Nobody asked for this franchise to come back to life, yet here we are. So, is this resurrection worth all the fuss?
The Mummy follows the story of an army-dude (Tom Cruise) accidentally awakening a Mummy (Sofia Boutella) – yep.
Tom Cruise is one of the biggest American action stars in the world, and while its clear Cruise is the main draw for this film, the truth is that any male star with experience could have played this role. The character himself has less substance than the villain and all things considered, he actually has very little dialogue throughout the film. Accompanying our weak lead is the love interest played by Annabelle Wallis, she adds nearly nothing to this film other than existing as a stale plot device. Sofia Boutella plays the villain known as Princess Ahmanet and thankfully offers some emotional variety to the film, but suffers from similar script and storyline issues. Russel Crow pops his head in to play a peculiar role that feels strikingly out of place, though from sheer emotional performance he stands at the top – though I feel his main function in this film was exposition. Without a doubt the worst performance came from Jake Johnson, his comic relief role was exceptionally cringey and left the entire cinema hearing crickets in his myriad of awkward jokes.
As the originals never concerned themselves with being “great” film’s, it’s only fair to allow the same chance from this reboot, all it needed to be was entertaining, and it certainly wasn’t that – from dry humor, jump scares, and a story nearly completely out of focus. The Mummy (2017) uses its plot devices to push the story forward, for example: a character blacks out and appears in a location that is needed to make the story move forward; these types of moves are not only lazy storytelling but also boring storytelling, as you get no reference in which direction the film is going in, and ultimately lose interest in the “whys” of it all. Yes, the originals had some jump scares and dry humor, but they had a damn entertaining story, and the characters had chemistry.
The editing and flow of this movie was like a leaf in a sandstorm, it stayed in the air but had no real sense of direction, ultimately cutting forward and backwards on purpose to add further mystery to the story. While the production design was at its most impressive in the flashbacks, some of the blurry action sequences and quick cut shaky cam made much of the fast paced action hard to distinguish, the visual effects were surprisingly good enough to not dish out any major gripes. While the music is not much compared The Mummy Returns composer Alan Silvestri, it does add some ominous Egyptian inspired instrumentals where appropriate.
This is Director Alex Kurtzman’s first full scale directorial debut, and it hasn’t been a great one – this film feels like nothing but a catalyst for Universal’s Dark Universe expansion, and it feels like a mucky beginning to a strange universe that is being spawned. I hope to see more TLC put into these projects in the future. With characters drier than the sands of Egypt and a shockingly dull script – The Mummy (directed by Alex Kurtzman) has blatant similarities to the 1999 installment; except it struggles to pull out anything remotely interesting from a dried up storyline that nobody asked to be rebooted.