‘The Mummy’ tells the story of an ancient princess who’s awakened from her crypt beneath the desert and brings terrors that defy human comprehension.
For a film that was supposed to set off Universal Studios ‘Dark Universe,’ it was utterly disappointing. It’s more common place now to see multiple films tied together in supposed ‘universes’ much like many of M. Night Shyamalan’s films or the comic book universes saturating the market and in Universal’s attempt to do this, their attempts to mash up the Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins ‘The Wolfman’ back in 2010, the Luke Evans starred ‘Dracula Untold’ alongside Dominic Cooper, this new ‘Mummy’ remake, as well as the known story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. With names like Johnny Depp and Javier garden being thrown into the mix, it’s not hard to find that Universal is pulling all the strings they can to make this work and so they can catch up, only to fail miserably thus far.
It’s been nearly twenty years since the Brendan Fraser incarnation of the film graced our screens. It was a brilliant, over-the-top, cheeseball of a movie that was definitely of it’s time. But the difference between this Tom Cruise incarnation and the Brendan Fraser helmed trilogy is that Cruise is by far from his peak, hardly as charismatic as he once used to be, and it felt like another rehash of his Ethan Hunt role from the ‘Mission: Impossible’ series where the stunts (and everything behind it) are more memorable and well known than the actual film or even the storyline. Cruise is just being Cruise throughout the film as he runs from evil with his face of intensity that has become his natural look and signature demeanour of a lot of his films of late. He does this while, typically of films of late, an attractive, usually blonde, woman half his age runs around without half a brain and hardly assisting him apart from playing the part of a romantic interest. It takes itself way too seriously and can’t have fun at the same time, much like Fraser ‘Mummy’ trilogy. This new adaption is just plain wrong and failed to gain any sort of interest early on.
Even with the titular character of ‘The Mummy’ being a woman in the amazing Sofia Boutella from ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ and ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ fame, her desire to possess Cruise’s character so they could reign together as King and Queen, it really makes you question how this film came about, why those like Cruise, Boutella, and Russell Crowe agreed to do the project in the first place, and how three screenwriters as well as three ‘screen story by’ writers came up with such a film as this. It’s also a shame, however, that Boutella had very little to do because if given the chance, she could’ve become more of a threatening presence.
Amongst the writer’s, there are the ever experienced David Koepp responsible for hits such as ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993); ‘Mission: Impossible’ (1996); and ‘Spider-Man’ (2002) alongside Christopher McQuarrie responsible for the writing of ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995); ‘Valkyrie’ (2008); ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ (2014); and ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ (2015). With credits like these, it really makes you question what went wrong because a lot of these films were well received. Even with director David Kurtzman, responsible for the screenplays of ‘The Legend of Zorro’ (2005); ‘Star Trek’ (2009) and it’s sequel ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ (2013), there was no saving this film. His directing credits are limited, with only a single feature film credit previous to this film, and it really shows with ‘The Mummy.’ It felt like he was haphazardly throwing the film together, not really sure what he should be doing. As a result, it makes the film even more unbelievable.
No character is memorable and the writing falls into traps that any screenwriter should know to avoid — they tell more than they show with Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll more of an expository character than anything else (though it was fun to see him beat the crap out of Cruise later in the film). For some reason, the writer’s, despite their filmic and television experience, thing that the more explaining, the better of the film will be. How could the be more wrong. The dialogue was stilted and strange with the actors struggling to do their best with poor direction and an even worse script.
‘The Mummy’ isn’t even one of those films that you love to hate or even a film that you could turn off to while watching. The cinema chairs might be a little uncomfortable to even fall asleep in and take a nap throughout this USD$125million disaster that honestly just doesn’t know what it’s trying to be, despite how desperate it wants to be original. It’s dull in comparison of the 1999 film and, if it can be believed, a worse of a start to a potential series than Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ was.