Starring: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Russell Crowe, Courtney B Vance
Directed By: Alex Kurtzman
Plot: Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson are soldiers, but also grave robbers, and they stumble upon a tomb for Ahmanet (Boutella), and unknowingly unleash hell on earth. There’s an archeologist (Wallis) tagging along, and Dr Henry Jekyll (Crowe) pops up to let you know this is a franchise.
What Works: Even though none of it really seems to work, none if it is actually awful. I can’t say I hated watching this movie, because I didn’t. It’s fairly fast paced, looks good, and features serviceable acting. I wish they had put as much time into the script as they did into making this film look amazing, because then we’d have a great film. If I could give one reason you had to see this film, it would be the visual effects and general overall look of the film. I don’t know what that says about the rest of the film when basically I’m saying “at least it looks pretty”.
What Doesn’t Work: Tonally, this film is all over the place. It tries to be super serious in some parts, then it thinks its a comedy, and sometimes the choices are so abrupt and jarring that the comedy ends up not working because it feels so out of place. Instead of establishing Cruise’s character in the prologue, the film decides instead to double down on the Dark Universe, and have Crowe’s Dr Jekyll explored more, and explain that this is all part of several movies yet to come. So when we get to Cruise, we’re going full speed through the story, and neither he, nor Johnson or Wallis, end up being very well fleshed out. And because this film is trying to be several different things, even Ahmanet feels underdeveloped as a character. And she does feel very much like a character, and not some possessed soul that’s just causing havoc for no reason. She is a villain you can communicate with, so she should be better developed. I wish Dr Jekyll wasn’t in this movie at all, and the time devoted to his character was given to the others so we could have a stronger movie. If Cruise’s character had been established in the prologue as a quippy adventurer, his jokes later on wouldn’t feel so out of place. I never thought I’d say this but, I prefer Brendan Fraser’s version.
Final Word: The Mummy is a big mess. I can’t really recommend it, but I also wouldn’t tell you to run for the hills either. It’s a film that tries too hard to be too many different things in a short runtime, and none if it really sticks. Because the film is short, the pacing is actually not bad, so again, I wouldn’t say “avoid” this, but I also wouldn’t say “watch” this. If you stumble upon this film at some point and find yourself with nothing better to do… I guess…
Final Grade: C