This is the first film in a new monster movie franchise that is being titled “Dark Universe” by Universal Studios. This was meant to set the stage for the monster movies that will soon follow. In this sixth retelling, we get a slightly different but somewhat familiar story that explores the possibilities of the undead wreaking havoc upon the modern world. The important question (I feel) is did this movie set the stage for what’s to come? Let’s dive in and take a look at “The Mummy” in this review…
First, let’s address the important question mentioned above in the opening paragraph and from there we’ll move into the actual film. I believe there might be some confusion as to why that’s the important question instead of “was the movie good?” Almost immediately after this film was introduced it was also stated by Universal that they were creating a shared “monster universe” and were using this film as the initial offering that would take us into this new franchise. Since they (Universal) decided to make this proclamation and start casting for the other films (Johnny Depp as the “Invisible Man,” Benecio Del Toro as “Frankenstein’s Monster”) it only makes sense that we must consider this as we watch the movie. In my opinion, we don’t have the luxury of just watching the movie simply to enjoy this individual film because we know (assumably you knew, maybe you didn’t in which case this whole analysis will be somewhat of a surprise) it’s meant to tell a story and then set up a whole new world. If you started singing “A Whole New World” after reading that sentence shame on you. “Alladin” is a Disney property and we’re looking at a movie by Universal. Never cross streams, people! Wait, that’s a “Ghostbusters” reference and that’s a Sony property. Sorry folks. We’ve gone off on a tangent. Let’s get back on track. Ok, after watching “The Mummy” I don’t believe it did a great job setting up the bigger picture. There’s a scene in the laboratory of “Dr. Jeckyl” where we see a vampire skull, the hand of the “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and more. However, we don’t really get a sense of the terrors that are looming. We are just told that there’s this mysterious group of folks trying to save the world from dangers unknown to the normal person. There was also a reference to a group of knights who were doing the same thing back in Medieval times but I wasn’t clear on if this new group was the modern version of the knights or not. So, in all, I say nay. This movie doesn’t answer the important question. By the end of the film “Nick Morton” (played by Tom Cruise) is not aware of a possible “Wolfman,” “Dracula,” “Invisible Man,” “Hunchback,” Phantom” or more. He simply rides off into the sunset with his partner in crime. I mean that literally. He’s on horseback and rides off like a cowboy in a western. If this were an Uber rating, I would give this the lowest possible score of one single, lonely, star. Throw the tomatoes at the screen and toss your popcorn in the air folks. This aspect of the story stinks.
Ok, Let’s dive into the film as a stand alone picture. Overall plot is that two active military guys, who are also treasure hunters, are trying to locate treasure and almost get killed. In being saved, a tomb is revealed and the mummy is released onto the earth once more to conquer humanity. This is a very simple breakdown of the plot as the movie is almost 2 hours long. This movie should not have been this long. This film should’ve been 90 minutes no more. Cut the the entire “Mr Hyde” scene out of this movie, please. Also, in order for the “mummy” to regenerate she must first make out with people and by so doing they are turned into mummy/zombie things. What?! Yes, mummy make out sessions are happening on the big screen. Halfway into this movie I wanted to play a game on my iPhone. Also, it’s never explained why the character “Chris” keeps showing up as a ghost or apparition to communicate with Nick. It serves to answer plot points about why the mummy is chasing Nick and why she brought him back from the dead but other than that there’s poor writing, bad jokes and not much more. I did enjoy the performance by Sofia Boutella in this film. She’s plays the mummy well and she can deliver some of the creepiest looks and stares in this movie. The 3 films I’ve seen her in I have enjoyed her performance. I’m looking forward to her role in “Atomic Blonde” as well.
This movie might go down in cinematic history as one of the best cast films to be one of the most disappointing films. I did not have high expectations for this film walking into the theater. In fact, my expectations were low and they still were not met. This is not a monster movie. It’s a pseudo action meets horror meets love story that doesn’t work at all in my opinion. If you’re reading this and you enjoyed it, that’s awesome. I’ve been in the arts my entire life. I understand how some people can like stuff and others not. I get it. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I did not. The fact that the main character becomes the conqueror of death, or a mummy, or whatever he is, in order to kill the mummy, resurrect his love interest only then to revive his partner in crime to continue being a treasure hunter… I swear on graves of people I don’t know, this is all part of the story… is so absurd it was frustrating. Give credit where credit is due, there is more than one line about the main character Nick being a bad guy. So why then would a bad guy not continue being a treasure hunter now that he controls death, is fair. However, the movie is ludicrous and disappointing. Cinemascore has this film as a “B-“ and I don’t understand how.
“The Mummy” is in theaters now. Skip this film on the big screen. You’ll want to watch it at home on Redbox or VOD simply to understand where this new franchise is going. If not for that, there’s no reason to see this film. It’s not good and I was disappointed it cost me $5. I went to a before noon showing when it’s affordable and even that was more than this film is worth. Fingers crossed the franchise corrects the mistakes made in this film so the rest of the stories are enjoyable.