‘The Mummy’ (2017) Review

Thanks to Universal Pictures we had a chance to see ‘The Mummy’ before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!

The “remake of the original remake” “The Mummy” (staring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz) is finally here. Tom Cruise is, well, Tom Cruise, playing the same action hero role he’s played since the early 2000s. This remake is the first of the Universal “Dark Universe” franchise. Universal Studios is remaking the horror/monster classics of the last century. Reboots of Frankenstein, staring Javier Bardem, and The Invisible Man, starring Johnny Depp are also in the works.

Unlike its predecessors, “The Mummy” is set in the present era and centres around Nick Morton (Cruise), an ex-military grifter working in the Middle East. After a military operation’s explosion brings to light an undiscovered ancient Egyptian tomb, Nick and archaeologist Jenny Hasely (Annabelle Wallis) come face to face with an ancient mummy (Sofia Boutella). This ancient force attaches itself to Nick, throwing him into a new world of monsters and evil. Cue Russel Crowe as Dr Henry Jekyll, who introduces both Nick and the audience into this monstrous dark universe.

“The Mummy” definitely delivers great action scenes, fun stunts, funny moments and does keep the audience on the edge of their seats with some jump scares. Despite the silliness, the film has a good pace and is engaging. Tom Cruise plays the role of the charismatic, charming leading man well, but it’s not a huge leap for him. As a film, it’s probably most suitable for teen audiences and is a good watch purely for its schlocky elements. However, for some reason, Cruise occasionally changes his tone and sometimes tries to be less like Ethan Hunt and more like Brendan Fraser (really?).

“The Mummy” doesn’t have the charm of the original series of reboots (excluding the third film with its idiotic yetis and the amazing Jet Li getting his arse kicked by Brendan Fraser…really?). The comedy feels forced and detracts from the intensity of some situations. It feels like the three main actors – Cruise, Wallis and Crowe are all in different films. Cruise at times plays his character for laughs, meanwhile Wallis (the archaeologist) plays the situations seriously. The dynamic between these characters feels off. Annabelle Wallis is a relative newcomer, best known for the horror film Annabelle. She is miscast. She looks incredibly awkward and uncomfortable in the film and doesn’t have a good sense of comic timing. Meanwhile Russel Crowe is good in his portrayal of the well-known Jekyll/Hyde character and the “boss” of the underground monster program. It was hard, though, to take Russel Crowe’s corny ‘English’ Mr Hyde and his monster program very seriously.

The films inability to create strong tension and a true sense of panic and chaos was its downfall. Sofia Boutella as the evil mummy played the part well, and for most of the film she’s the highlight. However, there wasn’t a strong sense of fear generated by her character, mostly because of the predictable story-line that feels like a mix between 2003’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and Michael Jackson’s video clip for “Thriller” (enter the zombie-looking-mummy cops). At times it was hard to see the Mummy as evil and she wasn’t portrayed scarily enough to have a lasting impact, especially because for most of the film she is chained or trying to perform  surrounded by a ridiculous amount of CGI. With the lack of tension, it was hard to sympathise with the Cruise character at all.

Although it has its faults, The Mummy can be an enjoyable film if you lower you expectations. It is fun, action-packed and can be enjoyed by the whole family. It’s a bittersweet treat, that only makes you wonder why Hollywood don’t look at its classic films like Boris Karloff‘s The Mummy (1932) more carefully to get things right. Seriously, how hard can it be?

“The Mummy” – In Cinemas Now!