Oh hey, Medic’s late to reviewing a movie! Oh well, doesn’t matter, I might end up saving you a few quid. The only reason I went was because The Mummy, the first film of Universal Studios’ new Dark Universe series, was the only film on at 10pm on a Saturday at my local movie place. The four of us (me, my siblings and my cousin) had already seen the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. While Pirates of the Caribbean movie was a standard kids’ movie making money off an already existing franchise and merchandise that I didn’t feel mentioning, I felt that I should write an article about The Mummy simply because everyone else had and were comparing it to the old movies.
I’m not going to do that though. It’s been too long since I saw the previous Mummy movies and I don’t want to be accused of wearing rose-tinted glasses or anything. Not that I need to, because the 2017 Mummy movie has plenty of problems on its own.
Just a heads up, there are spoilers ahead. Because some of the problems involve things that happen in the movie.
The Mummy (2017) is a rather generic action/slightly scary action flick with
Nick, Tom Cruise’s character, is some sort of soldier-type of person who has been running around Iraq with his friend Neil… Okay I admit I don’t know the guy’s name, because it wasn’t really clear in the film, and the Greek subtitles kept on calling him Veil, which seems like a bad translation. Either way, the buddy guy is pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things. They’ve been running around Iraq stealing artifacts and selling them on the black market, using ISIL’s destruction of historic landmarks as cover for their actions.
Then they find a tomb, going to a location based on a map Nick stole from a woman called Jenny, who actually kinda knows what she’s doing because she’s an expert. They find this tomb which has weird stuff in it, as well as tons of mercury, and Nick decides to cut a rope that was holding everything together. They take the sarcophagus back to the UK, the plane crashes, Nick doesn’t die because the mummy in the tomb cursed him, his buddy is now an undead thingy who no one cares about and the mummy escapes. Things happen, people become undead zombies by being kissed by the mummy, there’s a load of stuff flying around, explosions and stuff and a love interest between Jenny and Nick and they capture her and she escapes and… really the plot is pretty damn obvious.
This time though, the mummy is a jilted princess who made a deal with Seth, the God of Death, to become pharaoh after her father suddenly has a male heir. And of course she’s sexy and nearly naked, which, on top of the curse she gives Nick, means that the main character is torn between two ladies. And she’s not really that mummy-y. At first she is, when she’s a desiccated corpse who sucks people’s life out of their bodies and turns them into zombies, but it doesn’t take long at all for her to turn into a very attractive evil woman who just has weird bandages and writing on her. Pretty easy cosplay though apart from the weird four-eyes thing.
I can look past that though. She does a good job of being generically slightly scary and rather menacing, even when running around with nothing on or tied up. It’s everything else that is incredibly, incredibly generic.
Oh look, a vaguely likeable main character who starts of being a crummy thief sort of thing and has to redeem himself.
Oh look, the bad guy is angry because she wouldn’t have all the power she wanted, overreacts, then gets punished and imprisoned until she’s abruptly woken up in the present by accident. There’s also that “use someone’s body to become the embodiment of all evil” thing going on.
Oh look, a smart, attractive female expert and love interest for the crummy main character.
Oh look, the bad guy can make people into her servants. Seriously, they just look like generic undead beings. They even die by having their heads caved in. Nothing special about them at all.
Oh look, jump scares. And everything is dark. Because making actual horror is hard.
Oh look, a shady organization that’s supposed to stop this shit from happening but fails to do so in any way what so ever.
Oh look, the bad guy broke free and is now causing destruction in a major city.
Oh look, the love interest is dead/dying and the main character is sad.
Oh, who would have guessed? The main character is sacrificing himself to save his love interest and at the same time manages to defeat the bad guy!
The only real twist is that, rather than destroying the big evil thing that looms, Nick decides to absorb it and try and contain it, then runs away. But it’s not a huge twist and mainly really only serves to continue the story in a second movie.
Speaking of other movies, that was the only reason there was a Doctor Jekyll in it. His appearances and shady organization only did two things – explain to the audience that this is part of a cinematic universe and cause a weird, unneeded fight between a cursed Nick and a (actually pretty cool) angry Mr. Hyde. But you could have replaced him with a vampire or a werewolf or even a Doctor Frankenstein and the effect would have been exactly the same.
As for the tone, it’s a dark, dreary tone. Everything is dark and hard to see. There’s some vaguely amusing parts, but they seem almost rude and out of place compared to everything else. Everything feels like maybe you’ve seen this before.
The weirdest thing of all is that our weird mummy didn’t need to do ANY of this deal-with-death-god stuff. The whole reason the mummy becomes completely evil is because she’s pissed that she had a little brother who would become heir to the throne. All she had to do was steal/hide/capture/kill a baby, which back in Ancient Egypt, was pretty fucking easy – it most likely would have died before the age of 5 on its own. Heck, she could have bribed someone to kill both the baby and the pharaoh and wouldn’t have ended up being mummified alive, and she would have been pharaoh with ease.
But this is a generic action flick that people are only really watching for Tom Cruise, or in the vague hopes that it’ll be a bit of camp fun like the old Mummy movies. No one cares about easily solved problems like that. In reality though, it’s just the start of a hastily written set of movies, designed to cash in on the whole Cinematic Universe fad. And it really, really shows.
If you like generic action films with the odd jump scare, then you’ll like the Mummy. If you’re expecting anything in particular (apart from Tom Cruise), then it might be worth waiting for the movie on Netflix or DVD or something.