Welcome To A New World Of Gods And Monsters
‘The Mummy’ starring Tom Cruise is a reboot of the 1999 film franchise, and the first instalment of Universal Studios’ shared Dark Universe, reviving its monster characters. While it had the budget and an A-List cast, is it a strong start to the new franchise?
American solider Nick Morton (Cruise) discovers the tomb of Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an Egyptian princess who has been entombed under the desert for thousands of years. She is accidentally awakened, and she embarks on a rampage through the streets of London. It’s up to Morton to stop the resurrected monster before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, Tom Cruise is miscast in his role as Morton. As the lead, it seems Cruise aims to be the charismatic, humorous soldier and hero, but it just doesn’t seem to suit the film at all. He’s trying to play the cliched unlikeable, self-centred jerk who has the potential to be a good person if makes the right choices in life, a role Cruise doesn’t play that often. He seems mature for a role that should be performed by a younger actor, doesn’t have chemistry with his female co-stars, his character and the former love interest is underdeveloped.
Sofia Boutella is marvellous as Princess Ahmanet. She’s an alluring, motivated villain and brings terror to the role of the Mummy.
Russell Crowe appears as Dr Henry Jekyll (to set up the character for a standalone film in Universal’s monster universe). Crowe is remarkable as the brilliant scientist with the monstrous alter-ego, Edward Hyde. He’s able to play the complex character with dual identities well and nails the no-nonsense tone of the movie.
Alex Kurtzman (‘People Like Us’) has directed blockbuster disaster. Unlike the previous Mummy films set in the 1920s, this modern retelling takes place in the present day which may read well on paper but doesn’t translate well to the screen.
While there are some thrills, most of the movie is lifeless. It lacks the elements of a Mummy film; fun, adventure and romance. The special effects are over-the-top and flimsy. The only thing good in the production is the solid cinematography and editing.
The narrative loses its balance, focusing on setting up the Dark Universe by introducing characters into the franchise like Crowe’s Jekyll/Hyde and the organisation he works for and taking up a portion of the film. It makes the movie feel rushed and ridiculous to follow. The filmmakers should’ve focused more The Mummy as a whole, focusing more on character development and story instead of taking a page from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe building a shared universe.
A disappointing and forgettable start to the new monster universe. Here’s wishing the next instalment of the franchise will be an improvement.
Rating 1.5/5 Stars