I say, jolly good show, chaps. And did I panic? I think not.
#the comic relief who is genuinely comic #and who makes the ‘incompetent bufoon’ trope actually work as an endearing quality as originally intended #well played movie – well played #john hannah #WHAT A FOX
#but! BUT!!!#THE GREAT THING ABOUT JONATHAN#IS HE’S NOT INCOMPETENT#he can read ancient Egyptian albeit not as well as his baby sister#he clearly has an interest in archaeology if only for treasure-related reasons#he had to go through intensive schooling to get the sort of permit required#to even have digs of his own#WHICH HE CLEARLY DOES#on a dig down in Thebes#he says and Evie believes him#Jonathan reads from the Book of the Living and he’s an excellent shot with a rifle and is clearly a boxer#Jonathan is SO COMPETENT and SO IMPORTANT#while simultaneously being plucky comic relief without JUST being plucky comic relief#u get me?
Jonathan, like Phryne Fisher, clearly hasn’t taken anything seriously since 1918.
And, I would suspect, for similar reasons.
^^^This. Jonathan being in World War I makes total sense. It’s
almost impossible for him not to have been. Given his age and background, he probably
volunteered in 1914.
Of course he’s going to not take anything seriously. Of
course he can shoot. The drinking, the skittishness, the recklessness, the
sense of ‘keeping your head down’, the scepticism about traditional heroism….
The one with more actual experience of death, carnage and
fighting is Jonathan. Not Rick. Not Ardeth Bey. Jonathan.
When Rick says ‘I’ve had worse (situation/odds)’ and Jonathan replies “ Me too”. That’s probably true.
Drop The Mummy
into the real world context and that’s a character who’s going to have seen a
lot of his school friends die, along with the myths and tales of heroism they
were raised on. Sort of makes the line where Evie’s scolding him for drinking/messing
about a lot darker…
Evie: Have you no respect for the dead? Jonathan: Of course I do, but sometimes I’d rather like
to join them.
I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS RIGHT NOW
Wait a minute. Why is it being assumed that Rick and Ardeth wouldn’t have fought in WWI, as well? Johnathan isn’t that much older than any of them–in fact, there is a good chance that he, Rick, and Ardeth are all of an age. Just because Johnathan’s hair is thinning doesn’t mean he’s a decade older.
It was a LOT easier to lie about your age back in the day. So much easier.
Johnathan is the soldier who fought in WWI and became disillusionsed with pretty much everything except wanting to live (most of the time) and live well–and where is the shame in that? He would have seen some of the darkest shit humanity has to offer, and he kept going. And the thing is, though, archaeological digs at that time were DANGEROUS. Not from curses (usually) but from assholes who would turn up with guns to try and steal anything you discovered. Johnathan never really STOPPED having to deal with dangerous pricks, it was just less dangerous than death raining down from the sky in bomb, bullet, and mustard gas form all the time.
Rick grew up in Egypt as an orphan. What paperwork? He joined the French Foreign Legion, which fought in World War I in some seriously critical battles on the Western Front in Europe. Rick is the soldier who quickly grew disillusioned with everything, but he didn’t know how to stop being a soldier. Johnathan had a career and schooling to fall back on. Rick had guns, the talent of not dying easily, and not much else. When the army finally left him behind because he was literally the only survivor of his last FFL battle, he literally didn’t know what to do. At all. “Looking for a good time” was code for “Please someone give me a fucking purpose.”
Ardeth grew up in the desert. He probably never enlisted…but if you think his people didn’t fight against invading forces during WWI, think again: that region of North Africa was swarming with soldiers on both sides, and they alll tried to claim everything they stumbled over even while in the midst of fighting each other. Ardeth spent his entire life fighting to protect what belonged to him, what belonged to his people, and trying to keep assholes from stealing things that didn’t belong to anyone (for good reason). By the time the war was over, Ardeth was disillisioned in everyone except his own people, and seriously fucking done with stupid idiots who stole in the name of archaeology. He is completely (justifiably) resigned to the worst when Rick the Magic Survivalist returns to Hamunaptra.
This has been another episode of “Actual History adding context and depth to character behavior”
I love when “The Mummy” fandom comes out to play. But it’s even better when the history side of tumblr is also in “The Mummy” fandom.
Every time this post comes around I am compelled to watch The Mummy again.