Big names. Big trailer. Big promises. Small success. That pretty much sums up Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy. Next.
No, but seriously, I’ve never watched any of the originals or remakes and so it wouldn’t be too hard to impress me. And yet unimpressed I remain.
There’s been many attempts to revive The Mummy but all have failed. However, recognising an opportunity to relaunch monster mayhem in the form of the Dark Universe franchise, Universal decided to go all out and pump some life back into the withered tale.
With rumours circulating that we may see the revival of Jekyll & Hyde, The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein, a wave of excited anticipation began to wash over cinema-goers as they looked forward to indulging in a new, modern and different fandom.
Until they watched The Mummy that is.
It took a total of six screenwriters to basically recreate Suicide Sqaud’s The Enchantress. Despite committing patricide in order to unleash the God of Death, killing her own baby brother and being unearthed after thousands of years rotting beneath the sand, Ahmanet (Sophia Boutella) doesn’t appear to be menancing enough. Arguably she’s still too human like in a film that is centred around terrifying monsters.
And then there’s Nick Morgan (Tom Cruise). A character who I’m sure is supposed to be a lovable rogue but only manages to be a dick.
Any attempts to make us like Morgan fail miserably and his flaws become beyond redeemable. He’s so self-centred that it’s hard to believe he possesses any feelings for Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) even after we see him choose her life over his own with our own two eyes. That just proves the level of dick we’re dealing with here.
I’m going to throw it out there and say that The Mummy is more redeemable than Nick Morgan. She was wronged by a typical male – her father, no less – obsessed with the notion that only males can rule. That would send me a little mad tbh.
Kurtzman has centred the whole film around its superstar, almost forgetting that the film is titled film The Mummy for a reason. It’s as though he managed to bag a top Hollywood name and forgot everything else after that.
Weirdly the American director has cast the infamous stuntman, Cruise, as a US soldier who also happens to be a major con artist. You don’t see that everyday from a country that idolises its troops.
And Jenny. Oh Jenny. Jenny happens to be one of the most intelligent yet bland characters in the film. When she *SPOILER* dies, I get the feeling that we’re supposed to be genuinely upset and willing her to miraculously come back. But in all honesty, at this point I was too busy checking my watch to see how many hours sleep I had left.
The entire film is messy. I recognise the franchise’s big potential but Kurtzman was in so much of a rush to introduce each character that the plot gets lost somewhere in between.
As a result, there’s too many loose ends. I mean we’re introduced to Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) in such a vague manner that I was left wishing I could forget everything that happened before his introduction and just watch a spin-off about him.
I think hiring Cruise was a major win for this franchise but unfortunately they’ve got carried away and ended up with a monster-laden Mission: Impossible.
The dire plot is drowned out by Cruise’s ambition to pull off the next best stunt. Even the film’s visuals are tired and overly familiar.
Unfortunately your view on The Mummy rests more upon whether or not you like Tom Cruise rather than the film itself. Sorry Tom, but it’s not for me.
It’s safe to say we’re now firmly into the superhero age. Monster flicks used to be cheeky, humourous and terrifying all at once and it’s raises the question whether superhero flicks have stole its thunder.
There’s no doubt that the monster theme was once hugely popular in Hollywood and is a big part of cinema’s rise to fame. As there has been plenty of successful remakes of less interesting genres and with advanced CGI, this would suggest that there is a future for monsters yet.
However, I’m all for the revival of these fictional legends but would hope that the next director takes their time on perfecting the art (it took decades to get the right superhero move after all *ahem* Wonder Woman take a bow).
The Mummy well and truly sucked the life out of me. If only someone else had dug up this classic then we may be discussing cinema’s next best thing rather than another big-budget flop.