The first reviews of Tom Cruise's 'The Mummy' are in

Candice Alexander
June 8, 2017

Media people who pay too much attention to movie news resent the advanced planning that either presumes upon our goodwill or assumes a winning weekend box office figure can be bought with a big enough marketing budget plus China. Universal's answered seemed flawless, steeped in the entire history of both the studio and Hollywood as a whole. Dubbed Dark Universe, the ambitious project akin to the connected phases of Marvel and DC films ultimately let that idea fall to the wayside when the aforementioned feature was hardly the moneymaker the studio expected. Excitement that was quickly dashed.

The "Mummy" reboot from 1999, directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, was kind of fun.

"The Mummy" is a literal-minded, bumptious monster mash of a movie.

Accidentally awoken by soldier of fortune Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), this original and extraordinarily powerful monster sets out to reclaim her stolen kingdom and ascend to her rightful place as pharaoh.

In the present day, a skilled but crafty army sergeant Nick Morton dabbles in illegal sales of ancient artifacts with his accomplice Chris Vail. Inside the tomb, they find the mercury submerged sarcophagus of Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), a former Egyptian princess who was embalmed alive after slaughtering her family in a power play and attempting to resurrect the dark lord Set. "I will be your queen", she promises Nick.

Why do you love movies so much? Ahmanet wants to win, everybody else is rather against this, fighting, etc.

Even just in thinking about what plot elements to put into the spoiler-free synopsis, I reached a point where I said "Well, that's really all there is to it unless I want to start describing individual scenes". And we're given no compelling reason to care about what happens to any of them (although if you like to see Cruise get the shit kicked out of him, this might be the movie for you).

And that's a shame because the Mummy elements are easily the movie's strongest parts. The backstory of Ahmanet is compelling and Boutella delivers a performance that's at once terrifying and tragic, something which is integral to the Universal monsters-they're never straight-up villains. And the scariest parts within this are of the newly awakened Ahmanet, in her rickety living dead guise, sucking the life out of hapless police officers, thus turning them into emaciated slaves intent on fulfilling their mistress' wishes. However, even these aspects that work better than others, toward the end of the movie, they too are rushed and underdeveloped. It's the cheapest feeling expensive movie I've seen in ages, and it has the potential to torpedo an entire intended franchise before it even fully begins.

"This has some nice moments but is basically a mess, with various borrowings, including some mummified bits from An American Werewolf in London". Instead, it's focused on homegrown franchises, like the $5.1 billion "Fast & Furious" films, the $3.6 billion "Jurassic Park" films and the $2.7 billion "Despicable Me" films, to name a few. Nick knows this because he stole the information from Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), an archaeologist in the employ of academic jack-of-all-trades Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). We can't settle in and enjoy it for the daffy action comedy it should be when [director Alex] Kurtzman won't give his cast the chance to milk their lines for comedy.

All in all, The Mummy was a satisfactory introduction for horror fans to enter a new world of cinematic monsters.

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