DIRECTOR: Alex Kurtzman
Courtney B. Vance
When an ancient tomb is discovered underground in the unforgiving desert. Little do all those who decide to take the sarcophagus from its resting place realise that they have just unearthed the tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess who had her destiny unjustly taken away from her. After a millennium of resting in anger, she will soon awaken in present-day London and bring with her ungodly terrors that defy human comprehension. An army sergeant and an archaeologist will team up and try to stop her reign of terror.
When it was first announced that they were going to remake The Mummy, again. I'll not deny that I was a little hesitant. I'm a fan of the Brendan Fraser films, and I even enjoyed the old Universal Monster movies when I was a young child. It's been such a long time since I last saw those classic films that my enjoyment is mainly concerned with the late nineties and early noughties Mummy films. When news first broke that this would be going in a much darker direction and more in line with a horror and the set-up of the Dark Universe, I got a little more excited for the film.
As casting was announced, I could see the internet fanboys not being happy with the news that both Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe were cast in the lead roles. As someone who doesn't have an issue with Tom Cruise, I was excited to see what he would bring to this new film. In saying that, I knew immediately that with his casting, this would be following more in the footsteps of the heavy action, Brandan Fraser films and not the old school Universal Monster films. We would be getting big action set pieces and dazzling special effects.
Once The Mummy was released into theatres, and the reviews started to pour in, it wasn't pretty. The box office opening also left a lot to be desired. Was this the end of the Dark Universe before it had even got off the ground? Critics and moviegoers alike were deeming this an absolute disaster. As I write this review, the movie has a rotten 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. After watching The Mummy, does it deserve all the harsh criticism being thrown at it? No, not at all. While it's a bit middle of the road for me, it's not 15% on Rotten Tomatoes bad.
The most positive thing that I can say about The Mummy is that it was never boring. It never stops moving. If this film has one thing going for it, it should entertain on an action and spectacle level. From the huge explosions in Middle Eastern villages to high octane, car chases through the woods. Or cities being decimated by sand storms and planes crashing in fields. This moves so quickly that it should have people entertained for its running time. The speed at which it moves should cover up a lot of the flaws of the thinly plotted story. In saying that though, I don't go into a movie with a name like The Mummy expecting some Citizen Kane level mastery.
If comparing this to the previous Mummy films, I found the Brendan Fraser movies a lot more entertaining than this beast. But this was always going to be a double edged sword. Most current audiences would only remember the late nineties and noughties Mummy films. I think only real die hard horror fans were hoping for something more in line with the Universal Monster movies. With Tom Cruise in the lead, his fans have come to see him perform amazing stunts and show off what an impressive action star he can be. I think from either side of the fence, both parties would have found things to dislike about this film.
While this movie's main goal to start setting up the Dark Universe. We get very little story to do with Russell Crowe's Dr Henry Jekyll and his organisation The Prodigium who are there to contain and examine evil forces. I think had they spent more time giving us insight into the mysterious organisation, we may have had a movie that felt more Universal Monster and less Stephen Sommers Mummy. I think with this movie trying to be darker in tone yet having our main character be so goofy and trying to cater to the Brendan Fraser fans, it's all a bit tonally uneven. I have to hand it to all of them for at least trying to give us a darker entry which does have some horror movie elements.
I also think an issue that this latest incarnation of The Mummy faces is that we don't get enough of that character. She is the main villain of the film, and we get very little of her. Minus a few quick scenes where she is draining the life out of humans, or she is chained up. There is really only the opening scene and the big sandstorm sequence where we get a lot of time with her. I would've loved to see her go a bit larger than life. They could have taken her to more darker places. This is Tom Cruise's show, so we have to focus on his character the most.
Lastly, the acting was alright here. Tom Cruise looks like he's having fun letting go of his serious side and giving us something goofier here. This is more Tom Cruise Edge Of Tomorrow and Tropic Thunder than it is his Mission Impossible. Sofia Boutella as the Mummy tries to give us a character with depth, but there isn't enough of her. I'd have liked to see her be a bit eviler as well. Go all the way. Russell Crowe feels like he just phoned this in and Annabelle Wallis gives it her best with what she's got to work with. It's summer blockbuster fun, no one is gunning for an Oscar here.
DEATH TOLL: 26 (Estimated)
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A man has his throat slashed.
- A baby has its throat slashed.
- Two men are sucked out of an aeroplane before it crashes.
- A man is stabbed with a spear.
- A woman drowns.
- The Mummy kills four guards who are guarding a door.
- A man dies and reanimates after being bitten by a camel spider.
- People are killed by zombified corpses.
- A man is hit over the head with a metal book.
- A man is electrocuted to death.
- Two pilots and a soldier are killed in an aeroplane crash.
- A man shoves his fingers under another man's rib cage to break his ribs.
- Lots of zombified corpses have their heads smashed to pieces.
- A man is shot to death.
- An army captain is stabbed twice in the chest.
- The Mummy consumes men that die and reanimate as zombified corpses.
- Zombified corpses are ripped in half.
(All violence is PG-13 Rated)
The latest retread of The Mummy doesn't quite hit the mark for me. Is the movie the massive clusterfuck that everyone is claiming it to be? No. This feels extremely light on story and plot and with so much backstory to set up for their origin Dark Universe film, they've tried to cram a lot into such a short running time. This has now resulted in a convoluted story. Had they just tried to set up the characters or the organisation a bit, I may have appreciated this a bit more. What this movie does have going for it are a brisk pace, tons of action and some genuinely dark happenings. It's not great, but it's not all that bad. As a tentpole, it delivers on the spectacle.