“Tom Cruise is the worst thing about this Dark Universe kick starter.”
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis
Rated PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity.
Trailer: Click Here!
I finally got around to seeing the Mummy reboot, and while critics are right about some things, this movie does not deserve the level of hate it has received. Most of the movie is enjoyable. The Mummy has only made $57 million in the US, but an additional $230 million at international theaters. So even though it tanked in the US, the overseas sales will undoubtedly keep the Dark Universe franchise afloat. Why so much hate from us Americans? I think most of it can be traced to two main reasons: the lack of the movie being a full fledged horror movie and movie goers not really understanding what Universal Pictures was going for with this movie.
First, it is vital that you understand what the movie studio is going for before seeing this movie or you will be confused beyond belief. Forget the last set of mummy movies. If you haven’t heard, this reboot is all about kicking off Universal’s Dark Universe cinematic franchise. They are essentially copying the Marvel Cinematic Universe except instead of superheroes, this universe will center around all of Universal’s old monster movie characters. So far Dracula, the Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, along with a few others have been announced as being in the works. Johnny Depp has been announced as The Invisible Man, while Javiar Bardem will be Frankenstein’s monster. The Mummy is the introduction to this larger franchise.
This is such a fantastic concept that could make for some entertaining movies. It’s not an entirely new concept, however as a few of the monsters have already been in movies together in the past. I’m curious to see if the monster’s will fight each other or if they’ll come together similar to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Not a bad movie in it’s own right which is based on a graphic novel. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out). I can’t wait to see this Universe branch out to see what shape it will take.
The infamous Dr. Jekeyl, played by Russell Crowe, has been redesigned as the “Nick Fury” of this world, which is all I’ll spoil about his role. I’m fascinated with how they used the character and looking forward to how he’ll be used in movies to come. I enjoyed Crowe’s interpretation of the character as well, however would have preferred a more “monstrous” looking Hyde. The dual accents he used for each personality was a nice touch.
Sofia Boutella was stunning as this movie’s mummy. She was a perfect casting choice, the only issue being not having more to do in the movie. Annabelle Wallis played Cruise’s forced love interest. She really didn’t add anything to the movie other than being another pretty face. Jake Johnson (Nick from New Girl) adds some comedy to the movie in a weird way that is actually a borrowed idea from An American Werewolf in London.
The other issue from critics is the lack of true horror. While there are some horror like qualities to The Mummy, it is not a horror movie. At least not by today’s definition. It’s more of an action movie with suspenseful moments. That’s either going to be fine or horrible, depending on what you want out of the movie. To be honest I thought the tone and level of darkness was fine for the most part. If you compare this movie to the classic monster movies, it’s an smart step in its evolution. However there are moments where the movie does fail to be as dark as it wants to be, and that is primarily Cruise’s fault. More on that in a moment.
Speaking of Cruise, Tom Cruise should not be in this movie. While he is a fantastic action star in his own right, he only serves to hinder what the movie is trying to accomplish. For one, this movie is supposed to be focused on monsters, specifically the mummy, and instead there is way too much emphasis placed on Cruise. This is validated by reports that Tom has a large amount of “Cruise control” on every movie he’s a part of: from having a say on approving aspects of the script to even how the marketing of the film is handled. Universal was trying to attach a “big name” to the movie to draw people in, but they should have gone with someone less well known.
The Mummy parts of the story are interesting; Princess Ahmanet has a different motivation from the previous mummy movies…sort of. While fun, there are a couple elements here and there that are borrowed from the Brendan Fraser movies, the original movies from the 1930’s, as well as other horror movies. The movie ends in an interesting way. When I started to realize the direction the movie was heading I was impressed. However, Tom Cruise dramatically dulls the punch the ending is supposed to have. You can tell that the movie is supposed to end on a cliff hanger, however given the fact that Tom ALWAYS plays the same type of character, you leave the movie already knowing how the next one will most likely go.
The Mummy falls short in equal amounts that it succeeds. If you can go into it with little to no expectations, it can be a very enjoyable ride that leaves you interested to see where the franchise will go next. I think it would actually benefit Universal to recast Cruise with someone who’s not overly concerned with always playing the same type of action hero. The next movie scheduled for release in the Dark Universe is Bride of Frankenstein in 2018.