An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 17% (Critics) / 45% (Audience)
Directed By: Alex Kurtzman
Written By: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson and Russell Crowe
I have said it before and I will say it again: I love Tom Cruise. The guy still brings that big time movie star aura to every movie he is in and as an action star he still gets the job done. Cruise brought a lot of charm to the role of dashing cad Nick Morton and as long as Cruise wantss to continue doing his own stunts and making big loud action fare then I will be lining up and throwing my money away on it.
I also liked the physicality that Sofia Boutella brought to the villainous Ahmanet. Her experience as a dancer worked very well for the presence she brought to the role in its physical aspect.
Sadly as much as I enjoyed Cruise and Boutella in their roles, THE MUMMY was a bit of a disaster as a movie. The script was convoluted, the action scenes were mostly uninspired, the rules of the mythology that was set up early in the film were just haphazardly ignored later on in the film, the CGI was overused…just a lot of things didn’t work well.
And inserting Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, who ran a super secret organization that hunts monsters (and as the connective tissue for the extended movie universe that Universal is trying to start), was clunky but then they made it even worse by having to shoehorn in a full-blown scene of Crowe turning into Mr. Hyde that didn’t seem to fit with anything else in the movie.
Also the idea that you hire an actor as good as Courtney Vance only to use him for probably a total of 5 minutes is just wasteful.
And Jake Johnson never came close to being as interesting an undead specter in THE MUMMY as Griffin Dunne was in the role that Johnson’s was copied from in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.
The fact that we were given a flashback of Ahmanet’s origin story that focused strongly on her evil actions being prompted by her overwhelming ambition to rule yet she spent the entire movie being completely thirsty for a man who would end up being the one who ruled the world while she was just “by his side” was weak and took away any the compelling agency that Ahmanet had as a character.
Final Verdict: THE MUMMY is a stumble out of the gate for the “Dark Universe” that Universal hopes to get off the ground featuring its classic movie monsters. The film fails at being the launch pad for that extended universe and even worse, it fails at being an entertaining film all on its own. Sure Tom Cruise is primo Cruise and Sofia Boutella was well cast as the titular character but they were about the only bright spots in an otherwise underwhelming effort.