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Adventure Films To Watch If You Love The Mummy

Actor Brendan Fraser stormed his way through the 1990s, riding a crescendo of enjoyable and successful films that culminated in the 1999 monster adventure flick "The Mummy." The movie brought in more than $416 million at the global box office (via The Numbers) and fared well enough with critics, based on its 61% critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, the only movie in his career to earn more money worldwide was its 2001 sequel, "The Mummy Returns" with $435 million; the poorly received third installment, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," still managed to haul in an impressive $405 million gross at theaters across the world.

For many film fans, "The Mummy" is the first movie to come to mind on the topic of Brendan Fraser, and that's likely to be with universal fondness. It sports a fun story, a solid supporting cast — including Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Oded Fehr, Erick Avari, and Kevin O'Connor — and plenty of on-screen sizzle between Fraser's heroic Rick O'Connell character and Weisz's gorgeously demure Evelyn "Evie" Carnahan. While the sequels never quite captured the magic of the first film — due in no small part to Weisz's departure from the third "Mummy" film over alleged issues with the script (via CinemaBlend) — the franchise as a whole is an enviable feather in Fraser's cap.

With the 2017 "The Mummy" reboot, starring Tom Cruise, it's uncertain if we'll ever see Fraser taking on the risen dead again. For fans looking to get their fix, here are our some of favorite adventure films to watch if you love "The Mummy."

The Indiana Jones franchise

Fans looking to get their adventure fix need look no further than Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, as played by legendary actor Harrison Ford; he's been rocking the whip and fedora combo for the last 30 years! To date, his tenure as the archaeologist-slash-adventurer has resulted in four films, with a fifth "Indiana Jones" film in the works. It all kicked off with 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark," in which Indy searches for the fabled Ark of the Covenant — believed to contain the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed — which is supposed to have the power to make one's army indefatigable. Who would be interested in such an ability? Nazis, that's who; the fascist German regime would appear again as adversaries in 1989's third installment, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," which included a quest for the Holy Grail. 

The second film, 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," served as a prequel to "Raiders" and was primarily set in India, with Dr. Jones taking on a Thuggee cult and its chief priest, Mola Ram (Amrish Puri). While his primary interest would seem to be tracking down the sacred stone the cult had stolen from a local village, Indy also wants to free the enslaved children who were kidnapped from the same locale.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" came out in 2008 and swaps the Soviet Union and its KGB in as Indy's antagonists. It has the distinction of faring the worst with reviewers, though its 78% critics score and Certified Fresh distinction on Rotten Tomatoes simply reflect how beloved the franchise is as a whole.


"Sahara" is a fun 2005 action-adventure flick starring Matthew McConaughey, pre-McConaissance, as late author Clive Cussler's prolific adventurer Dirk Pitt, adapted from the novel of the same name. In "Sahara," Pitt is searching for some long lost treasure: the haul of gold that was loaded onto the Confederate ship CSS Texas at the end of the U.S. Civil War. After rescuing Dr. Eva Rojas (Penélope Cruz) of the World Health Organization, Pitt teams up with friend and partner Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) in search of the riches after finding a piece of the gold in modern-day Mali, itself in the middle of a civil war. Caught up in the middle of things, our hero learns there's more to the mysterious disease affecting the native popular than brutal dictator General Kazim (Lennie James) would like the world to know, as it could essentially prove war crimes and human rights violations he's committed against the rebelling Tuareg people.

Despite its talented cast and intriguing plot, "Sahara" was mostly panned by critics; it's managed a meager 38% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. Viewers were a bit kinder to the film, though, as evident by its 53% audience score. In addition to its lack of critical success, the film was beset by numerous problems, including a massive $160 million budget that was doubled from its original $80 million. As the Los Angeles Times reported, "Sahara" is believed to be $78 million worth of red ink, making it among the biggest box office bombs of all time.

The Librarian franchise

Looking for Indiana Jones, but with a little less swagger and a much bigger brain? Meet Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), the title character of the "Librarian" franchise. Think of The Librarian as the ultimate keeper of knowledge, in addition to being the protector of the actual Tree of Knowledge. Charged with safeguarding artifacts of immense power and wisdom, Flynn recovers the Philosopher's Stone and the Crystal Skull as mere interludes to the main plot of the sequels to the hit 2004 TV movie, "The Librarian: Quest for the Spear." Over the course of three films — including 2006's "The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines," and 2008's "The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice" — the totally bookish and mostly meek hero tracks down the Spear of Destiny, searches for ancient treasure, and meets the girl of his dreams while trying to protect the vampire equivalent of the Holy Grail. That's in addition to inspiring the spinoff TV series "The Librarians," which ran for four seasons on TNT.

Wyle, who served as executive producer on the series, was aiming to offer something different in the fun and family-friendly franchise. "There's certain shows that have a big audience but don't necessarily fit the edgier brand that I think TNT is trying to be. Yet, they bring an audience that's a pretty good demographic," he told IndieWire. "They have been supportive, they have been marketing the show well this year, and the numbers speak to that. I'm hoping that they figure out that it's not an either/or. There's a section of population that really enjoy these types of shows, and it doesn't diminish the sexiness or edginess of the brand to keep them on."

