Following further consideration this review has been updated to fit what I truly think went WRONG with The Mummy (2017)
The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman and launches Universal's Dark Universe. Tom Cruise starts as tomb raider Nick Morton, who after awakening the gorgeously evil Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) from her ancient crypt, unleashes a new kind of evil that defies human comprehension.
As you delve deeper into the Egyptian world, the bandages unveil a rather lacklustre adventure. As the film opens, great pains are taken to set up what is quite a complicated, clever and above average premise. The key element that differentiates this remake from its various predecessors is the style and vibe that Kurtzman finds between the once terrifying 30's horror, and the campy humour of Brendan Fraser's Mummy. However a surprisingly creepy tone throughout is spoiled by some monstrous mummy goons which can't fail to remind you of Michael Jackson's iconic 'Thriller' dance.
The best way to describe The Mummy is as movie of moments. It isn't all smooth sailing for Universal with what arrives as a somewhat clunky start for the Dark Universe - with few treasures worth digging for. Undeniably some of the best choreographed action sequences in a long time - that well trailed opening plane crash scene isn't worth your time or money to sit through this stogy experience. Other moments like the central London sandstorm and the discovery of Ahmanet's crypt are all the high point of the movie. Kurtzman blends humour into this intentionally monstrous flick. Neither the jokes land or compliment to story in the way he wishes them to - most certainly not a tomb tickling time.
The main problem with this Cruise driven adventure isn't the birth of the classic monster universe, but that there isn't enough of it. The inclusion of 1930's classic monsters into the contemporary world is set up quite nicely and will definitely catch the eye of many. Oddly enough, this could have been the opportunity for the secretive 'Prodigium' and a mysterious Russell Crowe to hijack the movie completely. Sadly far too little is teased or referenced from any forthcoming monster outing leaving us a quite unsatisfied. Is this Universal's curious tactic to hook the average cinema goer?
What can be quite glaring in this dark caper is how un-formulaic the story is. Whilst is holds a near perfect runtime The Mummy can be disjointed with scenes abruptly jolting into each other. It's a simple matter of story structure and how the film should flow. Its lead Cruise is also largely underplayed, he isn't given the emotional range he should, but let's just hope they are keeping him under wraps for the next instalment.
Maybe it's best The Mummy stays buried under the sand. Cruise gives it his all (and enjoys it) but this one isn't written with the best minds at play. It has just too little action, thrills or spooks to pass as a worthwhile adventure - I wouldn't get excited for The Dark Universe just yet.
I am going to give The Mummy:
Pinch of info
Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.