It’s seems as though a summer blockbuster can’t be released without being part of a universe. We have the MCU, the DCEU, the Monsterverse, and now we have the “Dark Universe.” The Dark Universe is Universal’s (we’re aware of how many times we just said the word universe) newest cinematic thread that will see all of its original monsters (i.e. The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein, etc). After the Universal logo we see something that we typically aren’t used to; a large logo that presents the following film as a part of the new Dark Universe. Just like our own, universes aren’t planned, their spawned organically. The film suffers from trying to start a world in a film that’s meant to be solely an origin story. Adjacently, The Mummy has a few fascinating action sequences, but ultimately, the film falls into stereotypical plot and dialogue tropes that make most summer blockbusters so lackluster. No actor has been more hit and miss when it comes to big-budget features as of late than Tom Cruise, and undoubtedly, this one might be on the far side of the worst.
The Mummy is the story of a soldier who awakens an ancient evil and coincidentally also contracts her curse. With the help of an architect and Dr. Jekyll, he seeks a way to stop the undead and undo what’s happening to him. The film stars Tom Cruise in a normal role that consists of him running, punching, jumping, and then trying to conjure the same acting chops he had twenty years prior with much disappointment. In a film like Edge of Tomorrow they knew what they had with Cruise and were intelligent enough to know they shouldn’t slip in a scene of him sobbing or trying to show human qualities. Supporting Cruise is Annabelle Wallis playing the stereotypical damsel in distress, Jake Johnson playing the stereotypical comedic relief, Russel Crowe playing the stereotypical one-dimensional narrator (with a modest twist; Dr. Jekyll) whose sole purpose is to explain plot, and Sofia Boutella, who is a revelation in everything she’s in, is the reason for a whole star of this film’s rating. Her demeanor is unlike any other actresses today and she has made a fan out of me, and studios be worn, cast her in your film and I’ll be buying a ticket.
“Ultimately, the film falls into stereotypical plot and dialogue tropes that make most summer blockbusters so lackluster”
The film does have a few redeeming qualities. The airplane crash is intense, one of the action sequences featuring zombies (i mean mummies) was intriguing, Sofia Boutella is stunning, and the universe being set up does seem slightly interesting; that’s it, though. Four good qualities in a 110 minute film is just a recipe for disaster. Assuming the box office results will be as disappointing as the film, it’s a complete toss up whether or not the Dark Universe the studio counted on will ever see the light of day.
The Mummy bought shoes two sizes too big assuming it would grow into them and then stayed the exact size everyone assumed it would. It tried and establish a plethora of sequels before it even had a single successful film under its belt. The consensus from the trailer was that the film was doomed, but the hype I had for this film, more importantly the universe it hoped to conceive, was pretty optimistic. Ignorance may be bliss but the misfire of this film is something that no one will be able to turn a blind eye to.
The Mummy isn’t not good; it’s bad. Not comparing it to the 1999 Brendan Fraser feature, not comparing it to any other origin stories in any other universes, and not comparing it to any other films this summer; this film is unentertaining. I rarely ever am this hard on a film, but I do not recommend any level of film-lover to see this. The rating below is the lowest I’ve given to a film all year, and I’m fully confident in my decision.