Since Marvel has successfully created a cinematic universe, it seems that everyone wants in on the success. DC created the DCEU, Warner Brothers are creating the Giant Monsters Universe with King Kong and Godzilla, and now Universal wanted to start their Dark Universe. Kicking off this new Cinematic Universe is The Mummy, the latest blockbuster to star Tom Cruise that will hopefully spaw multiple movies including Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man.
The Mummy follows a treasure hunter as he discovers the ancient tomb of a cursed Egyptian Princess, who was cursed for making a deal with the God of Death to gain power. After she is released from her prison, her evil begins to spread as she plans to take over the world. Helping out the treasure hunter is a brilliant British archaeologist and a secret society committed to fighting such an evil. Does that sound familiar? It should, whilst that was the plot of 2017s The Mummy it does sound an awful lot like the plot to 1999s The Mummy. Watching this movie I began to see so many similarities between the two films, including an Easter Egg that suggests that these movies may have been in the same universe. The film feels so much like a copy that it would have been better to say this was a sequel or a reboot of the 1999 movie, rather than say it is its own property.
It is great to see new filmmakers given the chance to try their hand at a big blockbuster. After some success with smaller films, Alex Kurtzman was such a director, given a massive movie like The Mummy to push forward a new universe. Unfortunately for him, this will probably be his last go at a blockbuster for a while. The directing of this movie did itself no favours. Often the movie would cut back to scenes previously discussed or explained, rehashing footage already used. An example of this is the opening when Dr Jekyll explains who Ahmanet is through the use of flashbacks, then several times throughout the film the same flashbacks and exposition is used. The film also falls victims to loud noises and explosions but nothing engaging happens, in fact the films is boring in parts due to the poor pacing of the film.
This movie has a mix of A-list Hollywood actors and some great promising young talent. Lately Tom Cruise has been able to produce some strong characters in great action adventure films, but he also plays some terrible characters. Watching The Mummy is watching Tom Cruise play Tom Cruise, any actor could have played the role and it would not have made a difference. Maybe there would be less running, maybe. He had no chemistry with Annabelle Wallis who was used so poorly throughout the movie I am not sure what the point of her character was. Is she meant to be the intelligent female lead, the next action hero or the damsel in distress? It is really unfortunate she is treated like this given how talented of an actress she is. Despite his small role, Russell Crowe did a fantastic job bringing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to life, the story behind that character was far more interesting than anything else happening in the movie. If this universe is to continue I look forward to more Russell Crowe.
The stand out of the movie was Jake Johnson and he was criminally underused. His character surprised me at first as I thought he would be more of the bumbling comic relief, even though he was funny it did not feel forced. His character would use humour as a coping mechanism. Similar to his role in Jurassic World where he played ‘the funny guy’, his style of humour works in the movie, as well as being able to show of some dramatic acting talent that has not been seen in his comedies. There was a lot more this actor and character could have offered the movie but falls by the way side since he is in a Tom Cruise movie. Sofia Boutella is a rising talent and if you do not know her name you soon will. She was the girl with blades on her legs in Kingsman and the alien ally in Star Trek Beyond. In both films she gives a great performance and in The Mummy she is no different. Most of her scenes were more physical than emotional acting but when she turned on the emotion I was engrossed by her, when she is calling out to her ‘chosen’ especially.
The movie opens with a cool action sequence that was really well shot, the imagery used in ancient Egypt was beautiful until if became over used and Tom Cruise Zero Gravity stunt was incredible to watch. These positives notwithstanding, this movie is a mess. I believe this would have worked much better as a smaller horror style film where the heroes are trapped inside the tomb, maze or museum trying to escape the Mummy. Ultimately it falls into cheap jump scares, loud noises, an over the top plot and a CGI army. All that was missing was the blue-sky beam from every action adventure movie in recent times.
I really wouldn’t recommend going to the cinema to see The Mummy, unless you are desperate to see it. Wait until it is out of Blu Ray or Netflix to check it out. The movie isn’t completely unwatchable but I will not be rushing out to see it anytime soon if ever.
Thanks for reading my review of The Mummy. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.