I feel sorry for “The Mummy”. Its release comes just a fortnight after the highly acclaimed “Wonder Woman” and no doubt the two will be compared, probably more than they should be.
“The Mummy” is in no way to be taken seriously – if you’re the type to head to your local, order the roast-of-the-day and say “hold the corn”, you’re going to be disappointed. However if you take it in stride with tongue in cheek, “The Mummy” is an entertaining ride of action, horror, mostly solid acting and probably unnecessary but nonetheless included sexual tension. If you’re expecting a game changing original monster movie without corny one liners and over-acting, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.
“The Mummy” is the introduction to the “Dark Universe” franchise of movies, kicking off in Egypt with a cursed princess, Ahmanet. Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) uncover an Egyptian tomb in the middle of Iraq, after Morton finds a map and sees potential to pilfer hidden artifacts and sell them on the black market. Of course the uncovering of the tomb brings forth a curse upon the release of Ahmanet, and a holier-than-thou archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who’s your typical man-hating know-it-all addition to the team.
After trying to transport Ahmanet’s corpse back to Britain, it all goes awry and the plane crashes, and the appearance of a whole bunch of apocalyptic happenings appear, an apparent sign that they have angered the Gods. Ahmanet (slash the title character of The Mummy), played by Sofia Boutella, is a visually effective albeit historically challenging depiction of Egyptian culture, but does enough to tell her story while acting well – in a creepy way that’s just a little bit too sexually suggestive. She picks Nick as her “chosen”, and essentially the movie’s premise begins here, as she tries to capture him to live in eternal life (or death?!) with her.
Back in London, Russell Crowe plays Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde, and despite the accent that slides between posh-British, to Australian, and then back to a cockney British, he’s a solid addition to the Dark Universe and plays the villain well, without being over the top and unbelievable. The Jekyll/Hyde character isn’t all to un-relatable either, and anyone who’s had the pleasure of living with me would probably agree.
“The Mummy” is a good example of looks over personality. The visual effects and cinematography are the highlight of the movie, and it goes to show that just cause something looks pretty, doesn’t mean that it will have the substance that will make you want to take it home for a nightcap. Having said that, it does provide an entertaining and enjoyable ride, with a few scares and a few zingers to get a chuckle out of even the coldest heart. It’s campy but it’s also done its job to give the audience an escape for an hour an a half. My advice is to zone out, and enjoy the ride.
Tom Cruise is a solid investment these days, always reliable to perform a few kickass action sequences, date women young enough to be his daughter, deliver a few sarcastic lines all while dripping in vanity and facetiousness. Wallis is probably the weak link, but even by no fault of her own given a cliche yet uninspired script that’ll see you roll your eyes at yet another woman who is smarter, hotter and too good for every man. Boutella delivers more girl power here, albeit being the villain. I’d like to say Jake Johnson’s inclusion is for comic relief, and while he does deliver, Cruise delivers more of the hilarity you’re probably after in this movie.
Gonna give a trigger warning here – if you don’t like spiders, rats or other creepy crawlies, be warned. They’re gonna be there. And they’re gonna be in your nightmares tonight.