Attraction of the week: Universal Studios Singapore's Revenge of the Mummy
Published: October 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM
Now this is an attraction entrance!
Universal and Resorts World Sentosa spared no expense in crafting a more impressive entrance for this version of Mummy than you'll find at either Universal Studios Florida or Universal Studios Hollywood. It's the centerpiece of an entire "Egypt" section of the park.
The facade's not the only change in Singapore's version of Mummy. Universal Creative's given us a much darker narrative than on either of the US Mummies. There's no Brendan Fraser silliness here. As I wrote in my review of Universal Studios Singapore last year,
"While Hollywood's version of the ride allows you to triumph over the undead fiend Imhotep and Orlando's puts your triumph in doubt, there's no question who wins on this version of Mummy.
And it ain't you."
Inside the queue
"Singapore's Mummy confronts you with the macabre immediately, as you start the ride with a scene of an explorer being mummified alive. He warns you to find the Book of the Living, for it is the key to defeating Imhotep. You are then immediately whisked into the treasure chamber, where Imhotep tempts you with the riches for pledging your souls to him, before giving you the 'or else.' Guards descend from the ceiling, as you are turned toward a crypt of scarab beetles. The coaster then darts backward and turns as Imhotep taunts you another time.
"From there, your train launches up and forward into the darkened roller coaster segment of the ride. After several twists, dips and hops, you emerge into the final show scene, where you see the Book of Living, just before Imhotep comes to claim you. In a final fiery display, you descend into Hell, as Imhotep taunts you again with the warning 'Death is just the beginning.'"
If Disney's core emotion is an earnest wistfulness (with the Brand Name: "Magic!"), Universal's has always been the wisecrack. While that attitude has helped Universal cut the cloying sweetness of Disney-style family attractions, it's kept Universal from fully embracing the dark side of narrative as well. You see Universal's fondness for sarcasm in the Florida version of Mummy, which builds as much on a gag about Fraser and a cup of coffee than on Imhotep itself. But here, Universal resists the temptation to show off its cleverness and commits to letting the mummy have its revenge.
It's cliche, but here the third time really was the charm. In Singapore, with a fully immersive facade, foreboding queue and sinister narrative, Universal Creative has fully realized the dark potential of its Revenge of the Mummy.
Happy Halloween. ;^)