There’s a lot of talk that the 2017 Universal Pictures The Mummy reboot may be the single worst Tom Cruise movie of the modern age. I say that because if you look at Rotten Tomatoes scores for Cruise flicks, the worst is Cocktail at 5%, Elizabethtown is at 28%, Lions For Lambs at 27%, and The Mummy is now at 17%.
The trailers really didn’t do anything to make me WANT to see the film, other than their use of the Stones’ “Paint it Black” sitar-esk guitar riff, which admittedly was pretty cool with the visuals of a tattooed lady mummy destroying London.
A little promising, but pretty sure most movie watchers still think of Brendan Fraser when someone mentions “The Mummy”. Hard to beat the levels of comedy, terror, and Imhotep that 1999’s version gave us. But of course, the classic 1932 Boris Karloff version and the 1959 Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee versions are the penultimate of the story.
2017’s offering ties up there with London Has Fallen as a film that makes me ashamed to be an American. We’ve got Tom Cruise’s character Nick Morton as a treasure hunter who travels the middle east ahead of the American military and steals things. He and his partner Chris Vail (played by Jake Johnson) ‘accidentally’ start a firefight in a small Iraqi village, and then Chris calls an airstrike. Like, what? Not only is this jerk Indiana Jones wannabe stealing antiquities and selling them on the black market, but now he’s causing the death of innocents because of a firefight HE started? It almost seemed like the gun toting ‘bad guys’ were going to possibly guardians of the tomb, but they weren’t. So, missed opportunity there guys.
The missile strike causes a pit to open in the middle of the now smoldering town, revealing a Blade Runner looking statue of a screaming Pharaoh’s face. This is the guardian of the resting place of Princess Ahmanet (played by Sofia Boutella), our resident villain.
Her back story is pretty basic, she was the only child of Pharaoh, groomed to take the seat of Egypt when he died, but he had a son with a second wife. So, Ahmanet struck a bargain with Set, and killed her family to gain power and favor of the God of Death. Before she could complete her end of the deal by bringing Set into the physical realm, she is captured and mummified alive as a punishment for her sins. Her sarcophagus rests under a small well of liquid mercury, because apparently it’s a mummy’s kryptonite. Kind of the only interesting take on an otherwise boring retelling.
There REALLY isn’t anything to spoil except for the last five minutes or so, so I’ll skip telling you why that part sucked and was an incredible let down, but it was. Let’s continue the white-a-fying of ancient powers! (No really, you’ll see what I mean if you decide to give this stupid freaking movie money.)
I was REALLY hoping Russell Crowe would save the film, and while yes he’s kind of the best part of a crappy movie, he’s in no way good. Casting modern Jor El as Dr. Henry Jekyll aka Mr. Hyde was a brilliant choice, and the duality the Australian behemoth playing an Englishman *was* interesting to watch. He never REALLY gets his chance to explore the darker side of the character, even though yes we do get a fight between Nick and Hyde. But it isn’t good.
I keep coming back to that statement. “It wasn’t good, it isn’t good.” For a supposed first film in the Dark Universe, the bar is so incredibly low the next film can’t POSSIBLY be worse.
SCORE: 1 out of 5, viewed in 3D, doesn’t really need it.
The Good: I’m still wracking my brain to find ANYTHING positive to say about the movie, other than the design of Princess Ahmanet is lovely and the minion mummies are dry and interesting.
The Bad: Pretty much the entire film. Can’t we have a female villain, all powerful, who DOESN’T derive her power from a male entity? Or have her motivation be solely for her gain, and not died to a male power? Like really, the last time we had a character like that, who wasn’t motivated by pleasing a male character by her nefarious actions was freaking Hocus Pocus. Ok and also Stardust, but I’m real tired of these tropes.
The Mummy opens worldwide on Friday, June 9th 2017.