You know, sometimes I complain about a movie being lazy with poor screenwriting, bad execution, not so great editing, etc. But this time, with the newest iteration of The Mummy, this is a movie that’s trying too hard. It’s trying to be a Tom Cruise action movie, while also being a comedy action adventure, while still being a horror-thriller, and at times even stoops down into horror comedy spoof material. So yeah, in other words, it’s a mess. And not much can be salvaged from the film, which is, at this time, the second-worst film I’ve seen so far this year. Just look up my review for The Circle for that one.
The plot follows Nick, played by Tom Cruise, who is trying to find some buried treasure, more or less, in the Iraq desert. What he finds, however, after an air strike on a local village, is the tomb of Princess Ahmanet. With the help of archaeologist Jenny, Nick and his buddy Chris take the casket out of the area, but the aircraft they’re flying out on goes down after supernatural events, seemingly leaving all but Jenny dead. But Nick awakens in the morgue, and now he and Jenny must pair with Dr. Henry Jekyll to take down the resurrected Ahmanet before she ends the world as we know it. Yeah, it’s your basic mummy plot.
So we’ll start with the positives of the film, and they’re few and far between. Well, I guess first off the cast, for the most part, does an okay job. A few performances we’ll leave for the negatives, but the standout here is Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet. She did a good job in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) and was kick-ass in Star Trek Beyond (2016), and she’s about the only cast member to come out of this one unscathed. When the film needs her to be scary or creepy, she delivers, and when the film needs her to be an exposition spiller, she does that fine, too. Really her and Annabelle Wallis are the only ones who do good jobs with their roles. The heavily talked-about plane crash scene is also a nice action set-up and about the most memorable moment in the movie. Really that’s about all I got for now.
With the negatives, I guess I’ll start with this: I was completely lost in the last fifteen minutes of the film. It seemed like every couple of minutes something new was being introduced and the stakes were always changing. It’s like Ahmanet says one thing one moment, like if Tom Cruise does this or that, the results will be this and that, yet it seems like what she wants to happen will be a good thing, but then it’s not, you know what I mean? They just didn’t convey what the consequences were in a way that even dummy like me could understand. I still don’t know what happened or how it happened. All I know is the movie ended.
To continue where I left off with the cast, well Tom Cruise seems lost at sea here. The movie doesn’t know what to do with him. Is he the action star? Or is he a monster? Or is he a superhero? God, I don’t know and neither does he. Then we’ve got Russell Crowe in the famed role of Dr. Jekyll. While he’s trying to explain everything he’s competent, but there’s a moment where the alter-ego is awakened, and there’s a lot of build-up that makes it look like an exciting sequence, but he just comes off as looking silly and the scene is a real let-down. Lastly I’ve saved my wrath for Jake Johnson, who I’m sure is a nice guy in person, but in this film he came off as a whiny baby, and every time he opened his mouth it was just nails on a chalkboard. Tom Cruise’s character really values this guy, but I personally would have left him for dead back in Iraq where he belonged. Really one of the most irritating characters in some time.
Also in regards to the ending, there’s a few shots showing some damage coming to London, but there’s no follow-up. Were people hurt? Were’s Jekyll’s men going to try and cover it up? What happened? As I alluded to in the intro there, the movie just doesn’t know what it wants to be. There’s a number of action scenes, but they’re mostly in the first half. There’s a few horror sequences, but they’re really scattershot. There’s a few attempts at comedy, but almost all of them, without fail, fall flat. Adventure tries to sneak its way into the movie, too, but again it’s reserved for the first half then abandoned in the second half. There’s one chase scene involving some zombies and an ambulance that was so slap-stick that it was more like a spoof movie on the level of Dead Alive (1993, also known as Brain Dead) and while I love that film to pieces for embracing what it is and not straying from the path, The Mummy has no path. It meanders between genres and cliches from minute 1 to minute 107. Most of the time I’m able to tell what genre a movie can fit in, but with this one I can’t put it under action cause there’s horror and thriller elements; I can’t put it under horror because there’s comedy, action, and adventure moments; I can’t classify it as a comedy because there’s not enough of it; adventure is out, too, since it’s only for a few select scenes. I’d probably classify it under the genre of WTF.
I could go on, but I get the feeling you know what I’m going on about. Tom Cruise really should have stayed away from this one, and Universal should have really focused on making the movie the best movie it could be rather than rushing out with a new logo classifying the film under the so-called “Dark Universe”, which might quickly be out the window based on the quality of this first film. All I can end this review on is to say I guess at one point Sofia Boutella’s mummy offers to one point for Tom Cruise to join her, though it will, I guess, result in the end of life on earth. Well, screw the world, I’m taking Sofia Boutella!
My rating: 3/10.