“The Mummy” stars Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, and Russell Crowe. Released on June 9, 2017, the film is about a man who accidentally awakens an ancient Egyptian princess from her crypt and must protect the world from her wrath.
The film is directed by Alex Kurtzman, who also directed People Like Us and wrote several films such as The Island, Mission: Impossible III, and Transformers. It is a reboot of the Mummy franchise and the first installment in the Dark Universe film series. This weekend marks the beginning of yet another cinematic universe. This time, it’s a universe filled with Universal’s classic monsters such as Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, and of course, the toilet paper-covered Mummy. Now, this isn’t the first time that the Mummy was introduced on the big screen. There was the 1932 version which had Boris Karloff as the monster, and there was also a Mummy trilogy that started in 1999 which had Brendan Fraser fighting against the cursed mummy. Now we have a Mummy film that will fully connect to the future installments in the universe, assuming that everything goes well in terms of box office and critical reception. Unfortunately, for the latter, it has not gone that well. But I don’t care about that. I just want to see Tom Cruse fight a mummy. While it somewhat provided that, it still wasn’t able to break the mummy’s curse.
One of the few things that I liked from this film was the performances. Tom Cruise showed off his effort to carry the entire film forward as Nick Morton, a soldier-of-fortune who becomes cursed after releasing Princess Ahmanet (played by Sofia Boutella) from her tomb. Annabelle Wallis did her part as Jenny Halsey, but it wasn’t enough to fully impress me. Russell Crowe was a personal highlight of mine as Dr. Henry Jekyll, who runs a secret society known for hunting down and studying supernatural threats. To describe the character of Jekyll, he’s like the Nick Fury of the Dark Universe. A unique character who may play an important role in the future installments. I also thought that Boutella was pretty impressive as Ahmanet, the female version of the Mummy. The only thing that got me more interested in the film was the fact that they changed genders for the Mummy. While it doesn’t do a whole lot to make the film better, its execution in bringing a female mummy to the big screen was surprisingly good for two reasons: Boutella’s memorizing performance and her character design. You know, if she didn’t have any mummy-like powers, I would totally rule all of Egypt with her. The visual effects were also solid in terms of Ahmanet’s powers, although her zombie-like minions look like they were plucked right out of the Resident Evil films. The film also had its share of action sequences, which were nicely shot and entertaining, but they surprisingly didn’t have that unique sense of excitement compared to Tom Cruise’s other action films. Considering the fact that it is directed by the guy who was involved with several action-packed films like Star Trek and Transformers, this film could’ve been a whole lot more intense and thrilling, but sadly, it wasn’t able to reach that point. It also doesn’t help when it has a story that’s as weak as its character development. I can understand what they’re trying to do with Cruise’s character, but I think if they provided more character depth into him, I would’ve cared more about him than what I would have right now.
Overall, “The Mummy” is pretty much what you expect from a Mummy film, but in terms of its story and characters, its ‘flawed-blockbuster’ curse still remains unbroken. I thought the actors did a nice job with their performances, especially Cruise and Crowe, and Boutella’s portrayal as the female Mummy was downright impressive from start to finish, not to mention its entertaining moments and solid visuals. However, if they really want to go through with the Dark Universe series, they’re going to have to step their game up fast by providing something that will impress not just their target audience, but also the critics. Is it something that I would watch again? Probably, but not in the theater. I really don’t think it was bad as people said it was, but I still think it could’ve been done a lot better. If you’re familiar with the Mummy films or if you’re a fan of Cruise’s other films, I would say it’s worth watching at a matinee price. Just don’t compare it to the Brendan Fraser Mummy films and you’ll be fine.