At work we often engage in nonchalant discussions, in an attempt to alleviate the monotony of our day. Conversations of varying triviality. Some concerning the chauvinistic projecting of the hierarchical faculty that operate there. That parade across the warehouse like conquering hero’s. Whose mere presence inspires reverence in those subordinates, humbled by their eminence. We discuss the habitual tribulations of living with our respective partners. Provide sound, gaming recommendations that are heeded with gracious civility, but ultimately ignored. Indulge in eloquent consultations regarding the size, consistency and overall aroma of our respective bowel movements. But cinema is always the fertile ground for stimulating work place discourse. Particularly when you disagree.
It’s wonderful to debate with people that share similar interests, but different perspectives. You learn more about your own reasoning when confronted by an alternative opinion that is as committed as your own. With one such instance, deliberated with a colleague, regarding the legitimate quality of Brendan Fraser’s “The Mummy” movie. A subject that has become an infrequent, yet divisive topic of discussion. Often cited by myself, as barometer for comparative quality. And I say this with genuine sincerity. “Well Citizen Kane was good, but it’s not Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy good”. An equivalence I think “some” of us will agree with. I unironically love this movie. I have an unashamed proclivity fir it that has only endured since I watched this mythical masterpiece back in 99.
Now I’ll admit my preferential regard towards this movie is somewhat skewed by my inflated, nostalgic adolescence. It was after all the first 12 certificate movie I was officially permitted to watch at the cinemas. And there’s a certain wistful cache attached to that. “The Mummy” is energetic, irreverent and fun. With creativity for days. You only have to look at that abominable Tom Cruise excretion that was “The Mummy” remake, remake, to see that they plagiarised that whole sand wall trick from Fraser’s Mummy movie. Bastards! In contrast, evident by the judicious admission of my work colleague, there are a small, dedicated contingent that regard Fraser’s Mummy with less reverence than I believe it deserves. Echoing the divisive critical response it received on it’s initial release.
The individual in question, whose dislike of the movie, is not intended as a grievance to agitate its supporters. Nor a contrarian aversion to its popularity. Just subjective confusion of its venerated acclaim in the public consciousness. This isn’t an irrational or biased evocation, but an informed, judicious opinion. One that I disagree with, but respect. My interpretation of his enmity is that Fraser’s version absconds from its predecessors atmospheric terror, thereby diluting the horror that was the essence of the originals conception. Instead deriving preferred inspiration from movie’s like Indiana Jones. A frequent accusatory comparison by those that believe “The Mummy” is just a poor imitation of Indiana Jones. But when a movie is better than half of that lauded franchise, is that really a legitimate complaint?
Through no fault of its own, other than being awesome, “The Mummy” has attained the rather unfortunate notoriety of being recognised as the “original” Mummy movie. A fallacious ignorance that has only been further compounded by the maligned Tom Cruise abortion. With many modern audiences oblivious to the Boris Karloff classic. Which I think says as much about the the ignorance of cinema goers, as it does about the quality and longevity of Fraser’s iteration. As well as demonstrating my persuasive advocacy for high art, which this most certainly…isn’t. Not really. But it was never intended to be. The filmmakers were cognisant to the fact that they were making something dynamic, absurd and as far removed from the Karloff original they could get, without completely removing its horror organs into canopic jars. Which they dutifully revelled in. And I admire the instinctive acuity for trying something different, when they could quite as easily just done the same again, with updated effects. And I will defend this movie for as long as I live. The sequel on the other hand, well, I don’t think there is a curse severe enough to punish its violation to cinema!
What do you guys think? What movie would you defend, regardless of it’s reputed quality. Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.