It’s hard to say which summer movie suffers the most from the presence of the other: Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Obviously, the latter owes its very existence to the former. When writer/director Stephen Sommers launched The Mummy franchise for Universal in 1999, it bore far more in common with the Indiana Jones cycle than the 1932 Boris Karloff movie it was supposedly a kinda sorta reimagination of.
While George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg looked to old B-movies and serials for inspiration, turning out an A-list B-movie in their Indy franchise, The Mummy was a B-movie version of their A-list B-movie, taken the historical swashbuckling action flick back to its shoddier roots, with star Brendan Fraser’s self-aware charm and an at times nauseating amount of computer animation to separate it as a good-bad movie version of old bad-bad movies. Continue reading