From beneath the desert sands “The Mummy” returns in the latest reboot of the classic monster film this time starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella as the titular monster.
In the film, we see two American treasure hunters unleash a mummified princess who’s lust for power now threatens not only the world, but the soul of the man who found her. It’s worth noting that this is Universal’s flagship film for launching a planned cinematic universe bringing together all the classic villains from the silver age monster movies. And, unfortunately, given the quality of “The Mummy,” death may come on swift wings for the so called “Dark Universe.”
Simply put, “The Mummy” is a complete and impressive mess.
It’s rare to see so many qualified and talented people come together and produce a movie that completely manages to fail on every conceivable storytelling level. The tone of the film whips back and forth between scary, comedic and action.
Dialog between characters is flat and lifeless. Exposition dumps fill up valuable screen time with information that the audience either already knows or does little to make the audience care for what’s going on. The pacing is bogged down with oddly placed dream sequences or flashbacks. And to top it all off, the chemistry between the two leads is nonexistent.
In fact, the characters themselves are so one dimensional you’ll have a hard time remembering their names as you are watching the movie.
The few positives that I can note is that the cinematography is quite good at times and the effects work in terms of monster design. Also, Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella both turn in good performances even though neither one is given much to work with. But other than that, there really isn’t much to justify even a matinee ticket price. At best this could be considered a Netflix viewing.
In the end, the worst thing about the reboot of “The Mummy” isn’t just the poor quality of the end product, but the lost potential moving forward. Universal’s plan of creating the “Dark Universe,” love or hate the classic monsters, was, in this reviewer’s opinion, a good idea. They even throw in Easter eggs throughout the movie from “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” “Dracula,” and even a nod to the 1999 “The Mummy.” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde even make a cameo played by Russel Crowe as the leader of this organization dedicated to hunting down such monsters.
However, the studio decided to try and rush the foundations of this universe rather than taking their time to lay the world out properly. There’s enough material in this film to make several different movies. And trying to force all these elements into one story creates so many flaws.
It’s hard to tell where this franchise will go from here considering this movie, despite so much potential, showed up dead on arrival. But who knows, as has been said: “Death is only the beginning.”
1 out of 4 miners.