The Mummy

The Mummy (2017)

In Theatres: 
Jun 09, 2017
Running Time: 
110 minutes

Universal is attempting to get into the whole cinematic universe business with their own monsters franchise, calling it the Dark Universe. The Mummy is the first film of many to come, but rather than focusing on the film at hand, they’re far more concerned with establishing this shared world of “gods and monsters.” The film’s characters and plot suffer as a result, and audiences are left with an incoherent mess that neither entertains nor brings about any excitement for what’s to come. The Dark Universe is dark indeed but not in any good way.


Thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) is next in line to inherit the throne and entire empire when her father the pharoah is birthed a son. In an effort to regain her position of power, she makes a pact to resurrect the god of death, Set. With her newfound powers she murders her family but is stopped before the ritual can be completed. Banished from Egypt and erased from all records, Ahmanet is mummified alive and buried far away in Mesopotamia.


Flash forward to the present day and treasure hunter Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) stumbles upon the tomb where Ahmanet is imprisoned and accidentally frees her sarcophagus, thereby unleashing a curse that links him to the princess as her new vessel for Set. Now free from her prison, Ahmanet sets out to finish the ritual and take over not only Egypt but the entire world.


Let’s be clear, The Mummy is first and foremost an action film. It’s Mission Impossible with monsters. There’s little horror in the film at all so if you’re expecting a scary movie, prepare to be disappointed. Then again, there’s so much more that’s disappointing about this film. While it’s oftentimes a huge spectacle like with the plane crash sequence, the action itself is lackluster. There’s a lot of Tom Cruise running, as he always does, and getting thrown about by nearly everyone. Honestly, the film should just be called “Tom Cruise Takes a Beating” because that’s really all it’s about.


The real horror with the film, though, is the plot. Princess Ahmanet aside, I never cared about any of these characters. The film tries to force this romantic subplot between Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis, who plays an archeologist working undercover for the mysterious organization Prodigium. Her character is the most plain and uninteresting character, and she’s practically useless throughout the whole movie. At one point she’s cheering for Tom Cruise to “get her” as he walks towards a magically powered Ahmanet with a tree branch in hand. It’s ridiculously cheesy, and the entire film is full of these moments. There are attempts at humor, but with the exception of Jake Johnson’s character, they mostly fall flat and feel awkwardly out of place.


The one shining light about the film is Sofia Boutella’s performance as princess Ahmanet/the Mummy. I enjoyed how she begins as a decomposed corpse but then as she literally sucks the life out of people she slowly transforms into the powerful cursed princess. The special effects used for her appearance are actually pretty decent. It’s a shame the film’s focus is more on alluding to the bigger picture at hand rather than delivering a solid film first and then building around that.


Instead audiences are only teased with vague clues at to what is going on. The biggest disappointment is Prodigium, the organization that will no doubt be the connective tissue of the Dark Univese. Led by Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe), I’m still not entirely sure what they actually do. They’re familiar with the world of monsters and there are plenty of easter eggs hidden throughout their headquarters, but for the most part they seemed pretty useless.


The Mummy does little to make you care about the film, let alone the entire Dark Universe it is supposed to introduce. There might be no bigger action star than Tom Cruise, but even he cannot save this film from being a disaster. Universal has a lot of work ahead of them if they are to turn the Dark Universe around, and I’m not so sure this is one corpse capable of being resurrected. Time will tell.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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