The Mummy - 2017
The Mummy is Universal’s attempt to launch a new cinematic universe to compete with the DCEU and the MCEU. This “universe” is called “Dark Universe,” as they are rounding up all the classic monsters you know and love, picking them up by their ankles and shaking them until their lunch money falls out. This movie has the production budget of $125 million dollars and it also followed the Hollywood trend of giving it to a first-time blockbuster director in Alex Kurtzman, whose last directing credit is 2012’s People Like Us - you know, that action packed family drama of a man finding out he has a sister. Staring the evergreen Tom Cruise as a soldier/thief of antiques that uncovers crypt that contains… well, a mummy.
I’ll show my cards upfront just in case my brief intro didn’t give you a hint to if I liked this movie: I didn’t. I was fine with it at first. I was thinking, This isn’t as bad as everyone is saying, and then Russell Crowe showed up. But let’s talks positives first, and then we can circle back to him and the shift the story took.
The action scenes were impressive. Yes, this is not a classic “monster movie” from the old days, and this will turn off a lot of the fans from yesteryears, but the trailer doesn’t hide that fact. When I saw the trailer, I said to myself; Its Mission Impossible but with a mummy, and for the most part I was right. The best sequence is sold in the trailer. Tom (we are tight like that) floating around in the air as the airplane crashes was fun. It had some funny moments, many coming from Tom and Jake Johnson (Win it All). They had good chemistry, but that was a given since both have always exhibited an endless well of charisma on screen.
So, how about we talk about the rest of the movie. I don’t want to assign blame here. Well I can’t assign blame really because I don’t know which one of the SIX credit writers contributed what. Six writers… it’s almost as if they didn’t have a cohesive working idea and they just pieced random thoughts together. This should’ve worked, right? Tom is funny he is good with action and a solid movie star… why did they decide to try to make this into a superhero shared universe? The movie is exposition-heavy and repetitive. We get the same flashbacks, the same visions and the same hallucinations over and over. It got to a point where I was just tired of it and wanted it to end.
About that Crowe. He plays Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde he is obsessed with curing the world of evil since he himself has to deal with it on a day to day basis. The next time you Google the term “scenery chewing performance” there will be a picture of Crowe wearing his reading glasses just at the tip of his nose - you know, like scholars do. I don’t think his performance was kosher as he hams up every single line trying to convey wisdom and “gravitas” to his exposition-heavy dialogue. A quick thing that irked me about his character, and this goes back to the writers: if he has to deal with a monster living inside of him and its only kept at bay by an injection, why doesn’t he always carry it around with him? I’m allergic to shell fish and I always carry my EpiPen with me. It’s not that hard. Convenient writing to move a plot point forward.
Quick hits so this review isn’t too long: Character motivations flip back and forth leaving the audience confused as to why anyone would do anything, specially Tom. The mummy wasn’t human like the 1999’s version, you didn’t feel bad for her or connected with her motivation. The tone was inconsistent as it jumped from “scary” to funny to “romantic” to action. They say Tom’s character’s name so many times in this movie, its Nick by the way. SMALL SPOILER AHEAD!!! They ripped off… I mean they paid tribute to, An American Werewolf in London having the cursed dead friend follow Tom around. But they used CGI instead of practical makeup, having me just think about and miss the original and how far superior it is. Finally, the ending was stupid. Not going to spoil it, but it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
The Mummy honestly is not a horrible movie, but it’s not the universe Kickstarter Universal was shooting for. They made a production company called Dark Universe, I just thought they were naming their monster movies that… I hope they kept their receipt because I don’t think they will get store credit. This movie made me miss Brendan Fraser; he was fun and enjoyable in the late 90’s early 00’s. “No, Gracias! Soy alergico a los crustaceos” and that’s why I love movies.
e Mummy is currently playing in theaters. Re-watch the originals or even the Fraser ones and thank me later.
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