A Egyptian princess is discovered asleep in her crypt, deep under a desert. The princess, who of course is awakened in this movie, was once betrayed and now she is awake again, she is full of determination to take what she feels is rightfully hers. The film’s main lead is a treasure hunter and common thief, Nick (played by Tom Cruise), who helped discover and awaken the princess. His life becomes haunted and challenged. Let the terror begin.
The Mummy is a reboot with a new set of characters, but it also feels like the beginning to what could be a monsters universe with selected characters making returns in future films. This isn’t the first time we have seen a reboot of a franchise to start a universe reset. In fact, this year we have already been greeted with titles such as Kong: Skull Island.
Does the film stand well enough on its own to perhaps launch into a new exciting franchise and monsters universe?
As far as the film’s plot is concerned, I was genuinely invested in the first 10 – 20 mins. Nick (Tom Cruise) made the discovery of the secret tomb and delivered a truly impressive aeroplane sequence (which is no surprise given the actor’s history of outstanding stunt work).
But once the plane crashed, it felt like the film did too…
Because of Universal’s previous (and fun) film franchise “The Mummy” from 1999, there were some serious shoes to fill. Not just from a plot perspective, but also in regards to the characters through the film’s runtime. The 1st time I saw The Mummy in 1999, I remember being slightly scared by the creatures (including those damn scarabs), but then the cinema would find themselves laughing at another moment and really enjoying the film as we all jammed popcorn in our mouths. The new version seems to be very unsure of itself. The start of the film manages to pull off some fun action moments with quirky, fun scriptwriting, but all of this very quickly turns into a dark, serious film without the fun thrill ride this adventure film should be all about.
The creatures in the new version come off more like zombies and I grew very tired of Nick being called into dream sequences among other flashbacks. There are also many scenes where the lead characters are about to get killed, but just in time, they are saved by a random group or character (very corny!). We also get introduced to characters to fill in time. One such character is played by the well known Australian actor Russell Crowe, who appears in a supporting lead role with a decent amount of screen time. However, unless this franchise or monster universe takes off, I can’t help think that his character and our time with him might be… well…. a wasted opportunity.
The film’s visual is also very dark and there is no use of stunning colours or jaw-dropping visuals. While I understand the film is set in dark caves and tombs, the film struggles to make it easy to enjoy the film visually. I’m happy to announce the film’s audio track was full and loud, making selected action scenes (ie the aeroplane sequence) very demo worthy audio tracks to show off one’s home theatre when your friends come over.
Overall, The Mummy in 2017 doesn’t measure up to much when compared to the 1999 film. While Tom Cruise plays the part well and he is trying, the film’s plot is trying far too hard to be serious and I’m sure there had to be many disappointed fans at the visuals. The film also tries to invest side characters with subplots which was a massive risk to take. So far I would say it’s not a great start for a rebooted series.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden