more of him. And we mean that both literally and figuratively. Powers that be, please take note.
A couple of small caveats: the bug quotient in this film is much higher than I usually tolerate. It puts you right off your Milk Duds. And where in the hell did those camels come from?
So if you're in a mood for brainless entertainment, I recommend that you set your intellect on stun, rush to the nearest cineplex, buy the large popcorn (WITH butter), and settle in for a couple of hours of colorful, loud, over-the-top fun.