For reasons unknown to me, I’ve never really gotten into The Mummy franchise of movies. After all it has already inspired a spin-off in The Scorpion King which, of course, is a major component of a movie franchise these days. The films aren’t bad in the least; they have high-flying action, CGI effects out the wazoo and plenty of action and adventure. To me, they just feel “manufactured” and that’s about the best way I can describe it.
The movie is loosely based on a film of the same name from 1932 and the plot doesn’t deter too much from that one. We meet Rick O’Connell (Brendan Frasier), an American serving in the French foreign legion who can’t help but stay out of trouble. He winds up with Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) and her brother Jonathan (John Hannah) and the trio is interested in trying to discover the lost city of Hamunaptra. Little do they know that another team is interested in the same thing and they’re playing for keeps. Rick mistakenly awakens the “Mummy” who we met in the prologue of the film and, as they say, he’s back and he’s madder than hell. Chaos ensues and now Rick, Jonathan and Evelyn are fighting to get out alive and keep the mummy hot off their tails.
After watching the film again, I have to admit that it was a little better the second time around. Try not to take everything too literally and just sit back and enjoy the action (what, you mean you’re supposed to suspend your disbelief while watching a movie?) and it’s a good ride. I’ve been a fan of Rachel Weisz for years and though she’s gone onto bigger and better things, I had totally forgotten that she was in this movie. Granted she now has the moniker of “Academy Award Winner” attached to her, but she did a good job here and she and Frasier played off each other very nicely. If you can handle all the CGI effects and are in the mood for an Indiana Jones knockoff, you could do a lot worse than The Mummy.
Video: How does it look?
This is one of those titles that will grace every format and it’s time for its Ultra HD/4K release. If ever there’s a movie in which HDR works in favor, it’s got to be one like this. I really noticed an overall improvement in color, texture and overall dynamic range. Detail seems improved as well. The 2.35:1 HEVC image has certainly benefitted from the upgrade. While there are a few “blips” here and there, the overall image left me with a good impression. It’s well worth the upgrade just to see this in 4K.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio track from the Blu-ray (also included and therefore still present there) has been replaced with a DTS X mix. Dialogue is rich and robust and I don’t think nary a scene went by that the surrounds weren’t emitting some sort of effect. The battle and fight scenes are obviously the heart of the film and they sound amazing, with clanging, bashing and even a few explosions here and there. Plenty of gunfire resonates as well and this all adds up to an amazing audio experience.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I’m sure it’s no coincidence that this movie is coming out on the same day that another title is. But hey, I understand it’s the movie business and if you can sell it once, you can sell it again (and again). This is basically a 4K version of the previously-released special edition and no new content has been included (shocker).
Audio Commentary – Director/Writer Stephen Sommers and Executive Producer/Editor Bob Ducsay. The two have a real sense of humor and that adds a lot to the track, this is still the best of the tracks offered on this release.
Audio Commentary – Brendan Fraser, who lets us know from the start that he won’t have much in terms of in depth information to share, pretty much narrates the film and that is a let down, but his humor really perks up the experience and makes it well worth a listen.
Audio Commentary – Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, and Kevin J. O’Connor, who have a lot to discuss in terms of the production. This is a relaxed and interesting track, as the actors talk about their experiences during the shoot and ask each other questions about their work, very cool track indeed.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Sneak Peek – Nothing like buying a new disc to see a trailer for a film that’s nearly a decade old!
Visual and Special Effects Formation – You can view the process used to create the stunning visuals within the film.
An Army to Rule the World Part 1 – The use of special effects (CGI) seen in the movie as well as some not so subtle references to the 1932 original.
Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy – If you wanted a crash course in the classic Universal monster/horror flicks, this is a good place to start. Notably (and obviously), The Mummy is profiled the most.
Building a Better Mummy – A fifty minute documentary that allows us to take an in depth look at how The Mummy was made. This piece includes all sorts of cast & crew interviews, on location footage, behind the scenes montages, and of course, looks at the special effects techniques used inside the picture.
Deleted Scenes – Three total, none of which really add to the film.
Storyboard to Final Film Comparison – I don’t think this needs a lot of explanation…
Photograph Montage – A glorified photo gallery.
The Bottom Line
On one hand it’s nice to have this in a 4K format and with the plethora of supplements to boot. Unfortunately, there are no new ones so if you’ve watched the previously-released disc, you’ll have seen it all. But I found this version of The Mummy far more enjoyable than the Tom Cruise version. If you’re all about how it looks and sounds (like me), then this might be worth it as the film looks and sounds better than ever before.