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The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, not Brendan Fraser, is the first official entry into Universal’s new Dark Universe franchise. A franchise created by Universal Studios that was known as the “monsterverse”, that ruled the screens from the 1920s to 1950s. A franchise much like the model created by Marvel and now, DC, except the stars are the movie monsters, not superheroes. The Mummy is not a remake, nor a reimagining of the 1999 film. This film is marketed and presented as an anchor to a brand new series featuring superhero monsters. It would have been interesting to watch if it was actually good.
The movie opens with a huge exposition scene, detailing the story of the evil mummy, and how she was buried alive as punishment for her crimes. Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, a scavenger who is looking for treasure in the desert with his buddy, Chris Vail (Jake Johnson). While barely escaping imminent danger, they come across a buried lost city, which happens to be the burial grounds where the mummy’s tomb is kept. Nick accidentally frees the mummy and inherits a curse, which causes him, Vail, and archaeologist Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) to be chased by her for the rest of the film.
There a lot of flaws with The Mummy, and they are spotted almost immediately. When I say immediately, I mean in the opening credits. There is a montage at the beginning of the film highlighting all of the famous monsters from Universal Studios from the 1920s on leading to the universal logo changing form to read the words “Dark Universe”. Obviously, it is not up to the audience to decide if Universal should create a new franchise, but after it being shoved in your face immediately upon the opening shot, audiences aren’t really given choice to decide if they should like it not. Because we are told there are going to be more.
The second flaw is the miscasting of Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise is 54 years old. He doesn’t look 54, but he doesn’t look 28 either. Again, not a problem, but he is treated and even flat out referred to as a naïve young man. The character is cocky, immature womanizer. A character that Tom Cruise has played, several times, around 20-30 years ago. And in movies such as the Mission Impossible series, Edge of Tomorrow, etc. Tom Cruise has since played more well-rounded action since then. To be honest, it seemed the role was beneath him.
The final flaw which is the biggest one is the script. It had about six different writers, possibly a bunch of different drafts and it shows. It starts with narrated exposition, then almost immediately leads to an action scene, and there is a love story thrown in, although you are not really sure if Cruise and Wallis really like each other let alone love each other, and there’s a horror movie in going on as well. This movie has no idea what it wants to be, one scene you have Tom Cruise quipping, another scene Russell Crowe comes in and provides, even more, exposition, and there’s the Mummy that shows up sometimes. There is absolutely no consistent tone here.
The Mummy is a mess, it’s a cash grab for the international audience, and watching it is cringeworthy. Skip it!