THE MUMMY REVIEWED
“The Mummy” has the best intentions. The idea to make a shared universe for the Classic Universal Monsters is amazing. Getting A-list talent is amazing! Hiring a second-time director is a bit shaky. Pairing him with a screenwriter that probably should’ve directed the movie raises questions. Then, there’s Russell Crowe stealing focus as a superb Jekyll & Hyde. All that was needed was a contemporary version of Abbott and Costello bumbling around London.
This film opens on Tom Cruise as a mercenary grave robber, who stumbles upon the tomb of our latest Mummy. This time it’s a female Priestess because Girl Power now exists through all space and time. Well, undead Girl Power Priestess uses her Mummy powers to drop Cruise’s plane out of the sky. Cruise is found by Dr. Henry Jekyll who welcomes him into the Creature Commandos. No, that concept belongs to Warner Brothers/DC. Dr. Jekyll brings Tom Cruise into the Monster Avenger Initiative. He’s got a cool place in London with vampire skulls, werewolf skulls and what appears to be a pickled Creature from the Black Lagoon hand.
Lady Mummy awakens and messes up things at the BPRD. Well, Universal still technically owns that concept until the Revamp. Russell Crowe flips out during the attack and becomes Chimney Sweep Oliver Reed. Tom Cruise fights a man that is a year younger than him, but is playing older. This is resolved in a way that showcases the glaring weakness of the film. It’s all setup and not enough story to power a main film. It’s Bendis level decompression put to film and it’s so frustrating.
Eventually, a wise editor and an antsy studio said to hurry the film up and they did. This leads to a PG-13 remake of “Lifeforce” and we get to see Sofia Boutella destroy London like an Undead Spice Girl. Tom Cruise participates in what has to be the first simulate rape scene of his career and we get our setup for the Dark Universe. Did I say rape scene? Well, I know that moment is going to spur so many think pieces from Strong Independent Women and their kept men.
Basically, Tom Cruise defeats the evil undead woman who is destroying London by thrusting into her. The act of taking another man’s dagger and shoving it into her guts is the only way that Cruise can take Lady Mummy’s power. Hell, “The Stepford Wives” (original recipe) was way more subtle with the subtext. Double hell, Frank Miller describing his intentions behind Bullseye gutting Elektra was way more subtle. Was that last bit spoilery? Well, I get how it could be.
It’s just that Cruise stabbing his way into supernatural power has such amazing connotations. Earlier in the week, I was willing to write this movie off as a failure. Then, I started to think of all the messed up baggage that Cruise Mummy is going to have. I don’t know if Universal intended for it to play that way, but that is ice cold. Great horror doesn’t care about your feelings. I just wish there was more build-up to that moment.
- 1 hr and 50 mins