The quirkiness that made “The Mummy” franchise watch is all but gone in its latest adaptation. The new film, featuring Tom Cruise, felt like eating a bran muffin.
It was bland, stale and unremarkable.
The story takes the audience to modern day Iraq where two United States soldiers and treasure hunters Nick Morton (Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are looking for relics that they can sell. As they are doing some recon in a village, they spot an opportunity to acquire some items. Before they can act, they are attacked. After calling in an airstrike, the explosion from a missile opens a hole in the ground. Upon closer inspection, the hole reveals and an ancient cavern.
Seeing another chance to cash in, they rope up and descend into the cavern. Joining them on the search is archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis). During their search, they find a sarcophagus. Morton removes the chains securing in place. Unknown to him he has released an ancient evil that has been buried for centuries in the earth. With the evil released it is up to Morton and Halsey to vanquish the possessed mummy and save humanity.
The Mummy feels like a lot of the same type of movies that Cruise has starred in past decade. Several elements from those films have been copied over to this one. These features include Cruise portraying the clever but smart hero, action scenes that involve Cruise running while fleeing from his foes and a few clever one-liners.
When I went to see this movie, I didn’t come to see Ethan Hunt or Jack Reacher, who Cruise has made iconic. I wanted to be entertained. Instead, I got a story with too little substance.
This attempt to make a darker version of “The Mummy” worked in for the first half of the movie but slowly lost its focus and direction. The writers of this film tried to combine several elements from other classic horror stories into one big picture. It almost felt similar to what writers did with movies like “The Avengers,” “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Those films didn’t work because they tried to cram so much into one story.
What made “The Mummy” franchise work when the first movie came out in 1999 is its cast lead by Brendan Fraser. Fraser took an oddball script, added a little bit of humor to his character Rick O’Connell and made it into a very good time at the movies. O’Connell was the plucky type of hero with the witty remarks who at times was not all the coordinated. However, he still managed to save the day, get the girl and vanquish evil. Fraser is what Chris Pratt is today in his films as the goofy oddball action hero. I couldn’t image what “Guardians of the Galaxy” would be like without him. Fraser’s lighthearted and humorous style of acting draws and connects with people. It sure did for me.
While not a remake of the 1932 Boris Karloff film “The Mummy” the 1999 movie paid tribute to the classic and it worked. It was funny, had a good balance of action and drama. You also cared for the characters and what happened to them. In the reboot of the franchise, I couldn’t care less about what happened to Cruise. Part of me was rooting for the mummy to take him out so I could leave.
This new movie also follows the trend of using a lot of special and computer-generated effects but with very little story to back up the amazing visuals.
So if you’re looking for something to see “The Mummy” will provide you a decent time at the movies but nothing that is memorable.
Sometimes a remake is not needed and the previous work needs to remain standing alone. My advice to Universal is if they want to make another “Mummy” movie they think about giving Fraser a call before the cameras start to roll and give Cruise a pink slip.
I give “The Mummy” two and half-mustaches out of five.
The Mummy is rated PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity and runs 110 minutes.