Universal Pictures’ remake of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise wasn’t too high on the public’s radar in a field of movies including Guardians, Pirates and Wonder Woman. Fans weren’t exactly craving for more Mummy incarnations and Tom Cruise doesn’t possess the same domestic box office muscles he once did since the day he jumped on Oprah’s couch. Things were looking down for the remake’s prospects, then Universal unveiled their master plan for The Mummy.
This new take on The Mummy is meant to be the first installment in Universal’s Dark Universe franchise featuring all of the studio’s classic movie monsters in connecting stories including The Invisible Man(Johnny Depp), Frankenstein(Javier Bardem), The Wolfman, Dracula and The Creature from the Black Lagoon to name a few (casting TBD). This sparked new interest in the remake as Universal seemed to be all in on this new The Mummy. Unfortunately, this remake/first installment is a very disappointing start to the Dark Universe.
Where to start unraveling all the problems with The Mummy? First off the movie has the curse of being below average in everything it tries to accomplish on-screen. The Mummy struggles with its approach telling a new solo tale about one of the famed creatures while also kickstarting an overall film universe. None of the ideas presented in the movie are fresh except for casting a female as the evil Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). She is the one bright spot in The Mummy, but even the talented Boutella gets bogged down with a bad script and plot direction that is always off course.
The Mummy also takes absolutely zero risks with its subject matter, considering the source material would be the 1932 horror classic by the same name starring Boris Karloff. There’s no doubt you can push the limits of the PG-13 rating these days, but The Mummy is not freaky or scary at all. Actually, there is more zombie interaction than Mummy mayhem for the most part of the film’s 1 hour and 50 minute running time. What’s even worse is the zombies look like backup dancers from “The Thriller” video and there lies the biggest problem of all that plagues this reboot.
The Mummy suffers from a severe identity crisis worse than the underwhelming Dr. Jekyll played by Russell Crowe in the film. There are times where the film attempts to be a comedy (especially in the first act) and it fails miserably in trying to do so. Universal and director Alex Kurtzman can’t decide if they want this franchise to be campy fun for the whole family to enjoy or a dark mythology of modern-day monsters we should take very seriously. None of it works and The Mummy comes off as unoriginal, uninspired and a complete waste of potential. Just like King Arthur, maybe there’s just no more room in Pop Culture for the classic monsters from the past like The Mummy in a world with the likes of the Avengers and Deadpool occupying the public’s attention.
Overall, I give The Mummy 1.5 out of 4 stars.
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