RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... The Mummy (1999)

We're digging up and dusting off a late-'90s favorite beloved for its quick wit, terrifying villain, and charismatic lead in Brendan Fraser. So what did the critics miss?

by | September 23, 2021 | Comments

The Mummy

(Photo by Courtesy the Everett Collection )

The Brendan Fraser renaissance is well underway and we at Rotten Tomatoes are happy to be living in it. After years in the seeming wilderness, the actor is back in a new season of Doom Patrol now available on HBO Max, had a plum role in Steven Soderbergh’s Certified Fresh heist flick, No Sudden Moves, earlier this year, and will soon be seen in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, Brothers (alongside Josh Brolin and Glenn Close), and in Martin Scorsese’s long-anticipated Killers of the Flower Moon.

Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher TuneIn | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19

Fraser’s fans – who include basically anyone who hit a multiplex during his incredible headline run in the 1990s and early 2000s – couldn’t be happier. (Witness the outpouring of support the actor received after the 2018 GQ profile, “What Ever Happened to Brendan Fraser?”, went viral and the world learned of the hardships and injuries he’d suffered during his time as one of Hollywood’s most bankable and ubiquitous leading men.)

Among many flicks in which Fraser has shone throughout the years – Encino Man, George of the Jungle, Airheads, Bedazzled, and even higher-brow fair like Gods and Monsters and Quiet American – it is one film that arguably made him a bona fide superstar and cemented him as a forever-hero for kids who came of age in the 1990s. We’re talking, of course, about The Mummy. (And to a lesser extent, The Mummy Returns… and never ever mentioning that third film ever again.)

With Fraser back on our screens both big and small, we thought we’d revisit director Steven Sommers’ rollicking take on Universal’s classic monster in the latest episode of our podcast Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong. The film, in which Fraser plays the adventurous Rick O’Connell opposite a plucky newcomer named Rachel Weisz and a memorable Arnold Vosloo as the titular bad guy (abs out, bandage-free), didn’t exactly get buried by critics upon its release. Instead it was dismissed as a bit of fluff. As our own Critics Consensus put it, The Mummy wasn’t “any kind of meaningful cinematic achievement, but it’s undeniably fun to watch.”

Fans have been long quibbled with that kind of brush-off. Unwrap this 1999 blockbuster – and a blockbuster it was, making more that $400 million globally – and you discover a true gem of an adventure film packed with state-of-the-art special effects, a ghoulish and fresh-feeling villain, quick wit, killer pacing, electric chemistry… and absolutely terrifying scarab beetles. And it had, at its center, the singularly charismatic, sexy, and comedically gifted Fraser.

Sure, it’s no Indiana Jones, but for many it felt like at least the next big thing.

So, should the movie have a higher Tomatomter score than its currently just-Fresh 61%? Joining regular Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong co-hosts Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley to discuss just that is Eric Striffler of YouTube’s Pretty Much It, where you can hear him commentating some some of your favorite (and least favorite) films and TV shows. Where does he stand on The Mummy, Fraser, and giant sand faces? Tune in to find out.

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

Check out some more episodes of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong:

