The Mummy review: Mission Impossible with a mummy

An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Tom Cruise The Mummy

The Mummy is a bit of a mess and it doesn’t make much sense, but it’s exactly what you should expect from a Tom Cruise movie. Action sequences, gun fights, some mummies, some zombies from the Knights Templar, and a sidekick that makes hacky jokes. It’s not Moonlight, guys.

Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton (of course that’s his name), an army man with a side gig of artefact-stealing, who accidentally lets loose an ancient Egyptian princess (Sofie Boutella). Nick is charming, smart and vaguely amoral, a conglomerate of every single Tom Cruise action hero you’ve ever seen. A Tom Cruise character salad.

On the sidekick side, there’s Jake Johnson (always funny), Annabelle Wallis – the love interest and Russell Crowe, who plays  Dr Jekyll/Hyde. Russell Crowe has been choosing some really interesting parts these last few years – Javert, Jackson from The Nice Guys, Noah, and now Dr Jekyll. I like that he’s trying new things, the critics think this is beneath him but who doesn’t want to hang out with their friends and play monster? I would, Russell Crowe clearly does.

And of course, the action sequences work. They make no sense of course. Why is there only one parachute in the plane as it goes down? So we can see Tom and soldiers rolling around in zero-gravity. And it’s a great scene (so great that they used it most of it as footage for the trailer). If that kind of absurdity actively bothers you, The Mummy is not for you. You’ll pull your hair out for 90 minutes.

As for the plot? Tom and friends chase after a McGuffin. It was always going to be a book/necklace/dagger/stone. It’s not a movie that’s looking to subvert the genre, it’s actively winking at the The Mummy (1999), Indiana Jones, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

At the end, I think this was a really fun movie. It’s much more fun if you put down your expectations for it. I didn’t think it was going to be Merchant Ivory and conversations over tea, but it sounds like that’s what some reviewers were expecting.

There’s a lot of talk about it being part of the expanded Dark Universe and we should expect future movies about The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein. Is that such a bad thing? I am not overly keen on Johnny Depp getting more work, but it might be a nice distraction from the umpteenth reboot of Karate Kid or whatever.

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2 thoughts on “The Mummy review: Mission Impossible with a mummy

    • Thanks! I certainly don’t think it’s the worst movie made in 2017. The Tom Cruise backlash waxes and wanes, I think we’ll reach peak backlash by the time American Made comes out and then it’ll ebb again

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