An Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella) is awoken from her tomb. She wants to fulfill an ancient pact that she was a part of.
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity
Fun Fact: The zero-gravity scene took sixty-four takes to complete in a falling plane.
Universal Studios wants to cash in on all the cinematic universes that have been dominating the box office over the last few years. Instead of having superhero characters, Universal is going with their monster characters. Is there a mainstream audience for these monster characters? If your someone like me that grew up and loved all the classic monster films you are going to be suckered in to seeing something like The Mummy.
The Mummy is a disaster in many ways and it’s all over the place. While doing research of this film I’ve noticed that there were six different writers working on the script. Right there is the first step to failure as all the different ideas and re-writes are not going to mix well. What we get here is a film that is trying to take itself too seriously. Remember the Brendan Frasier version of The Mummy? You can tell those films are pure popcorn flicks and you can sit back and take two hours of your day and enjoy them. This version has terrorists and explosions and it doesn’t even take place in Egypt. That’s right a mummy film is taking place in Iraq and they only spend no more than ten minutes in that area. There’s no exploring or wonder trying to find out what is in the tomb. It’s just get the tomb and cut to the next action scene. I like watching mummy films to get a sense of wonder and exploration in an Indiana Jones like feel. I don’t like watching mummy films to get a take over the world subplot from character’s that shouldn’t even be in the film.
One of the worst things about this film is the waste of talented people with the script. I didn’t get any investment in any of these characters and didn’t care if they could succeed in their quest. It’s the same Tom Cruise action vehicle we have been seeing for years, wise cracking action hero that comes off as tired and boring. I felt bad watching Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and I know that the character is trying to help start a cinematic universe but, he isn’t needed here. It felt like Crowe was miscast and like I’ve stated before I felt bad watching him on screen in a goofy performance that kind of made me laugh. Sofia Boutella is a good actress that suffers from a horrible script that doesn’t really focus on her as much as it focuses on Dr. Jekyll’s quest. She does a solid job with the material and I thought it was a good choice to go with a female mummy. It gives the series a new twist and makes it stand out in a way. The worst performance goes to Annabelle Wallis though. She delivers a monotone performance and there is little to no excitement coming from her. I wanted to believe that her character was the Egyptian expert but, there was little investment in her character.
There are some scenes that are enjoyable but, are not enough to save the film. The scene in the air plane was good as the stunt was on a real airplane. I thought it came off well and you can tell that effort was put into it. The other action scene that was decent was the sandstorm through London. While it was obviously CGI, it looked good and brought a little life into a mess of a film up to that point.
Overall, to quote the late Roger Ebert, I hated, hated, hated this movie. It’s one of the worst films I have seen this year and the last few years. Nothing about this version of The Mummy worked in any way. It’s a mess that had six different writers and none of the characters were interesting. If you want to update the classic monsters for a new audience, that’s fine but, at least give people a good film to go see. I was glad that I didn’t see this in the theaters and like stated before I only saw it because I’m a sucker for the classic monsters.