The Mummy (2017)
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Written by: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance
admittedly, Universal was taking a risk with this film. It was another reboot of a movie that has been done (not counting spin-offs) 5 times since the original debuted in 1932. But for the most part, I think the risk paid off for them. If you are looking for a fun, new summer movie, then this updated version of The Mummy‘may be the one for you. The opening excitedly sets the stage for what I was hoping would be a good old-fashion horror movie that quickly takes a bit of a turn and heads more into the action, adventure realm that the Brendan Fraser one was (only less stylized). Tom Cruise is Nick Morton, a military man who also deals in black market antiquities with the help of his partner Chris Vail, played wonderfully by Jake Johnson. While looking for treasure in a hostile part of Iraq, they end up discovering a hidden Egyptian tomb (which is odd since they are in what used to be Mesopotamia.) The military comes in to assist along with archaeologist Jenny Halsey, from whom Nick stole the map after a one-night stand. Halsey (played confidently by actress Annabelle Wallis) realizes that it isn’t a tomb, but a prison. In an effort to quickly extract their findings before insurgents sweep in to overtake the area, Nick unknowing releases Ahmanet (divinely portrayed by the sublime Sofia Boutella) which begins to allows her, and the curse she carries, to awaken!
The whole idea of this reboot is to make a connected movie universe using Universal Pictures “Monsters” in an effort to mimic the success enjoyed by Disney with their Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is a concept I think would be a lot of fun if they get it right. Overall, with one or two hiccups in this movie, I’d say they are off to a decent start. This means we may end up seeing a Dracula VS The Mummy film or Creature From The Black Lagoon VS The Wolf Man feature in the not too distant future. Given the success of their “Monster” brand, it sounds like a gold mine of an idea and the writers and producers did a great job giving us a little taste of what that might look like within the course of this film along with a great turn by Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry (wait for it…) Jeckyll.
From the premise of this being an opening gambit for what they are referring to as their Dark Universe, the film does a fine job in setting the stage. All of the acting is solid and the Easter Eggs given (more in-your-face than subtle) are still very cool to behold. The plot is a little choppy and some of this new Mummy’s powers are rather inexplicable given what we are used to from previous versions of this creature that we’ve seen. I also would have rather seen a more horror-laden film as opposed to the action-adventure flick sprinkled a little too heavily with comedic moments that we actually ended up with in the final product. That being said, I think that most people will enjoy ‘The Mummy’ for what it is and be able to look forward to what monster Universal has in-store for us lurking in the cinematic shadows.
**TWO THINGS TO NOTE**
1) I saw the movie in 3-D and I will say that it was NOT a movie that needs to be seen in that format. If you have a problem with 3-D viewing or just don’t want to spend the extra few bucks for the upgrade, do not.
2) There are NO post-credit scenes. I stuck around until the very end hoping to see something since this is the beginning of a connected universe but, to my dismay, nothing was shown. Feel free to head to your car as soon as the first credits begin to roll.