Review of The Mummy (2017)

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Tom Cruise resembles the adversary he is pitted against in this movie. Both the titular Mummy and Cruise look great for their age. I wonder what the secret of his youthful complexion is? Perhaps it is exercise, as the protagonist spends a large portion of this film sprinting. What happened to the days when heroes battled against evil rather than flee from it? One of the many things that I didn’t like about The Mummy is that the lead runs away from his problems, and in the end only triumphs due to a power he didn’t earn. Oh well, at least the trials he faced did at least transform him from a selfish prick into someone who is willing to sacrifice himself for others.

OVERVIEW

Nick Morton is a US soldier who is currently based in the Middle East. His orders are to patrol the region and search for insurgents. Rather than dutifully follow his mission however, he uses the role as an excuse to raid local tombs for antiquities. His latest discovery is a crypt that houses the remains of an Egyptian princess. Whilst exploring the catacomb, for treasure, he inadvertently liberates said royal from her sarcophagus prison and ends up getting cursed to boot. To spare the world from a force more wicked than Scientology, Nick allies himself with a clandestine group of UK based monster hunters. Together they must prevent the female Mummy from completing a ritual that will summon the god of death.

Given that The Mummy is being used to launch Universal’s Dark Universe (think Marvel’s cinematic universe, only with monsters instead of superheroes) the film is rich with shoehorned references to other creatures. Prodigium, the group of monster slayers mentioned above, owns a warehouse whose inventory contains an assortment of vampire skulls for example. A chap named Dr Jekyll, who is played by a pudgy Russell Crowe, also happens to lead the organization. I presume that Crowe’s weight gain can be attributed to the fact that scenery is high in calories. He chews the scenery whenever onscreen. This performance will make you wonder how he ever won an Academy Award.

VERDICT

My rating for The Mummy is two stars. It feels like something designed by committee, were Universal execs drew up a checklist of things they should include to mimic Marvel’s success. As a result what we get isn’t a scary horror movie, but a film packed with action and humour. It’s a formula that worked for Brendan Fraser in 1999. This time however the whole thing falls flat. None of the gags are funny and the fight/chase scenes bored me. I also thought that Tom Cruise was disappointing. He is charismatic in real life, but didn’t show much of that here. Not good when you are meant to be portraying a likable rogue. Cruise also didn’t have much chemistry with onscreen love interest Annabelle Wallis, so I couldn’t buy the moments when Nick Morton risks his life for her sake.

Another complaint I have is with the villain. Princess Ahmanet, the Mummy, is just a generic baddie who was buried alive as punishment for an attempt to usurp the throne. Years later, when resurrected, she is driven by the clichรฉ motivations of power and immortality. The Mummy starts off looking rather creepy, but as she drains the life force of others she morphs from a cadaver to sexy Sofia Boutella… who I would rather ogle than fear. Based on this showing, the future Dark Universe team up will resemble League of Extraordinary Gentlemen rather than the Avengers. Don’t spend a dime on this DVD. From what I hear, the cash would be better invested in WayForward’s Mummy Demastered – a rare example of a decent movie based console game.

31 thoughts on “Review of The Mummy (2017)

  1. I will give the movie 3 star just because i’m a die hard fan of Tom Cruise. I expected a lot from this movie, and I understand why you gave it a 2 star which is appropiate . After watching the movie all I said was “Setapai” with a whispering voice like Amunet haha. Nice review!!. The actress who played Princess Amunet was great, she played her role pretty awesome.

    • I have liked Tom Cruise in other movies, but in this one I found him lacking. Perhaps the script is to blame because he seems to have put effort into getting in shape for the role. Sofia Boutella, who plays the mummy, is easy on the eyes. She did a good job in the last Star Trek film.

