10 Action Librarians
by Susana Polo | 12:32 pm, July 26th, 2011
Evelyn: “Look, I… I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell, but I am proud of what I am.”
Rick: “And what is that?”
Evelyn: “I… am a librarian.“
We’re only talking about the Rachel Weisz incarnation here, because the less said about The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the better. There’s plenty to talk about anyway, as Evie (née Evelyn Carnahan), encounters more over the course of two movies than most librarians would ever anticipate in their wildest Egyptology-section fantasies. Not-so-gainfully employed in the Cairo Museum’s extensive library, Evie’s life is turned upside-down when her lout of a brother, Johnathan, turns up with an odd artifact that just happens to lead the way to Hamunaptra, the fabled, treasure-laden City of the Dead. After breaking Brendan Frasier…I mean, Rick O’Connell out of prison, Evie, her brother, and their requisite prison warden/negative Arab stereotype manage to make it to Hamunaptra. But their adventure has only just begun. Yes, Evie may not be an explorer, or a gunfighter. But after being shot at by the tribe of sand-ninjas that protect the city, climbing into tombs, rejecting the advances of a 3,000-year-old animate magical corpse, stopping the ten plagues from advancing on the world at large, and nearly being a human sacrifice (to say nothing of putting up with the attitudes of academic men towards women in the 1930s), we’d say she more than earns her stripes.
In the blockbuster sequel, 2001’s The Mummy Returns, Evie not only gets an upgrade in wardrobe and the amount of eyeliner she dons, but an upgrade in back-story, as well. As the plot spools out in some amusing gold-spangled flashbacks of high Hollywood Orientalism that Cecil B. DeMille might have enjoyed, Evie is not just a direct descendant of an Egyptian line, but the re-incarnation Nefertiri herself. But this ain’t your grandfather Seti’s Nefertiri (yes, the entire movie it sounds like people are saying “Nefertiti”, but the Word of Wiki would have it otherwise). In a pair of bookending fight sequences against the reincarnation of her own nemesis, Anck-Su-Namun, the lady clearly knows her way around sais, spears, and a host of other edged weapons. Plus, she’s a crack shot with a rifle. Evie repeatedly saves her husband, her brother, and the world, even (oooh, spoiler) coming back from the dead to do so. And if she and Rick are some of the most neglectful parents to make it to the silver screen in recent years, well, we can almost forgive her. She’s got a lot on her flesh-eating-scarab-filled plate.