The Mummy: The Path to Becoming a Bisexual Movie Paradigm


When I think back to the moment I first saw The Mummy (1999), I can't remember exactly where I was. The movie seemed to have been made for hieroglyphic-obsessed teenagers searching for stray vipers on the sidewalk. Maybe I was in a movie theater, watching the death scenes of those carnivorous saint beetles through the cracks in my hands; maybe I was at a sleepover trying to stay in my sleeping bag as the adrenaline spiked; or maybe I simply stumbled upon the film during a night of channel surfing, witnessing some of the best hair styles blowing in the locust-infested winds. In either case, I'm sure I don't remember the details because I was too busy watching fascinating characters searching for treasure in hotter deserts, too busy pretending my little world wasn't crumbling at the speed of a frivolous camel race.




However, 25 years after its release, there's another key reason why this movie has stirred so much of our imagination in the way it has. Vyse and Fraser are obviously beautiful, but that's true for basically every star in every action movie. It's worth noting, for example, that when the 2017 reboot of The Mummy attempted to draft Tom Cruise's smash hit, with huge computer-animated action scenes and no memorable romance, it failed miserably enough for Universal to scrap much of its planned "Monsters" universe altogether. It's not enough to choose competent action heroes and expect sparks to fly. For any movie that sends a major character into mortal danger and back again, heat is a prerequisite at the most basic level. It's rare - especially nowadays - to see such an action movie as The Mummy it prioritizes the electrical chemistry of its protagonist as well as the explosive twists and turns of its plot. "Everyone is beautiful, no one is horny," as Benedict memorably and succinctly puts it, and God forbid a character should feel a tremor of desire while trying to save the world! More and more people feel that Hollywood blockbusters are happy to show their audiences the appearance of sex, rather than the tantalizing possibilities of foreplay, or the satisfaction that comes when it becomes more important.

Thankfully, the memo came too late for Evie and Rick. After connecting and having a child, shown here five years after The Mummy Returns, they did nothing to quell their inner need to throw each other against a wall, a bed, a dusty grave, whatever it took. Without their shared hunger, The Mummy would have been the perfect adventure movie. With it, The Mummy became much bigger than itself, a beacon of bisexuality for the movie age.

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