Review | The Mummy (2017)

Review | The Mummy (2017)


Move over Brendan Fraser! Now it’s Tom Cruise’s turn to take on The Mummy!

Background

The only version of Universal’s The Mummy I’ve ever watched is the 1999 version of the same name starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.

The film was a big hit at the time and I believe it contains the perfect mix of action and comedy and it isn’t too scary for the older children.

Universal Pictures pushed on with two sequels, the first, The Mummy Returns, which featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the Scorpion King, is only memorable to me due to some dodgy CGI work during the film’s finale.

The final and third film in the trilogy, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, tried to take the film in a new direction featuring Asian culture but by now was feeling a little tired and was suffering under the law of diminishing returns.

There was talk for several years of a reboot of The Mummy which is one of Universal Pictures classic monsters.

Now, in 2017 it finally, hits our cinema screens starring Tom Cruise and hopes to launch yet another cinematic universe dubbed The Dark Universe.


Synopsis

Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artefacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet, a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.


My Thoughts

Sergeant Nick Morton and Corporal Chris Vail are supposed to be on a recon mission. Instead, they are one hundred miles north of their supposed location looking for possible ancient treasure.

When the village they come across is populated by insurgents, they order an airstrike to help clear the area.

The resulting air strike reveals the buried tomb of Princess Ahmanet. Jenny Halsey, an archaeologist arrives and investigates the tomb, concluding that it is a prison.

Whilst investigating, Nick becomes impatient and releases the mechanism that is keeping the sarcophagus safe in a pool of mercury.

Nick’s superior, Colonel Greenway, orders the sarcophagus onto a C130 transport plane to be taken to England.

During the flight, Nick’s friend Chris becomes possessed by the power of Princess Ahmanet as he was bitten by a camel spider in the tomb.

Chris attempts to open the sarcophagus and then, when he tries to attack Greenway and the rest of the crew, Nick is forced to shoot him dead.

A murder of crows assaults the plane, killing the pilots and almost everyone on board. Nick manages to help Jenny escape by giving her a parachute just before the plane nose dives into the English countryside.

Nick awakes to find himself in a morgue. He soon learns from the appearance of his decomposing dead friend Chris that he has been that he has been cursed by Princess Ahmanet.

Tom Cruise is an actor I usually find easily agreeable to watch and will happily try viewing any of his films. Some favourites of mine from the last few years include Jack Reacher, Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow.

However, he can’t be great all the time. I found the second Jack Reacher film, Never Go Back, incredibly boring and pedestrian.


The new look Mummy for 2017!


In The Mummy, I can only describe his character as a bit of an arsehole. Sergeant Nick Morton starts out the film essentially as a grave robber and he is only ever looking after himself. Whilst the film’s ending contains the redemption to turn the character around (and leave plot threads open for future stories), I wasn’t fully convinced.

His companion, Corporal Chris Vail played by Jake Johnson, who unfortunately becomes one of the first servants of the Mummy, comes back as one of the undead to try and help Nick.

Unfortunately for me, every time this happened I could only think of the same situation from the 1981 film, An American Werewolf In London, which uses this plot device to a much better and funnier effect.

Speaking of funny, I think there were attempts at humour several points during the film and they clearly didn’t work and it felt completely out of place.

In fact, the only time I did laugh was when they made a reference to Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy from 1991 with the use of a single shot and prop.

All this talk of the mummy and I haven’t mentioned the lead bad girl, Princess Ahmanet.

The Mummy this time around is female and played by Sofia Boutella and I thought she made a great mummy but more so in her decomposed form. The more complete she became, the less effective I thought she was as an evil menace.

The effect of having twin pupils in the eyes just struck me as odd and I don’t think it added anything to the character at all.


The plane attack is probably the best sequence in the film.


This brings me onto what is apparently what will be the link between all of the Dark Universe films, Dr Henry Jekyll.

Played by Russell Crowe, Dr Jekyll was a fine character, who if you didn’t know, has an evil and monstrous alter ego in the name of Mr Edward Hyde. This came about because of a failed experiment to purge his soul of darkness.

Dr Jekyll has managed to keep his alter ego at bay with regular injections of a serum he himself devised. At one point in the film, an injection is withheld from him and we get to see Mr Hyde and the results aren’t pleasant.

By unpleasant I mean disappointing. Mr Hyde appears to be nothing more than a fatter, veined Russell Crowe sporting a horrible fake cockney geezer London accent. I found it quite laughable and I don’t think it was supposed to be!

The Mummy is still an impressive film with high production values and excellent special effects, it just contains misplaced comedy and a lead character I couldn’t really care about.


3 out 5

The Mummy is a decent action film and is a solid start for Universal Pictures Dark Universe franchise.


 

 



John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.