The National Treasure franchise

You can't compile a list of adventure movies worth watching without including the "National Treasure" franchise. The 2004 film and its 2007 sequel, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," feature actor and human meme Nicolas Cage as historian and adventurer Benjamin Franklin Gates. The first installment sees him steal the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., but don't worry, it's totally for a good cause — protecting it from other thieves led by former friend and colleague Ian Howe (Sean Bean). All parties concerned are in search of a storied treasure trove from the Founding Fathers and believe the Declaration contains a clue that'll put them closer to their goals of finding it. 

The sequel sees Gates setting about defending the honor of his ancestor Thomas Gates, who was tasked with decrypting John Wilkes Booth's journal; he did so and failed to stop the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, ultimately dying at the hand of Confederate sympathizers. When a black market dealer named Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris) smears Thomas Gates' name, courtesy of the lost pages from Booth's journals, Ben is none too pleased and quests to set the record straight. 

A third film is still reportedly in the works, as is a "National Treasure" series on Disney +. With nearly a decade and a half since the last installment, fans have wondered if and when "National Treasure 3" will be released. "What I felt happened is even though the movies were extremely successful and had a really strong fanbase, it's a movie that gets brought up all the time, the company was never able to capitalize on it as a franchise," executive producer Jason Reed told Collider.

The Scorpion King

The "Mummy" franchise was so successful, it spawned a spinoff film series tied to the second movie. "The Mummy Returns" sees our hero trying to save his son, who's foolishly put on the Bracelet of Anubis and will die if they don't get him to the mythical locale of Ahm Shere in a week's time. There, Rick O'Connell does battle with the equally mythical Scorpion King, who sold his soul to Anubis in ancient times. In "The Scorpion King" movie, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson — in his first lead role — takes on the part of Akkadian warrior Mathayus, not yet in the form of the arachnid royalty he'd become later in life. Instead, Mathayus is a mercenary and has been hired to kill Cassandra (Kelly Hu), the sorceress of the evil would-be tyrant Memnon (Steven Brand) who's conquering tribe after local tribe.

"The Scorpion King" spawned four direct-to-video sequels in its own right, though it was one and done for Johnson. The second film, "The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior," is a prequel that sees a younger Mathayus (Michael Copon) questing to avenge his father's death at the hands of Sargon (Randy Couture), the evil ruler of Akkad. "The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption" picks up the story shortly after the first film, with Mathayus (Victor Webster) ruling, though he soon lets his kingdom fall apart and becomes a mercenary again. Webster became the first actor to reprise the role in "The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power," which sees Mathayus questing for a sacred relic of untold power. In the fifth film of the series, "The Scorpion King: Book of Souls," a new Mathayus (Zach McGowan) is after a cursed sword that grows in power by taking the souls of its victims. 

The original Jumanji

The thing about "Jumanji" is there are plenty of options from which to choose, but nothing beats the '90s original, starring Robin Williams. The late, great comedic actor took on the role of the adult version of Alan Parrish, a young boy who gets sucked into the game in the 1960s, literally; he's trapped in the world of the titular magic board game. Had young Alan done the sensible thing and thought better of picking up an old board game buried in a construction site to which he was summoned by tribal drumming, there would have been no film at all. A couple of decades later and young Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter Shepherd (Bradley Pierce) are living in the old Parrish house and discover the cursed board game, unwittingly releasing Alan from its confines. While it would be great to just stop playing, the only way to stop the insanity is to keep going and for someone to win. That means tracking down Alan's old friend Sarah (Bonnie Hunt), with whom he was playing the night he disappeared and who was traumatized by the events of that evening.

In addition to the sequel it would later receive, "Jumanji" was spun off into a slightly more technological direction with 2005's "Zathura: A Space Adventure." Of course, in 2017, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" served as the first direct sequel to the original film and saw the game change media into a video game, with heavy hitters like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black as part of the cast — they'd all reprise their roles in 2019's "Jumanji: The Next Level."

The Tomb Raider franchise

Just like the "Jumanji" franchise, viewers have options when it comes to the adventures of Lara Croft. The 2001 action adventure film, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," saw actor Angelina Jolie bring the title character to life in all her skin-tight glory. Her first outing as the titular adventurer and star of the "Tomb Raider" video game franchise sees her up against the Illuminati, joined by a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig as they race to assemble an object that allows the person who wields it to control time. Jolie reprised the role in 2003's "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life," with the on-screen sparks this time flying between her and still-rising star Gerard Butler as the two seek out Pandora's Box.

Jolie declined to take up the role a third time and "Tomb Raider" rebooted the franchise in 2018, with actor Alicia Vikander taking up the mantle of Lara Croft in what amounts to an origin story — the first Jolie-helmed film started off Lara's story in medias res, with her already an established adventurer. The young Lara is searching for her father, archaeologist Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West), who's gone missing while researching a mythical ruler of an ancient land. The reboot failed to impress critics, managing a middling 52% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, but Vikander received praise for her performance and the movie did well enough at the box office for a "Tomb Raider" sequel to get the green light.


