True Review Movie - The Mummyby Denver Fernandes June 10 2017, 4:42 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 20 secs
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writer: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
Producer: Alex Kurtzman, Chris Morgan, Sean Daniel, Sarah Bradshaw
The Mummy is the first film in Universal’s Dark Universe franchise. From the marketing it really seemed like they were gunning for this movie to launch all their monsters from the 20’s and 30’s into a Marvel like crossover universe but unfortunately it’s an impossible mission, even for Tom Cruise. Sure they might come together sooner than later but this movie offers a rather disappointing start to the whole idea. The movie staggers on from action set piece to back-story and follows the same order for nearly the entire movie making it vastly mind numbing.
The movie starts with an exposition scene where Russell Crowe who plays Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, talks to the audience straight up. A series of flashbacks, montage style, gives us a bit of backstory. Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, a stubborn fortune hunter who steals a map from Jenny Halsey, (Annabelle Wallis) an archeologist, after spending a passionate night with her. He uses this map to discover a tomb after a violent shootout with faceless Middle Eastern gunmen. Jake Johnson plays Chris Vail, Nick’s sidekick and the comic relief in the movie. Nick, Chris and Jenny unearth the Tomb of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and naturally things go south from there on. Director Alex Kurtzman manages to make the movie creepy by adding crows and other supernatural things to the mix but it seems like an action movie rather than a scary one. The plane carrying the tomb crashes and Nick wakes up in a morgue. Well surprise he’s cursed. Then the movie turns into a rat race to find a cure for Nick on one hand and save the world from the evil Mummy on the other.
The movie relies on goofy humor and high-octane action to satisfy our appetite but completely forgets what made the original monster films work, horror. Tom Cruise is ever so charismatic and his action scenes make you believe that things are about to go down. But they never do. Each action sequence was more boring than the previous one. The director tries hard to build anticipation for a scare but the action overshadows it. The movie has tons of flashbacks, and most of them are the same shot shown over and over again throughout the movie. Clearly the budget was high, set pieces looked great and the CGI was good too, although the screenplay seemed to be the problem. Seemed like a strong case of ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’. In a desperate attempt to build a shared cinematic universe, the filmmakers turned a blind eye to good storytelling. Sofia Boutella who played an alien in the last Star Trek movie was a good fit for The Mummy. Her performance was menacing but her character lacked motivation. Resurrecting the Egyptian God of Death- Set, due to a family feud is not motivation enough. Annabelle Wallis was pointless, yes she was helpful in furthering the plot but other than that she was pretty useless, her only job was to get saved, that’s all. One would have expected a strong female character especially after last weeks bombastic Wonder Woman.
The movie delivers a not so surprising ending, which sets up the upcoming Dark Universe films. Despite it’s lackluster storytelling, you can still turn your brain off and chose to be in awe. The studio should really rethink the whole idea of having the Brendon Frazer Mummy tone, for this Monstrous Universe. It worked in the early 2000’s but it might not work now. The Mummy is a mess of a movie; each twist and turn is anticipated before it actually happens which takes the “thrill” out of it.