REVIEW: The Mummy (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of The Mummy – Directed by Alex Kurtzman.

Back in 2014, Universal Pictures tried to make a new series of films featuring the classic Universal Monsters characters. The first film was Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold, but, after that film was both critically panned and financially unsuccessful, the ‘monsterverse’ was eventually cancelled.

Now Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy is the first film in the new shared universe of Universal Monsters known as the Dark Universe. Unfortunately, while the film’s leading man is one of the biggest action movie stars in Hollywood, Kurtzman’s The Mummy is completely forgettable and quite dull.

The Mummy follows Nick Morton (played by Tom Cruise), a treasure hunter, who, alongside with his friend Vail (played by Jake Johnson), discover the tomb of Ahmanet, an Egyptian princess who had sold her soul to the god Set. While transporting the sarcophagus, their plane crashes and Nick dies as a result.

However, when his body is about to be identified, Nick wakes up. Meanwhile, Ahmanet (played by Sofia Boutella) has awoken and is searching for Nick, who she has marked to be the human vessel for Set. As Ahmanet is looking for Nick, Dr. Henry Jekyll (played by Russell Crowe), the leader of the secret organization known as ‘Prodigium,’ becomes interested in not just Ahmanet but Nick as well.

As you may have feared, The Mummy feels more interested in world-building than storytelling. Its attempts at kickstarting the Dark Universe are even more upsetting because the plot essentially grinds to a halt, once Dr. Henry Jekyll meets with Nick Morton.

Franchise world-building isn’t always bad, but when the film isn’t very good in the first place, then it becomes risky to devote a huge chunk of the film to set up future films. And The Mummy really isn’t close to being a good movie. The best thing about the movie – and, honestly, it is the only thing I really liked about the movie – is the plane crash-scene, which reminded me of Cruise’s Mission: Impossible films.

Although I like the cast, I was disappointed by how much Jake Johnson, who I am a big fan of, was wasted, and how poorly some of these characters are written. Some of the dialogue is really bad, and I also thought that Tom Cruise was miscast as Nick Morton. I liked the idea of having Sofia Boutella be the central mummy monster in the movie, but she actually doesn’t get a lot to do with this role.

I was also extremely disappointed by how tonally inconsistent the film actually is. None of the jokes worked for me, it isn’t a scary movie, and, as I mentioned, the plane crash is the only memorable scene in here.

The jump scares are pretty predictable, as is the ending of the film. But the worst thing about this film is how boring and lifeless it is. The Mummy has so much expository dialogue that I found myself rolling my eyes more than once.

The Mummy contains nothing of real value other than one scene that is shown in each and every trailer. It isn’t scary, it isn’t funny, and it doesn’t comfortably introduce the universe it is set in. I’m not sure anyone will be interested in the Dark Universe once they sit through The Mummy.

4.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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