"Stardust" springs to life from the brilliant mind of celebrated writer Neil Gaiman, whose work is also being adapted into Netflix's "Sandman" series. The 2007 fantasy adventure romp follows the exploits of Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox), a bumbling but romantic young shopkeeper who's so smitten with local beauty Victoria (Sienna Miller) that he promises to journey to retrieve a fallen star for her hand in marriage. First, he receives some fatherly advice from his old man, Dunstan Thorn (Nathaniel Parker), who shares with him something Tristan's mother left behind. Back in the day, Dunstan had journeyed beyond the wall for which his town is named into a land of magic, the kingdom of Stormhold. There, he conceived Tristan with a girl chained to a wagon in a magical marketplace — OK, it doesn't sound too romantic when put like that. Months later, Dunstan gets a knock on his door from the guardian of the wall, who delivers Tristan to him.

Tristan's mother left for him a Babylon candle, a magical object that allows anyone who wields it to be teleported to what their heart desires most. While Tristan thinks he's going to meet his mother, his infatuation with Victoria leads him to the star he'd promised to retrieve. The catch is, the star has taken the form of a woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes) after being knocked out of the sky by a locket and Primus (Jason Flemyng) and Septimus (Mark Strong), the two remaining sons of the King of Stormhold, seek said locket as the key to inheriting the throne from their father. Then there's the evil witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) who wants the star so she and her two sisters can eat her heart and prolong their lives.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Like "Stardust," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" came from the mind of a legendary graphic novel writer, in this case Alan Moore, whose credits include "V for Vendetta" and the "Watchmen" movie. "LXG," as the film was marketed, adapts the graphic novel series of the same name and unites a handful of popular adventure characters as the titular team. Legendary big game hunter and adventurer Allan Quartermain (Sean Connery) is recruited out fo Africa to lead a squad featuring the likes of Dorian Grey (Stuart Townsend), whose immortality is tied to a portrait that ages in his stead; Wilhelmina Harker (Peta Wilson), whose vampirism is a result of her husband Jonathan's former employment by Count Dracula; the Invisible Man, Rodney Skinner (Tony Curran), a thief who stole the secret to invisibility from its creator; Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), captain of the submarine Nautilus and maybe a pirate as well; American secret service agent Tom Sawyer (Shane West); and Dr. Jekyll (Jason Flemyng) and his abominable counterpart, Mr. Hyde. The mysterious M (Richard Roxburgh) convenes the League to stop a plot by the equally mysterious Fantom to start a war by bombing a gathering of world leaders.

The ambitious adventure film drew characters from the works of Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, H.G. Wells, and more, just like its comic book inspiration. It fared well at the box office — grossing $179 million against a $78 million budget (via The Numbers), though critics weren't as kind to the edgy steampunk romp as audiences.

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

Action, adventure, and forces beyond what mere mortals can reckon await viewers in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, no doubt the most successful cinematic adaptation of a theme park ride that will ever exist. The swashbuckling adventure series follows the misadventures of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who's simply trying to get his ship, the Black Pearl, back in the first film. In the course of events, his path crosses with that of pirate-obsessed socialite Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightly), the daughter of the governor of Port Royal, and Will Turner, the blacksmith who's in love with her — so much so that he'll break Jack out of prison if he agrees to help rescue her from her pirate captors who just so happen to be the mutinous crew that marooned Jack, stealing his ship in the first place. It's like it was meant to be!

The 2003 film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" spawned a trilogy featuring Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swan, and the mutinous Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), followed up by "Dead Man's Chest" in 2006 and "At World's End" in 2007. Depp and Rush both returned for the fourth and fifth installments, "On Stranger Tides" in 2011 and "Dead Men Tell No Tales" in 2017. Together, the films have grossed more than $4.5 billion worldwide (via The Numbers) and a sixth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie will reboot the franchise without Depp at the wheel, reportedly owing to his highly publicized domestic issues (via CinemaBlend).

The Princess Bride

Adventure lovers who haven't seen the cult classic "The Princess Bride" would do well to resolve that issue as quickly as possible. It packs in plenty of heart and wit, in addition to danger and excitement. Adapted from the novel of the same name, "The Princess Bride" follows the travails of Westley (Carey Elwes), a young stableboy who serves Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) without question, with the two eventually falling in love. Westley sets off to make something of himself in order to be worthy of Buttercup's hand in marriage but is waylaid by the Dread Pirate Roberts, well known for taking no prisoners. Heartbroken, Buttercup is engaged to Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) against her will. Thankfully — yes, thankfully — she is kidnapped before her wedding by three scallywags, a thief named Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), a giant named Fezzik (André "The Giant" Roussimoff), and a swordsman named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Pantinkin) who seeks to avenge his father's death and spawn a million memes. They're pursued by Prince Humperdinck and his soldiers, in addition to a mysterious man in black.

The 1987 film is an enduring favorite among movie lovers of multiple generations. While it didn't smash any box office records — it grossed $31 million globally against its $15 million budget (via The Numbers) — it was a modest financial success. The film is eminently quotable, with Inigo Montoya's remarks about avenging his father repeated for decades. "The Princess Bride" holds an enviable 97% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and is Certified Fresh.