The Mummy is a shockingly lousy attempt by Universal to copy the Marvel Cinematic Universe format. As the first installment of the lamely titled Dark Universe series, The Mummy is a bloated mess, with poorly written characters, easily predictable dialogue, and a very lame premise.
The film follows an antique thief named Nick Morton (played by Tom Cruise), who accidentally unearths an ancient mummy princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). With magical, evil powers unlike anything Earth has seen before, princess Ahmanet unleashes that power upon the city of London. It is now up to Nick, his archaeologist friend Jennifer, and Dr. Jekyl (who runs an organization that locates and kills monsters) to stop Ahmanet.
Instead of sticking to the horror genre like the 1932 version, The Mummy goes full summer blockbuster on us, substituting slow building terror for big dumb action movie. The whole film feels like it was artificially birthed in a test tube, with zero passion and little creativity involved in the project. Existing solely to make money.
Most of the actors, like Russell Crowe (as Dr. Jekyl) and Annabelle Wallis (as Jennifer Halsey), were unfortunately pretty terrible. Both Crowe and Wallis (and Cruise, for that matter) have almost no character or solid personality. Crowe is just an uptight businessman with no emotion, and doesn’t serve the conflicted character of Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde any justice. Cruise and Wallis have this awkward relationship that is quite confusing to follow, and never really goes anywhere.
Tom Cruise’s character, for some odd reason, remained utterly confused the entire runtime. He incessantly repeated questions like “What?”, “What’s going on here?”, “Who is that?”, “Why would you say that?”. Cruise was extremely obnoxious, and often times was a jerk. Not the kind of character I want at the forefront of many movies to come.
The only slightly interesting character in the entire film was Sofia Boutella, who played the mummy. Her performance was the closest thing to having fun while watching The Mummy, as Boutella was the only one who was able to show emotion in her acting.
The film made occasional attempts to be humorous, but the jokes always fell flat. Not a single person in the audience ever laughed, or even chuckled. The film even left long pauses in-between jokes for the audience to roar with laughter, but all The Mummy got was dead silence.
The climax of the film so unnecessarily elongated, that even the small amount of excitement built-up is squandered. By the time the filmmakers stopped beating around the bush and rolled the credits, I was completely out of patience. We the audience are left with no lasting impressions, no sense of resolution, and no interest in seeing where any of this is going to go in the future.
Other than the occasional good camera shot (like when the sarcophagus is first pulled from the tomb) and the excellent performance of Sofia Boutella, The Mummy has very little to offer. With multiple great interpretations of The Mummy already existing, there is no reason for anyone to see this disappointing flick. I’m not sure exactly what the Dark Universe has in store for the future, but if The Mummy serves as some sort of foreshadowing, we’re in for a snoozefest.
The Verdict: D-