Monday, September 29, 2014

Rick O'Connell and mummies

Over the last couple nights I've been watching The Mummy again whenever I get a few moments to sit and enjoy the quiet. Every time I watch it I'm reminded how much I enjoy it. This has been my seventh or eighth time watching it, so I thought it was high time I reviewed it.

The general gist of the movie is a take on Tutankhamen's supposed curse. The one everyone likes to say killed Carter's golden canary and Lord Carnarvon. Only the curse in the movie is real, and comes to life along with the mummy unearthed by library Evy Carnahan, her older brother Jonathan, and Rick O'Connell. Soon the mummy is set lose in Cairo and Rick, Evy, and Jonathan have no choice but to stop him before the world is destroyed.

I think all Archaeologists have that one fake Archaeology movie they love. Indiana Jones is a good example, though I have yet to met an Archaeologist who really likes the movies. On the dig I met a girl who loved Atlantis, the animated movie where they all go searching for the lost city of Atlantis. Well, for me, my fake Archaeology movie is The Mummy. I could list all the technical reasons for it. How in some ways it is more accurate than Indiana Jones. How O'Connell at least doesn't knock tombs down and break statues. How it is set in Egypt and how O'Connell frightens the mummy with a cat - which was just one of those moments thrown in for a good laugh. But, while those are important reasons for me liking it, they aren't the main one.

The main one is I just love the characters.

First off is Evy, the clumsy librarian who wants to go on a dig because her history nerd side refuses to be kept locked up in a library. I felt like I had a kindred spirit in her. As much as I love libraries, I would leave one in a heart beat if it meant digging in the dirt for dead guys. And then there is that, her moment with O'Connell just as they are opening the sarcophagus and Evy says, "I've dreamed of this moment since I was a little girl." And O'Connell says, "You dream of dead guys?" That is a dream I share.

Second is Jonathan, Evy's older brother. A treasure hunter who wants to get rich in the least risky way possible and fails miserably. He is something of a coward, until there is real danger, then he is always in the middle of it. For example, when the camp is attacked and he joins in shooting the Bedouins while drinking a dead guy's whiskey with Beni. I didn't really start to like Jonathan until the third or forth time I saw the movie, then I realized what a fun character he was. He might be lazy and pull pranks with mummies, but anyone threaten to kill his little sister to bring to life their dead girlfriend and he will rip their throats out. Or at least fight mummies and statues, or try and control them. You get the idea.

Lastly of course is my favorite, O'Connell. Daring, rash, travels on boats heavily armed, O'Connell is the kind of adventurer I can't help but loving. He can take things seriously one moment and be cracking jokes the next. He carries grudges - though I don't think there are many of us who wouldn't be tempted to throw Beni overboard. He shots like an American - by this I mean Quartermain's description in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. "Shot as many bullets as possible and hope you hit the target." He's a fun character with plenty of courage to give the viewer something to cheer over.

Of course, there are the beetles, but O'Connell is worth enduring the beetles. 

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