  2. Hmm…having seen the three Brendan Fraser movies, I was pretty doubtful about this one. The trailer didn’t do much for me, so I passed it in the theatres. After reading this I’m glad I did. Too bad, as I usually do like Tom Cruise movies. But unfortunately this one seems to be a big miss. Well…I will see it eventually, because despite everything I’m still curious. But at least now I know what to expect from it. Great post : loved the Scientology line: very funny ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Glad you enjoyed the joke, although I don’t think Xenu will see the funny side ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a feeling this movie wouldn’t be any good, but like you was curious so I watched it anyway. On the plus side bad movies are not a waste of time for us bloggers. They give us something to write about.

      • That’s for sure! I haven’t seen many bad movies lately though. Have to say that I am also watching quite a few older films that I know are hood, so there is that. But yeah can’t really remember when the last time was that I saw a bad picture. I’m sure that will happen again though ๐Ÿ˜€

    • It’s getting rebooted more times than Spider-Man! Dracula Untold was meant to be the first film of the series, but they abandoned that plan when it flopped. Now it’s a similar story with The Mummy. Future films are in jeopardy so we may not get to “see” a new Invisible Man… in more ways than one.

    • The studio has lined up a lot of big names for this project, including Johnny Depp (Invisible Man) and Angelina Jolie (Bride of Frankenstein). If the director/script are poor though there is only so much the actors can do.

  3. I did wonder how this one would turn out. I liked the original Brendan Fraser one, but never watched the sequels (they just didn’t take my fancy). I’d hoped that Tom Cruise would do something good with it, but the trailer didn’t fill me with a burning desire to see it.

    • Sometimes trailers lie, but in this case the film was as underwhelming as the promotional material suggests. Tom Cruise wasn’t great in the film, although to be fair I don’t think anyone could have turned this material into cinematic gold.

    • Thank you. I think the Mummy changing from a zombie like thing to a beauty is counter productive for an antagonist you are meant to be terrified of. Maybe they should have done something like the alien in Species? She was easy on the eyes, but donned a gruesome form whenever she was about to kill someone.

  4. Is it just me, but Cruise star power is waning. His acting is one dimensional, and he never brings anything to the table. Bad script, with a shoddy actor. No wonder it got mixed – bad reviews. I enjoyed Fraser’s two mummies, the third just stank. Good review as always judge!!.

    • Cruise’s popularity is certainly on the decline due to bad press about his personal life, his age and him starring in some weak movies. He isn’t the greatest actor ever, but can be effective when cast in a role that plays to his strengths. The Mummy’s poor performance may have “wrapped up” plans for more Universal monster movies.

    • I think a serious horror movie featuring the mummy could have potential. There’s nothing wrong with action/comedy, as the movies you mention proved, but it didn’t work in this reboot. I can’t remember a gag that made me laugh and there was little fighting, just a lot of running away.

  5. 2 stars? That’s more generous than most have given it. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I won’t watch this cos Tom Cruise plus the trailer made it look like a pile of poop. Apparently Cruise demanded a number of script change to make himself look better which clearly didn’t help the film at all. ๐Ÿ˜ก

    • Fraser is cool. I haven’t seen much of him recently though. He seems to have transitioned from movies to TV and unfortunately I barely watch television these days. The last time I spotted Fraser was in 2009, when he made a cameo in G.I Joe.

  6. the fact that this movie alone has already practically rendered the planned “monster cinematic universe” that was supposed to start dead in the water is both hilarious and sad by itself. of course with a movie this forgettable anything can be of more interest

    • I guess they could preserve with the idea and hope for a future hit to revitalize the franchise, kind of how Wonder Woman has saved DC. To be honest, I think they should have focused on making a good standalone film rather than shoehorn other monsters into the story. If the movie is popular you can then worry about tying things together into one universe in later films/sequels.

  7. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen mummies used as good, effective horror villains. The old Mummy films didn’t have traditional mummies in them, and everything else just uses them as minions or roadblocks. A shame, really. Could be some potential behind the cursing mythos.

    • A scary Mummy could work. You could have a group of archeologists get trapped inside a cursed tomb where they get picked off by the traps and the undead mummy that patrols the halls. This however was just a Marvel knock off.

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