WATCHED The Mummy on DVD. This movie got mediocre reviews when it was released, but seems to have become popular since its DVD release. I enjoyed it, I thought it was very slick and enjoyable fluff. The special effects are excellent, and the film moves along at a good clip, never bogging down or becoming boring.
What I didn't realize was that this film is a comedy. Unlike the original Mummy and most other horror films, this version is played for laughs. The hero and heroine never seem to be in real danger, every tense scene is undercut by funny banter, the heroine's brother delivers comic lines as a twitty sidekick, and there are multiple references to previous action and horror movies, such as the Indiana Jones movies, and previous film incarnations of the mummy franchise. The special effects are exciting and spectacular rather than scary, and the music, which often is often the main contributor to the viewer's feeling of dread in a horror movie, just doesn't do that.
This leads to some problems with inconsistent tone. The mid-part of the plot is a "10 Little Indians"-style offing of most of the cast, and it's hard to intercut wisecracking humor with people being eaten alive from inside by giant insects. It could be done if The Mummy were a satiric black comedy, but it isn't, it's supposed to be a light-hearted romp. Oh, well. Its other major weaknesses are dialog that just isn't clever enough for the kind of movie it's trying to be, and no real chemistry between the leads, Bendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.
I'll give it three stars out of five. Enjoyable, well worth renting, but probably not a buy.
meaning: speak, talk
hanashi == a talk
denwa == telephone