For the record, The Mummy (1999) and its sequel, The Mummy Returns (2001) are two of my absolute favorite movies of all time. I even love the Scorpion King, guys. The Scorpion King. These movies were the perfect combination of flash, flair and funny.
So I was really excited about the new Mummy. I didn’t even feel bad that Tom Cruise was in it, cause Tom Cruise (and a savvy production team) gave me Edge of Tomorrow.
I was so wrong.
Basic plot: I brought a monster back to life despite explicit warnings not to (I mean, Ahmanet’s tomb is covered in liquid poison. I learn nothing, and nothing happens to me as a character. That’s the plot.
Blatant Cashgrabs Ruin Everything
I’m simplistic when it comes to movies. I am perfect popcorn movie audience. Give me good dialogue, some shiny choreography and I’m pretty happy. Like I loved King Arthur. I LOVED IT. I’m not even ashamed to say it, and 10/10 would watch again.
The weird thing is the movie starts out okay. I was thrown off by Russell Crowe’s sudden appearance but who wasn’t, and the beginning was reminiscent of the 1999 Mummy’s hammy opening, I was hooked.
Then they shoehorned the cashgrab in — the Dark Universe. The movie suddenly drops off, and you’re sitting in your seat thinking, “What? Wait.”
If you remove the “Dark Universe” set up, you will probably be left with five minutes of the movie. Seriously.
Sobrang badtrip lang (It’s such a bad trip) when studios decide to focus on the bigger story arc (the upcoming Dark Universe trilogy) than on making a good movie. I don’t know why studios don’t see that this usually doesn’t work. They don’t even reference Dracula Untold because it’s non-canon now. Why would you throw away Luke Evans like that? At least that movie had some semblance of a plot, and was enjoyable. And no, even I didn’t like I, Frankenstein.
Honestly, if you watched the trailer you probably have seen the best scene in the movie already: the plane crash.
Also, sometime in the middle of the movie there’s a scene with throwaway camel spiders that harks back to the beloved scarab scenes from The Mummy. Or it kind of harks back to it. Those scarabs were NASTY, and they were an integral part of the plot. These spiders were mostly bad CGI.
As for the acting, Tom Cruise is his usual “renegade” self. I honestly didn’t care much for the cast. There was a forced quality to them that made me feel like the writers were trying too hard to make us like the character. It felt strange to have all these people in this movie with no real reason kind of be there, or even real liking for each other.
It doesn’t even explain why Nick would go to great lengths for Jenny, unless it’s by the power of a good one night stand. You don’t really understand what draws them together, because she mostly sneers at him throughout the movie.
Or maybe I just miss EVIE AND RICK.
The central issue for me was Ahmanet’s character.
I’m perfectly game with Ahmanet going cray cause she wanted to rule. I would go cray if my Daddy was all like, welp, sorry, trained you hard to rule but now I got a son, so yeah. Bye. Never mind that you can probably rule for a few years before he comes of age. Like Dad, really.
That’s perfectly good motivation. They show her off in the trailer so well — fighter! princess! The stunts were awesome. Sofia Boutella is awesome.
I don’t get why she has to chase after Tom Cruise to bring Set into the world for the rest of the movie. All that sacrifice and suffering and you end up a lousy Queen of Hell. This Lucifer/Satan analogy was lazy writing too, because apparently nobody did their research on Set. Set wasn’t considered evil in Egyptian mythology. He was considered as the friend of the dead, and a little weird, but most underworld gods are a little weird. You would be too if most of your friends were dead, or if you lived in the Egyptian underworld, which was really really sad and kind of boring.
Plus Ahmanet spends a lot of time tied up or weirdly contorted, or contorting others into mummies. I wish they just made her evil, or even evil for love!
She didn’t have to chase Tom Cruise around. She could have just been herself, and wanted to rule the world for her own sake. Or because she loved someone, cause apparently love is the greatest way to find your true purpose (see Wonder Woman).
Overall, this Mummy movie by itself is about a 5/10. It’s missing the heart and humor of its predecessor and it really lacks about 45 minutes of serious plot. The movie lacks the core component that made the 1999 movie so memorable: great, fully realized characters that you believed in, that made you believe!