The Mummy is about a scheming soldier, meet Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) who's always on the look out for antiques in The Middle East that he can sell on the black market. After Nick sleeps with an archeologist named Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) and steals the location to some possible treasure, how he knows that she has this valuable information is never known, but Nick quickly runs off into an insurgent stronghold to find the loot. Nick finds what he's looking for, only it's not treasure, it's a prison for Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) who made a deal with Set for power after she was going to lose her chance to become ruler. Why wouldn't Princess Ahmanet just kill her family and assume to the throne anyway? Why risk releasing Set upon the world? Why did she even need Set? I don't know. Anyway, when Nick revives her, she instantly chooses him as her "chosen" and her "love". Really? Continuing the 'fad' of female empowerment, Imhotep has now been replaced by Ahmanet. I'd be less inclined to call it a 'fad' if Bride of Frankenstein wasn't coming before Frankenstein. But what made the story of Imhotep so understandable, in some ways, was that it was a tale of tragic love that made him a monster. But now Ahmanet is a one-dimensional power hungry villain who jumps at the first man she sees in centuries. And why would Ahmanet work so hard to release a volatile power that's greater than her own? At least Imhotep was only concerned with increasing his own power so he could resurrect his lover.
I remember being initially concerned about The Mummy when I heard about the plot synopsis a couple of years back that read exactly like Deliver Us From Evil. Some soldiers inadvertently release an ancient evil that then follows them home. The bullet points of Deliver Us From Evil and The Mummy are basically the same. About the decision to cast a female Mummy. I was mostly apathetic about it, but it didn't work. Sofia Boutella, riding off her success as a villain in Kingsman, did little more than throw a few seductive glances and strut around in some bandages. Tom Cruise did more, but nothing more effectively than she did. If that makes sense. Cruise was terribly miscast. If Hollywood should learn anything from these last couple of years, it's that big names don't always equal big profits. Tom's sidekick Vail (Jake Johnson) was just annoying, and even within the first 10-15 minutes of the movie, I was tired of all the yelling and noise. But worse than all of them was Jenny. I have my doubts if she could even spell archeologist. She was that bad, and deserves to be considered in the same category as Denise Richards as a Nuclear Physicist. The chemistry between Nick and Jenny was non-existent, and any attempt at sincere emotion between the two was awfully contrived and cringe-inducing. I don't think that's being unfair or overly critical either. They were a terrible couple. All the casting was varying degrees of bad and none of them gelled with each other. I won't say much about Russell Crowe as Dr Jekyll other than I thought he was... okay. I guess. But you could make a killer drinking game out of his short screen time. Take a shot every time he says "pardon" and "If I may", and you'll be kissin' the floor before you know it.
The writers played pretty fast and loose with Egyptian mythology too. If I remember right, even Gods of Egypt got more right than The Mummy did. The cgi was average, probably below average for a movie like this. The pacing of the movie was incredibly rushed. It barely stops for a breather. The narrative felt structureless, like it was simply one scene that was tenuously connected to another scene. There was no fluidity to the story at all. I kept feeling like every single scene in The Mummy was ripped off other movies. Naturally there was going to be some callbacks to the Brendan Frasier Mummy movies, but I mean other movies. The ending, for example, gave me a "Dark Knight" ending vibe. The action was boring and looked bland. And this is yet another movie where an all powerful being who wants to kill someone, picks them up by the throat and harmlessly tosses them across the room. There was a lot of blatant exposition too, and I don't begrudge movies delivering exposition to set up other things. I didn't hold it against Iron Man 2 or Batman v Superman, but here it felt like the 'setting further things up' had actually overtaken the movie itself. Everything in this movie, and I do mean everything, is so trite and predictable that it was painful to endure. The climax was so needlessly drawn out that it removed whatever slivers of tension it had in it. Why does Ahmanet keep trying to convince Nick to be her "chosen" when his body is nothing more than a vessel for Set. Nick, the man, is irrelevant.
Universal tried kicking off their shared universe before with "Dracula Untold", which they ruined with many of the same mistakes they repeated in The Mummy, PG being one of them. Which is a shame because Luke Evans as Dracula could have been fantastic! So opening The Mummy with their Dark Universe was... bold, or presumptuous. And this is a shared universe that's attempting to build it on a foundation of evil monsters, but there isn't even a single scare throughout the entire movie. Not one. Surely that's got to be a cardinal sin. If you're scary movies aren't scary, them something's seriously wrong. Even the Brendan Frasier Mummy movies, which dispensed of the scares and focused on adventure instead, had more scares in it than this did. The ending scene was indicative of the mindset that shaped this movie into the mess it turned out to be. When Nick is riding his horse and it's kicking up a massive sandstorm like it was a sandy version of Ghost Rider, and yes, I know what Nick is, but why would his horse do that? That would have been a costly scene, and it was utterly superfluous and idiotic. [SPOILERS] So Tom Cruise is now essentially the dragon balls of "Dark Universe". That's a mighty powerful mcguffin to have as existing. This will remove much of the tension out of the rest of the universe, just like it did to Dragon Ball. Death means nothing anymore. Planets can be wiped out, who cares... We all know the dragon balls will come into play.
Written by - The Sentry - 14/08/2017