THE MUMMY review by Ronnie Malik – Tom Cruise tries to revive a classic movie monster

THE MUMMY review by Ronnie Malik – Tom Cruise tries to revive a classic movie monster

Director: Alex Kurtzman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari

Rating: C

Based on the 1932 horror classic, an updated version of Universal Pictures’ The Mummy was released on the big screen in 1999. This slick entertaining film was the first in a franchise that drew audiences to the box office. Never managing to capture the charm of the first film, the sequels that followed got progressively worse, and Hollywood (or rather the Universal execs) finally just gave up on the series. Director Alex Kurtzman is rebooting the tale of the dead with a different 2017 version in hopes of bringing new thrills to the horror classic and possibly launching a new franchise. Will this latest take on a villain rising from the dead to wreak havoc on the world give moviegoers the adventure they seek?

The film opens with Dr. Henry Jeykll (Russell Crowe) giving a narrative which provides a flashback in time. He tells a story of Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an evil Egyptian princess who is betrayed by her followers and punished for crimes she committed. The princess is entombed and buried alive deep beneath the desert, cursed for eternity. This history lesson is the backdrop for the story as we meet Nick (Tom Cruise), a soldier of fortune that steals ancient artifacts and sells the items to the highest bidder. He swipes a map from Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), an inspiring archaeologist, so that he can beat her to the punch and retrieve the secret treasure she is seeking. Nick and his partner Vail (Jake Johnson) manage to come under attack by Iraqi rebels and during the bomb raid and inadvertently uncover princess Ahmanet’s ancient tomb at the exact location listed on the stolen map. Disturbing the 5000-year-old burial site unleashes an ancient curse bringing the dark-souled princess back to life. There is now a race against time for Nick to bring an end to the destructive force he has unleashed on the world.


The latest version of The Mummy steals themes from past films like American Werewolf in London, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, just to name a few. The film feels choppy with lots of extraneous and unnecessary stuff thrown into the mix – borrowing themes from past horror classics is just a lack of creativity on the filmmakers part. The plot, an ancient creature brought back to life to create mayhem, is all too familiar leaving nothing new to the imagination.

The movie contains a bit of romance, and some comedic moments, along with action and suspense that does lead to some entertainment value. But it seems the producers of this Mummy extravaganza couldn’t make up their minds what they wanted the film to actually be – a comedy or a horror movie. The elements of the film don’t successfully stream together smoothly so it feels like the storyline flip flops from one genre to another. There are some impressive visuals in the film and some harrowing scenes (most were shown in the trailers) that can provide for some nail biting moments.

Tom Cruise, amazingly enough, does manage to pull off an adventure seeker that plays by his own rules. Perhaps Cruise did step into a new role that he can make as famous as his portrayal of Ethan Hunt in the wildly popular Mission Impossible films. What was Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe thinking when he agreed to do this film? First of all, his character and storyline did not make any sense and was just not needed in the story. Throwing in the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde theme and trying to tie it in with the plot made everything seem very convoluted and silly. It is possible that the introduction of Crowe’s character is to give us a teaser of future spinoffs to come, but the tactic just doesn’t work in enhancing The Mummy. This film would have been much tighter if Cruise and Wallis’ characters were the ones in charge of the creature, or just have Crowe’s character as a new antagonist and not borrow from other tales. Sofia Boutella, the sexy female mummy/villain, gets a few lines in the movie and pretty much has nothing to do but prance around in bandages that strategically cover her in all the right places. She looks great, but so much more could have been done with her character, there was a missed opportunity to create an imposing and scary female monster.

Even with its flaws, The Mummy actually manages to pull in some entertainment value. This is a light-hearted nonsensical popcorn flick that just manages to stay above ground and doesn’t completely get buried in a sandstorm of poor filmmaking.

THE MUMMY opens June 9th, 2017

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