The Mummy, directed by Alex Kurtzman, is a reboot of the classic Universal Monsters franchise, and, as a fan of the classics (and, admittedly, the Brendan Fraser ones), I was really hoping for something substantial here. Unfortunately, it really isn’t that great a movie. There are some fun elements, but this is essentially a failed reboot that does nothing but falters the launch of what was meant to be a big, new franchise for the company.
The film follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), who is a military soldier, who, while in Iraq, unintentionally unearths the tomb of the ancient princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella, Kingsman, Star Trek Beyond). Ahmanet lived in the New Kingdom era. She was next in line to the throne, and after her father’s wife gave birth to a son, she unleashed the god Set and murdered her family. Soon after, she attempted to put Set in a human form, as per their agreement but was captured by her father’s men and mummified alive. Buried beneath Mesopotamia, she was left there and submerged in mercury so that her evil would never escape.
If you’re expecting any more development than that, you won’t get any. None of the characters do. They’re plot devices. They’re not supposed to feel like them, but they do. Even Russell Crowe’s portrayal of Dr. Henry Jekyll lacks any substance and is completely void of color. Ahmanet herself is, unfortunately, a bland shell of what Imhotep was in the prior outings. She has no class, no fun. She’s basically Egypt’s version of Enchantress from Suicide Squad. The movie also tries really hard to be funny, when it simply isn’t. There just isn’t any reason why any of it should deliver in the first place. This is meant to be a serious film. Its predecessors were serious films. So, why exactly is there a ghost that follows Nick around and laughs weirdly? Not sure either.
There is some fun to be had with this movie, despite the glaring flaws. The CGI, of course, is really good. And the makeup. Sofia Boutella looks absolutely stunning as Ahmanet. Her reign of destruction is very fun to watch onscreen and makes the film more entertaining than it should be. There are also some really, really neat Easter eggs in the secret society’s headquarters. Some examples are Dracula’s skull, The Book of the Dead (from the 1999 film), and the hand of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
The Mummy is about what you’d expect from the third reboot of a franchise. The muddled plot, along with highly uninteresting characters, makes it one that you should probably skip. However, the CGI is astonishing and the nods to classic films are great choices on the writers’ parts. I’m going to give it a C-.
The Mummy stars Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Russell Crowe. Directed by Alex Kurtzman.