I think Disney has officially ruined cinema forever. Ever since they started the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2007, every film studio in Los Angeles now believes that they need to have a cinematic universe of their own and it’s getting ridiculous. When I heard about Universal’s plan at a ‘Dark Universe’ I had no idea what they were talking about. After a Google search I discovered that they plan on remaking movies about classic horror characters from the 1920s so there will be a Mummy movie, a Frankenstein movie, and Invisible Man movie, and even a Creature from the Black Lagoon…this is not a joke, they are really doing this. This is what the future of cinema is now, you are no longer going to watch movies, but a 2 hour commercial for another movie in the same universe that will be released 2 years later.
The film begins in modern-day Iraq with US military Officers Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson). The two look for ancient treasures that they can steal and sell on the black market. After an airstrike incidentally uncovers the tomb of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), a butthurt Princess of Egypt who was so upset that her father had a son, she killed her father, brother, and turned to a life of evil all because she wasn’t going to be Queen anymore. Nick accidentally curses himself when he opens the tomb and Princess Ahmanet now wants to use Nick’s body to be the vessel of the Ancient Evil God Set. It’s up to Nick and his sort of girlfriend Jenny to find a way to break the curse before Ahmanet unleashes the greatest evil in the world (allegedly).
So here’s the deal with this film, for the first 45-50 minutes of the movie, I legitimately thought it was great. They set up the back story, introduced our heroes, introduced the conflict, and briefly came to an entertaining conclusion. This is the problem, about halfway through the film, the movie throws away everything that it had built up as far as story and just turns into a 105 minute commercial for Universal’s Dark Universe. A story that was supposed to be about, you know…The Mummy becomes a setup film in a series of monster movies that we won’t see for another 3-5 years depending on how bad this film bombs over the weekend. All sense of plot, story, and conflict goes right out the window because they need to throw in various teasers of a Dracula movie, and a wolfman movie, and a Creature from the Black Lagoon film. The Mummy completely sells out its audience to become a Billy Mays ad for the rest of the film.
If you are looking for Tom Cruise to save this film with his charisma, save yourself the trouble, it’s not happening. Tom doesn’t play his typical action movie hero role in this film. As the character of Nick, he’s basically a selfish coward for all purposes of the movie and spends more time running and screaming than being useful. Russell Crowe is only in this film to be the Nick Fury of this Dark Universe as Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The supporting characters are simply weak and aren’t given anything more than a single bullet point of personality to work with. Sofia Boutella’s Mummy is simply disappointing, her motivations are just poorly explained and the explanation of her character makes even less sense the further into the movie she got. Does she want power? Does she want Love? Does she want revenge? Is she just moody? Who knows. The ending doesn’t answer much for you because, surprise! It’s just a setup for a future film, we will have to wait about 3-4 years to watch.
I have no idea why they considered this a reboot of the original Mummy series because this film has nothing in common with those films at all. Bad CGI and all, you’ll miss the days of Brendan Fraser pretty quickly when it’s all said and done. Hollywood is wondering why no one is going to the movie theater now and tickets sales are way down. This film answers that question because the only things they can seem to do now is Remake, Reboot, Sequel, complain about the President, and rip-off the idea of a Cinematic Universe nobody asked for in the first place. The Mummy is a bitter disappointment on so many levels.