Women can be mummies too, people. Come on. It’s 2017, you misogynist bastards.
BQB here with a review of The Mummy.
It’s hard to call this a reboot of the 1990s Brendan Fraser films, partly because those films were, themselves, reboots of Universal’s much older Mummy movies and partly because, in theory, mummies belong to us all. I have a feeling that Universal might try to slap you with a legal stick if you were to call your next book, “The Mummy” but otherwise, there’s no reason why you couldn’t pen a tale where mummies run around with reckless abandon. It was the Egyptians who invented mummies, after all, not some Hollywood suit of the Golden Age of Film Era.
Another reason why I hate to compare this film to the Fraser films (which I really loved at the time they came out and even to this day if I catch them on TV, I’ll watch them until the end) is that they’re both very different movies. Fraser’s were epic fantasy while this is an attempt to make a more serious, modern day monster film.
It’s also the first installment in Universal’s “Dark Universe” series, which I just learned, is a thing. I don’t know how this one got by me, seeing as how I am a reviewer of pop cultural happenings and all, but I assume Universal is trying to compete on Disney’s success of the ongoing Marvel movies and Warner Brother’s semi-success (the verdict is still out) with the DC films.
Universal was a pioneer in bringing movie monsters to life, wowing audiences of the long bygone black and white era with films about Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, Creature of the Black Lagoon and so on.
Apparently, Universal intends to bang out a bunch of these monster flicks in the coming years. Will the films tie in together? Will the monsters work together or fight one another in a great, big “let’s get all the big actors for one movie” type of film? Your guess is as good as mine.
In this version of “The Mummy,” Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, a soldier/scumbag who robs historic sites in Iraq of their ancient riches only to get away with the dirty deed knowing that terrorists will attack the sites and anything looted will be blamed on them. This is a rare role for Cruise as this essentially makes him an anti-hero. He’s not a good guy, but he does a good deed in the film, i.e. fights the Mummy.
Blah, blah, blah, Tom has a partner, Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) who is mainly in the film for comic relief and a love interest, archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis). Shenanigans ensue when a lady mummy (Sofia Boutella) is released and seeks to carry out an evil plan that she hatched thousands of years ago.
Rounding out the cast is Russell Crowe who (SPOILER ALERT) plays Dr. Henry Jekyll. That’s right. The Henry Jekyll as in “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” I found this to be a curious role and as I watched the film, I wondered if somewhere there was a writer who couldn’t decide if this film should be a Mummy movie or a Dr. Jeykll movie and then after I googled “Dark Universe” when I got home, I realized that Universal is raiding its long shut tomb of public domain/famous literary monster adaptations and bringing them together for our viewing pleasure.
It’s an interesting gambit and one that I hope works out for Universal. Disney/Marvel seems to be playing a game that other studios want in on. Though I’m not sure they’ll ever be topped, this movie is a solid attempt and arguably, a better one than the turd sandwich “Batman vs. Superman” that Warner Brothers dropped on us.
I’m sorry. I will never stop saying bad things about “Batman vs. Superman.” How do you screw that premise up? How? Someone tell me. Seriously.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Worth a trip to the theater. Tom Cruise might be a closet mummy as he is well-preserved for his age.