Director: Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Russell Crowe
Plot: An American soldier accidentally discovers an Egyptian tomb in the deserts of Iraq and awakens an imprisoned ancient Egyptian princess inside, who proceeds to continue where she left off i.e. bring about the rebirth of Set, the God of Death.
Review: For the longest time, I can't recall Tom Cruise ever making a bad film, or at least one that fell below expectations. Well, looks like he finally did.
This certainly does not bode well for Universal Pictures' new Dark Universe franchise they're attempting to promote, with The Mummy as its first feature. One wonders how their future films, including Johnny Depp's Invisible Man, Javier Bardem's Frankenstein's monster and The Bride Of Frankenstein will fare. They will certainly have to be better than this.
Now, on paper, The Mummy has all the makings of a summer blockbuster. Action, horror, an exciting concept and Cruise, the world's biggest star in it. And for the first 30 minutes or so, The Mummy actually works. Then, right after the plane crash (which you've probably already seen from the trailers), things start to slide downhill.
Cruise's Nick Morton ends up becoming the object of Sofia Boutella's Ahmanet's affection, and thus starts getting nightmares and visions of his dead friend Vail. This leads to repeated false jump scares thrown at the audience, which becomes ultimately frustrating since it only serves as exposition and does not move the story along. And if this isn't happening on screen, we get to watch Cruise getting tossed around the screen over and over and over by mummies, rats and Ahmanet instead. Even Russell Crowe's Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde gets in on it, and it gets tiresome real quick.
All this made the entire second act really punishing to sit through (despite the fact that a lot of action was happening on screen) and leads to a rushed finale that makes little sense overall. While director Alex Kurtzman can be forgiven for his inexperience since it's only his second directorial attempt, experienced writers Christopher McQuarrie and David Koepp were strangely off their game as their script is mostly uneven and dull. Their attempts at humor were very poor too, that even Cruise, with all his charm, can't make it work.
As for the cast, thankfully they're mostly on point, but they're unable to shine thanks to the above mentioned poor script. Cruise never has a problem being a leading man, but he doesn't quite click well with Annabelle Wallis' Jenny Halsey. Boutella makes a good villain in Ahmanet and Russell Crowe is actually perfect as Jekyll and Hyde. It's just unfortunate that you probably won't remember them after the film is over.
In conclusion, if you want to watch an entertaining Mummy film, go for Stephen Sommers' 1999 movie. It's pretty campy but at least it's never boring. Considering the huge expectations riding on Kurtzman's film, it's safe to say that a lot of moviegoers looking forward to the Dark Universe are gonna be disappointed. Let's hope the next one can deliver, as the potential is there. (5.5/10)