The Mummy is a lifeless, convoluted, mediocre CGI-driven reboot all because of a poor decision to bank on movie star appeal, resulting into a badly executed attempt to launch Dark Universe.
Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.
A franchise spawning cinematic universe has been a studio’s trick of the trade as well as bread and butter. Since we already have superheroes, it’s just a matter of time before somebody else thinks of combining monsters.
Tom Cruise brings his own brand of action here, so if you’re a fan there’s something to enjoy.
For everybody else who wants to see an update of the original or at least something better, unfortunately there’s nothing worthwhile because the movie is derailed by a biased script and franchise building tactics.
The entire movie is basically a Tom Cruise star vehicle. The plot takes every chance it gets to dump exposition and get the backstory out of the way so Cruise can do his thing. The action set pieces are not as crazy nor inventive as his Mission Impossible stunts, but he cheats death aplenty. Yup, he also runs very fast, gets shot at, and beaten nearly to death at some point. Also, something happens in a plane.
The rest of the characters are forgettable blips on the screen written to serve his plotline in the story. Wooden Annabelle Wallis is there to convince the viewers that the actor she shares no on-screen chemistry with plays a redeemable jerk. Underused Jake Johnson exists as his guide. Wasted Sofia Boutella appears mostly to give him more screen time while her character is used as an excuse to launch a string of sequels no one asked for.
The 2017 reboot recycles the plot and uses it as a piggyback for a franchise factory, all the while stripping off everything that made the 1999 original a campy yet fun adventure yarn with old school horror.
The movie is still lead by American soldier except now he’s also a self-serving thief with a sidekick. There’s a still a smart British woman except now she’s an agent tied to a secret organization. They discover a mummy in a complex tomb who got punished because of a royal scandal and unintentionally freed her to complete an unfinished business. The story never bothers to do anything interesting with these elements because it’s a watered down version made to serve something else.
When the movie is not using unconvincing CGI and rehashing the source material, it borrows from other better horror movies. Glen Kenny has made a complete checklist that features what everybody else has already pointed, American Werewolf in London.
Of course the secret organization is something. It reveals the real intentions of Universal Studios after failing with Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans. Unfortunately for them, this is yet another failed launch to Dark Universe with Tom Cruise.
The result is a lifeless movie that marches to the generic beats of blockbuster fanfare, a disjointed story caused by the increasingly fading notion of moviestar appeal, and an ill-advised decision to launch a cinematic universe with a mediocre reboot.
Tom Cruise has been blamed for the movie’s poor performance at the box office because of excessive control. Judging by the script, it’s not far fetched to think that he hijacked a supposedly mummy movie and turned it into a Mission Impossible episode. Everything in this movie, from the beginning to the uneventful climax and the predictable ending, is about his character that you’re wondering why they bothered to crib from the original at all.
Still we shouldn’t let the studio off the hook because they’re the ones who decided to greenlight this unnecessary resurrection. They should have treated it as it is – the first chapter to Dark Universe – instead of lazily rehashing an old property and buying their way in using nostalgia.
My Rating: 3/10