There are some type of films that just keep being made no matter what age you live in. They might disappear for a while, but eventually they always make a comeback. Way back in 1932 a movie called The Mummy was released by Universal Pictures. It starred Boris Karloff as the man in rags, a legendary actor who had also previously played the iconic monster Frankenstein. Now most modern moviegoing audiences would call that film fairly dated when compared to current standards. Still there is no denying the movie has an incredible atmosphere and is a true classic. In 1999 a remake was made, which turned the subtle original into a special effects driven summer popcorn flick. A very enjoyable one though, which spawned two sequels that were also moderately succesful. Just like an Egyptian curse though, that wasn’t the end of it. In 2017 yet another new version was made, this time one that would also serve as a kick off for a whole slate of new monster films, that would all be tied together into a new Dark Universe franchise. Things turned out differently though, as the movie starring Tom Cruise bombed at the boxoffice and received a lot of negative reviews.
When it comes to reviews and movies I am one of those people that always likes to form my own opinion. I have sometimes seen films get crushed by the so called movie critics, that were highly enjoyable. So is this reboot of the Mummy as bad as most people say it is? Let’s first dive into the story of the film, before I get back to that. In ancient times the Egyptian Princess Ahmanet was set to become a pharaoh. But then her younger brother was born, and she saw the position she craved so much taken from her. Hellbent on revenge, she made a deal with Set the god of death and proceeded to kill her family. Her evil deeds were discovered however, and she was mummified alive for her crimes. Thousands of years later, her tomb is accidentally discovered by the soldier of fortune Nick Morton in Iraq. The sarcophagus of Ahmanet is brought out and taken for transport to London. This sets into motion a sequence of events that could spell doom for the entire world. The Egyptian princess seems to have cheated death, and after having been imprisoned for such a long time her thirst for revenge has only grown. Standing in her way are Nick, archeologist Jenny Halsey and a mysterious doctor that goes by the name of Jekkyl. But will these three be enough to stop the evil of the ancient mummy…..
I am usually a fan of Tom Cruise movies. As I have said in a previous post, the guy might sometimes not have all his marbles straight, but he can definitely act and make fun movies. In the Mummy though I felt that just he wasn’t a right fit for this type of role. His character Nick just wasn’t someone you could form an attachment too, and as he is also the one on who’s shoulders the faith of the world rests, you can imagine how this can become a problem. While there is no denying Tom’s efforts in again doing his own stuntwork, and bringing enthusiasm to the set, it just didn’t pay off here. In part this also was because of some very poor attempts at humor, that served more to become very irritating than eliciting a laugh. The love interest for Nick, the feisty Jenny Halsey played by the relatively unknown actress Annabelle Wallis, was just very bland and boring. I don’t think this was really the fault of the actress, but simply because the script just didn’t give her much to work with. As such the romantic part of the film, if you can even call it that, just wasn’t really filled with a lot of chemistry.
One would think that in a film called the Mummy, the focus would be on the erm….mummy. But weirdly enough there is another monstrous character thrown into the mix namely Doctor Jekkyl. Played by veteran actor Russel Crowe, I have to admit that this was certainly the most interesting role of the film. Crowe seemed to enjoy playing the part, especially since it’s a character he normally doesn’t portay. Still, when he turned into his monstrous counterpart mr. Hyde there was some serious overacting from mr. Crowe, that detracted from him becoming a truly menacing force. One also has to wonder what the point was of bringing Doctor Jekkyl to the movie in the first place, as I would say the threat of Ahmanet would be enough to work with. Speaking of her, actress Sofia Boutella did a great job of bringing her to life, if you will pardon the pun. She had a powerful and commanding presence and radiated an aura of evil that made it a really fun role. I would say she was surely the best thing about the movie, and every scene that she appeared in usually resulted in something cool. It’s sad though that she had far too little screentime, and the movie seemed more concerned with showing off Tom Cruise than her.
Well, as you can probably guess from the tone of this post so far, I didn’t really enjoy this reboot. Was there nothing in the movie that was good however? I guess that would be taking things a little bit too far. The special effects and some of the action sequences were enjoyable, especially a plane crash in the early beginning of the film. That lastnamed scene was filmed in a zero gravity environment, meaning that the actors were weightless during the filming of that. I have to admit that it definitely made the scene more spectacular and realistic. But all in all this version of the mummy should have remained burried. Yep, that was another bad pun I used. It’s a real shame honestly, as it was a movie, especially considering two heavy weight Hollywood actors were involved, that could have been so much better. The lack of succes of this movie also meant the immediate end of the Dark Universe franchise, before it even got a chance to shine. Oh well, at least we still have the 1999 version which was so much more enjoyable and I recommend giving a rewatch. Who knows, maybe I will do the same and post a review for that one sometime in the future.
I give The Mummy a 5 out of 10 score.