The Mummy (REVIEW)
Welcome... to the Dark Universe.... MUAHAHA
So The Mummy is the start of universal's new monster series of films nicknamed The Dark Universe. One that was tried quite successfully in the late 30s. But can those thrills be recaptured for today's audience or does this just feel like a studio pushing out a film rather than someone actually trying to create something interesting.
Unfortunately it is kind of true. The opening was pretty strong, I liked how they set up this really serious and deadly world of a woman out for revenge and destruction but it soon feels like a sad excuse for starting a universe. Tom Cruise isn't even that likable and he is Captain Charisma! He gets one scene early on and that's about it. That's not to say he doesn't have some fun lines and sells his action scenes it's just that for the rest of the film he is just a sort of bumbling fool who doesn't really know whats going on and seems to just stumble from point to point with some help from a girl he doesn't care for to guide him from place to place. Playing the anti-hero didn't work when bad things start happening to him because I don't feel the need to root for him.
Russell Crowe is in the film and honestly I liked his character the most despite it being somewhat cheesy and campy. At least he fit into the role that we would expect in a monster movie. Especially one where there are a ton of monsters to come and who can take something like Dracula fighting a mummy seriously? And the supporting cast of Jake Johnson as the sidekick and Annabelle Wallis as the egyptian expert are so throw away that they literally could have been wiped from the movie and the plot would have remained almost entirely untouched. They add nothing in the way of heart, humor, a convincing foil to Cruise, they are both just there. Now Sofia Boutella as The Mummy was pretty creepy and she does a great job being scary and a worthy foe but she is mostly held to screaming and walking slowly toward people. Her only real stand out moments are in flashbacks which are admittedly cool as we see how ruthless she is and how she became a vengeful demon.
I saw this movie with my mom, someone who enjoy special effects, swords and sandals epics, documentaries on Egyptian tombs and the like and even she wasn't impressed. She left feeling like she had watched a dumb zombie film than one about ancient mummies. I totally agree. Enemies spawn, they defeat them, find out the thing they need to do and repeat. It was like a video game you don't even get to play and had no real heart or story to keep you engaged. As for the stunts. It felt like the greatest hits of Mission Impossible, long underwater scenes and hanging on in airplanes. It is still cool to see Tom do those scenes but that's what Mission Impossible is for.
I know this film got some bad reviews and I was really hoping I could shine some light on it and have a good time. If there is one standout from this otherwise extremely bland film is that at least it didn't look bland. The cinematography was very pleasing and the score was perfect for the tone to add to the "Mummy" feel. The scenes in the desert looked hot and dry and made me thirsty just looking at it. That's where the film starts and where I had some hope that maybe it wasn't as bad as people had said. It felt like it could be an Indiana Jones film, with digging for artifacts and uncovering an ancient evil but it quickly becomes this cool mystery that gets dragged on for too long and becomes a series of events that add up to not a whole lot with a bunch of characters no one cares anything about. It takes itself seriously but then tries to inject humor to lighten the mood but does it in the weirdest of ways that hardly ever make for a chuckle. It doesn't seem to have any clear vision. It's like they got the outline of a film and instead of filling it with interesting characters they just threw a bunch of action scenes together, some one liners and a long interwoven exposition heavy plot to explain what is going on to do the thing they need to do to stop the mummy from destroying the world.
Overall this film really doesn't have much outside of a few briefly interesting fight scenes, some quality effects and a solid score and cinematography. After seeing this film the "Dark Universe" may want to turn on a light.