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Binge Guide zombies animated cancelled television franchise Quiz Comedy 93rd Oscars spy thriller comic books italian APB Disney Channel Discovery Channel zombie jamie lee curtis 4/20 elevated horror Acorn TV boxoffice rotten movies we love doctor who Thanksgiving Paramount Network Pop TV 2017 Wes Anderson Pixar strong female leads Ellie Kemper children's TV comic book movies TruTV Watching Series Trailer Video Games live action know your critic ABC Signature zero dark thirty 2015 Tokyo Olympics BET Awards joker cancelled TV shows spanish language finale razzies christmas movies MCU spain docudrama olympics spider-verse new star wars movies Podcast space stoner Sundance Now ITV Character Guide foreign FXX Countdown transformers First Reviews cops Rom-Com IMDb TV revenge stop motion facebook binge PaleyFest war a nightmare on elm street casting teaser Rock golden globe awards canceled lord of the rings supernatural reboot vs. Disney+ Disney Plus cooking free movies documentary remakes CBS All Access 20th Century Fox HBO Go OWN documentaries rt archives GIFs Best and Worst Writers Guild of America Summer medical drama TV One Ghostbusters king kong Stephen King kong Mindy Kaling Valentine's Day sag awards target 007 Film Festival hollywood NBC ABC Family halloween tv Chilling Adventures of Sabrina romance TLC ViacomCBS serial killer Heroines Comic Book The Arrangement Red Carpet Paramount Plus Sundance TV DGA ratings CNN Spike Tumblr godzilla vampires History Arrowverse IFC Films Schedule art house historical drama ID Neflix HBO new york Opinion VOD japan streaming crime thriller young adult Cartoon Network nature YouTube Premium criterion spanish 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards sopranos dc Christmas james bond Bravo Freeform San Diego Comic-Con nbcuniversal cancelled TV series Year in Review emmy awards venice scene in color TCA cancelled hist versus dogs comedies HBO Max Amazon Prime travel unscripted dark satire Broadway Black Mirror Holiday Infographic Trophy Talk Starz Musicals Cannes politics MSNBC biopic 73rd Emmy Awards hispanic heritage month mutant Super Bowl Tubi El Rey Amazon indiana jones Disney Plus kids composers movies sequel 2016 Creative Arts Emmys TV movies TNT VICE batman movie Vudu discovery TCA Awards Set visit BBC jurassic park Spectrum Originals royal family mob WarnerMedia Elton John Grammys Turner blockbusters DC streaming service Reality Competition blockbuster archives genre science fiction Lionsgate anime E3 Masterpiece Superheroes Netflix Action Animation social media Superheroe Walt Disney Pictures blaxploitation Calendar Logo Disney adventure sports king arthur 24 frames Mudbound Musical Warner Bros. TV police drama toy story toronto diversity book adaptation FX series Box Office Universal Pictures heist movie Horror critics singing competition X-Men rt labs critics edition directors Funimation BBC America thriller 45 71st Emmy Awards Pop Epix child's play Family See It Skip It Amazon Studios Star Wars GLAAD spinoff news Kids & Family trailers twilight Turner Classic Movies international Television Critics Association wonder woman 2019 renewed TV shows 2020 Mystery critic resources cats ESPN talk show Britbox biography cults The Walt Disney Company game of thrones Lifetime Christmas movies Drama aapi OneApp NYCC Teen Film 21st Century Fox Sony Pictures Tomatazos feel good YA Syfy Instagram Live Premiere Dates Adult Swim Mary Tyler Moore period drama nfl Shudder Captain marvel Hear Us Out Esquire Apple TV Plus Hallmark women Anna Paquin A&E book award winner Extras deadpool BBC One Crackle south america Trivia sequels scorecard VH1 Holidays telelvision Pirates boxing legend based on movie TV renewals worst robots The CW 72 Emmy Awards Mary poppins obituary The Walking Dead reviews E! pirates of the caribbean hispanic Lifetime black comedy Biopics ghosts Emmys Universal halloween screen actors guild docuseries 1990s USA Network name the review Lucasfilm films DC Universe Amazon Prime Video disaster Certified Fresh The Purge 2021 Fall TV sitcom AMC stand-up comedy NBA BET crime high school USA A24 FOX Music slasher Awards Paramount indie Apple TV+ independent posters LGBT superhero marvel cinematic universe Fox News worst movies Marvel video on demand Mary Poppins Returns concert basketball SDCC Hulu Classic Film Western National Geographic CW Seed First Look crossover American Society of Cinematographers Pet Sematary Pride Month television ABC hidden camera Martial Arts political drama IFC laika 2018 Disney streaming service kaiju Rocketman Toys parents TCA 2017 best Nominations Marvel Studios gangster dexter Avengers festival The Witch crime drama SundanceTV Television Academy DirecTV werewolf new zealand Alien Dark Horse Comics MTV TCM dceu Nickelodeon Emmy Nominations adenture live event adaptation Fantasy breaking bad chucky Travel Channel AMC Plus dreamworks debate RT21 Comedy Central BAFTA DC Comics comics football Sundance CMT psycho aliens Star Trek RT History superman spider-man comic dramedy theme song Polls and Games suspense Marvel Television Food Network tv talk prank Apple Academy Awards Comic-Con@Home 2021 Election LGBTQ Sci-Fi Song of Ice and Fire Chernobyl Photos Columbia Pictures Peacock rom-coms black Crunchyroll cars scary movies CBS screenings game show asian-american witnail YouTube Red mcc anthology true crime quibi japanese Reality popular natural history what to watch Sneak Peek 90s Exclusive Video Country Spring TV TBS Legendary latino Oscars rt labs australia WGN Winter TV action-comedy canceled TV shows Tarantino The Academy Ovation Cosplay saw Marathons Winners video dragons YouTube cinemax Endgame technology miniseries Showtime TV Land all-time Shondaland streaming movies die hard New York Comic Con Comics on TV Hallmark Christmas movies TIFF justice league comiccon french classics scary Interview Awards Tour richard e. Grant fresh golden globes Nat Geo FX on Hulu Pacific Islander Image Comics TCA Winter 2020 PlayStation romantic comedy mockumentary Brie Larson monster movies green book cartoon President Baby Yoda PBS Netflix Christmas movies Women's History Month festivals GoT harry potter psychological thriller fast and furious universal monsters Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Black History Month Fox Searchlight slashers 99% SXSW rotten comic book movie marvel comics mission: impossible Rocky