With the big studios in search of franchise cash-cows, Universal launches its ‘Dark Universe’ series with a ho-hum reboot of The Mummy. With Tom Cruise rehashing his Edge of Tomorrow action-hero ass-hat, magnetic Sofia Boutella’s (Star Trek) Mummy gets little to do, while Oh-dear-Russell Crowe diverts with a pointless and dire Jekyl and Hyde. Its not a good start, chaps.
With Russell Exposition (we haven’t forgotten Robin Hood) narrating huge chunks of backstory – the usual Egyptian mythology guff, The Mummy goes off the rails immediately. It more than nods at the Stephen Summers / Fraser-Weiss movies while having none of the fun or the charm. We have crusader zombies, massive sandstorms, a Mission Impossible style plane crash, tunnels, Cruise doing an extended Esther Williams underwater sequence… and its still as lifeless as your average 4,000 year old Pharoah.
With Cruise in full heterosexual charge but no sexual chemistry with anything, it all becomes a tad mysogenistic to both villain and supporting heroine (Annabelle Wallis looking uncomfortable the entire movie).
Spot the American Werewolf in London steal as Jake Johnson provides the comic relief as undead sidekick Vail… actually he’s just irritating. Overall it’s a pretty lukewarm showing from Trek director Alex Kurzman, perhaps because every studio exec on the lot chipped in to make the script a real thoroughbred camel while busy writers McQuarrie, Keopp and Kussman were busy elsewhere on their own projects. In any event, someone dropped the sarcophagus and nobody heard it crash through the tomb floor.
With the genuinely horrifying prospect (for all the wrong reasons) of a whole Russell Crowe Jekyl and Hyde, let’s hope the new Frankenstein can put 40,000 volts through the lifeless corpse of this by-the-box-office-numbers franchise or else put a stake through its heart before it can inflict any further cinematic misery.
At least it’s not Van Helsing or Handsel and Gretel… RC
The Mummy (2017)
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
Running time: 120 minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Cast: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson