The Mummy

Published on June 9th, 2017

The Mummy: All You Need to Know

Starring Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Sofia Boutella

Directed by Alex Kurtzman

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

  1. From a marketing perspective, The Mummy is a Tom Cruise movie yet never has he seemed more out of place. This is a supernatural, action film. He covered the former when he played Lestat in Interview with A Vampire and he’s covered the latter in extremis. Here, the two smash into him with embarrassing results.
  2. The story, fiddled with by six scribes including Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie, is an absolute mess. More and more, the efforts of moviemakers to create corporate synergy are becoming impossible to ignore. Like an omelette made with cement, the result here is a phony spectacle masquerading as a launching pad for yet another franchise: Dark Universe. Remember that. You will be hearing more.
  3. It’s criminally derivative. With elements lifted wholesale from An American Werewolf in London, Alien: Resurrection, Raiders of The Lost Ark, and the Mission Impossible series, the nods to infinitely better films come off  like grand larceny.
  4. Russell Crowe appears to now be taking acting cues from Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. In their twilight years, those two notorious dames visited lacklustre films and all but saved them with their charisma and blazing eyes. Crowe, as a millionaire tyrant out to harness the essence of evil while somehow grappling with his barbiturate-inspired split personality (he’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), is a sight to behold.  In a camp performance to rule them all,  Crowe doesn’t say his lines, he announces them.
  5. It’s so unattractive. How could a film with a budget of $125 million look this cheap? I cannot remember the last time I saw CGI and blue screen work this phony. Even the dagger Mummy threatens people with looks tacky.
  6. Jake Johnson as Chris, The Cruiser’s wisecracking sidekick, is a star in the making. Handsome, mischievous, funny, and so likable you want to smack him.
  7. Tom Cruise doesn’t really seem to have a character this time out. He’s really just a naughty boy hanging out in Iraq, perched atop crumbling buildings and stealing antiquities. He does a nude scene though and in the best scene, giggles when Mummy runs her talons over his torso.
  8. Its really gooey and ugly but when Mummy kisses the life out of men and they start lurching about it returns us to the good old days when rotting silhouettes gave us nightmares.
  9. Mummy herself. With two sets of irises and wrapped up in swathes of toilet paper, she’s more of a nuisance than a deadly threat.
  10. It ends with a hefty dose of break-down-the-fourth-wall irony when Tom tells his lady love (a mannequin-esque Annabelle Wallis) “I have made so many mistakes, but not this time”.  I beg to differ, with all concerned.