I never thought I’d say this but I really miss Brendan Fraser right about now.
You know what Hollywood trend I hate? Promising several movies in a franchise before the first one is even released. Universal Studios, home of the classic monster movies of the 1920’s and 30’s, promises a shared universe where creatures like The Mummy, Dracula, and the Hunchback all roam free and interconnect. The problem is that this first entry in their new attempt is a horrible film.
The Mummy has been remade before, way back in 1999, as a silly, scary and really enjoyable romp. It was an Indiana Jones rip off with some horror elements. But it worked. This new Mummy film doesn’t know what it wants to be. It has some action, little actual horror and really bad comedy. It also has Tom Cruise slumming it as a cocky solider of fortune, Nick Morton, who excavates the ancient princess Ahmanet (Sophia Boutella). She’s one badass princess whose lust for power had her mummified and buried alive. Of course she wakes up and gains an intense attraction to Morton.
Thrown into the mix is Doctor Henry Jekyll (yes that Henry Jekyll), played by Russell Crowe, whose job it is to acquire and study the oddities of the world, obviously setting up the franchise. He basically walks in and out of the movie spouting creepy exposition whenever Tom Cruise appears clueless. And he does so for most of this mess. Cruise is so miscast. His star wattage hurts the film. The actually Mummy is basically a footnote in this Tom Cruise movie.
Can’t anyone do classic horror anymore? James Wan hit a homerun with the classic haunted house story, The Conjuring. Why couldn’t this film be a slow burn instead of a action fantasy with very little horror in it. Director Alex Kurtzman directs this film as if he was a 10 year hopped up on sugar, using Tom Cruise as a human pinball, flinging him from planes, moving cars and through walls. This had potential. What could have been a summer scare-fest became your average Hollywood wannabe blockbuster. Shame.