So yesterday, I randomly threw in about 900 words on my love and affection for Universal’s ’99 version of The Mummy, stating my worries that the film would be lost to time if the 2017 version of the same name starring Tom Cruise, were to be successful. I also mentioned in the same article that the initial response to the film has been bad and after having caught the movie last night, I can indeed confirm that it truly is a steaming bag of cow poop.
This movie does not work, and it’s evident right from the opening credits where the Universal logo swerves to reveal the words “DARK UNIVERSE” in big black bold letters which is just wrong if you HAVE to state what world your film belongs to. Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, an army sergeant who also moonlights as a treasure scavenger(?), a fact that is revealed to the audience in what is surely THE LAZIEST setup for a character I have seen in recent memory. Go back to great Action-Adventure films from the past and there’s always a setup for the film’s protagonist which helps build a connection to the character for the rest of the film. Cruise’s Nick Morton here is purely banking on the fact that he’s Tom Cruise and that seems to be enough for the film’s script apparently. He’s flanked by an equally unfunny, plot servicing Jake Johnson as well as Annabelle Wallis, whose character talks the talk but has little to do but play a Damsel in Distress as the film rumbles onto it’s climax. Russell Crowe is in this movie and he’s likeable, to say the least but only when the coin’s flipped. What does that mean? Well, you’ll have to watch the film to find out.
Actually don’t. He plays Dr Jekyll and is quite delightful when Hyde takes over. He’s basically this universe’s Nick Fury and for some reason that really really annoys me even though I can understand the motivations behind it.
Sofia Boutella, who plays the pseudonymous character is actually very good and is probably the best part of this shitfest and I can’t really tell if that’s a good thing. She’s got this fatally seductive aura about her which she brings to her character in the film, elevating her performance to a level significantly higher than those of her colleagues.
Film review structure has clearly gone out the window with this one cause I’ve only just realized that in my fury, I haven’t even explained the wafer thin plot yet. Well here goes. Bunch of idiots find an old sarcophagus with an evil mummy inside. Literally do nothing but transport said sarcophagus on a plane before they’re attacked by what one could assume are Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds who’ve wandered onto the wrong movie set. Hero Tom Cruise saves girl who he thinks is thirsty for him but really isn’t and sacrifices himself only to somehow miraculously survive the crash. Suddenly, he’s Mummy Most Wanted as Boutella’s Ahmanet believes he is the perfect vessel to summon the Egyptian God of Death. Think Rachel Weisz’s character in the ’99 film but with a more shittier storyline and voila, you’ve got Tommo in this movie. Russell Crowe shows up in the middle, offers some plot exposition, sets up the universe and duly fucks off before the film’s climax.
This version of the Mummy is everything I hate about franchises these days. The film is not treated as an entity of it’s own, but as a franchise builder, a platform for other films to springboard off of. It’s a shameless and disgusting tactic adopted by studios which makes for horrendous viewing. I kid you not, at a certain point in this film I turned to my sister who was sitting beside me and began to whack her with an empty water bottle cause I was so bored. Even the action set pieces seem like cheap knockoffs of the ’99 movie. The only one worth mentioning is the plane sequence and that’s already in the trailer which came out a good six months ago.
Nothing in this film works and you know it’s an absolute hopeless case when even Tom Cruise can’t save it. If you want a good monster experience to watch this weekend, skip this and have an argument with your Mom over something. That’ll scare you ten times more than this sack of shit.
P.S: Brendan Fraser’s legacy is preserved. How, I do not know.