[Photo by Universal Pictures]

Film Review: The Mummy (2017)

13:47 June 08, 2017
By: Fritz Esker

Since shared universe movies are the big thing now, Hollywood has decided to bring the old Universal monsters back to life (Frankenstein, Invisible Man, etc.) in a series of cross-over films. The new series starts with The Mummy. There’s flashes of promise here, but it mostly feels like a mess.

Tom Cruise plays a rogue soldier in Iraq stealing antiquities with his sidekick (Jake Johnson). When he crosses the path of an archaeologist (Annabelle Wallis), they unearth the sarcophagus of a cursed Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella) who was mummified alive. And unspeakable evil is reborn, etc.

To its credit, The Mummy at least does not just regurgitate the plot beats of the previous Mummy films. If anything, it borrows more elements from 1981’s An American Werewolf in London and 1985’s Lifeforce than previous Mummy movies. Here, the Mummy wants Cruise to be her partner/slave in eternal life/world destruction. But, it ultimately feels like there are too many ideas competing for space in one story. Johnson’s character completely disappears for a large stretch of the film. Russell Crowe appears as Dr. Jekyll (yes, that Dr. Jekyll) as the head of an international organization that fights evil.

A few instances of dark humor breathe life into the story, such as a scene where you see the logistical problems of fighting decomposing corpses. But mostly, it ends up being another forgettable CGI-heavy blockbuster-to-be.

** stars (out of four)

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