With great looking set pieces, explosive special effects, and dedicated performances from the actors, it’s hard to call Alex Kurtzman’s “The Mummy” a bad movie, though it’s equally hard to call it a good movie. The notion of a reboot in order to bring back Hollywood’s favorite monsters (the Bride of Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, etc.) to the big screen is a promising idea. The execution of the first film that is to be the forefront and kickstart this intriguing universe, unfortunately, is much less exciting than we might have hoped.
Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, an Army sergeant who steals antiquities from Iraqi war zones. After stumbling upon an ancient crypt (with the help of a few bombs) Nick’s life is transformed when he helps uncover a force of evil — the Egyptian Princess Ahmanet — who brings with her thousands of years worth of rage and a lust for revenge.
“The Mummy” has two hours worth of good visuals, and the actors are very committed to their roles. The 55-year-old, Tom Cruise, is his usual 30-year-old looking self as he runs, jumps, and climbs onto each set piece. Sofia Boutella does a great job as the story’s main antagonist, as well as the other actors in this movie — they do a fine job. But it’s the story itself and the execution of that story, that holds back a movie that wants to go places.
The movie does a great job of “telling” what happened to the audience. At the start of the movie, audiences can expect a dump of information as Russell Crowe’s character narrates a lengthy description of what happened in the past. And while it’s all very informative, it’s not the most interesting way to begin a movie. This doesn’t just happen at the beginning, however, as information is “told” multiple times, each part attempting to set up the universe of these movies while only making it less exciting.
Perhaps part of the problem could be that this movie has six writing credits — that means it went through six writers! That’s not to say that more writers can’t make a better movie, but I think it does show a major disconnect, from which the movie suffered heavily. While scenes can be entertaining at times, they’re almost better as segments alone than part of an entire movie.
It will be interesting to see how Universal continues to unveil this universe of monsters as they release more movies over the next few years. Did “The Mummy” do a good job of setting the scene? It probably could have been better.
All in all, this film is a $32.2 million flop after its debut weekend.