The Mummy (2017) – Film Review

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Director: Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella.
Certificate: 15

by Roger Crow

The latest take on Universal’s enduring horror property should go by a more accurate title: ‘An American Tomb Raider of the Lost Ark in London’.

Throw a bit of Lifeforce in there too and you have this Frankenstein’s monster of a movie; ideas stitched together from other flicks to form an underwhelming action adventure with some hit-and- miss horror moments.

Tom Cruise is Nick Morton, the Indiana Jones-style hero who plunders antiquities in Iraq with his irritating mate Chris Vail (New Girl’s Jake Johnson); happens upon the eponymous antagonist Ahmanet, (the ever excellent Sofia Boutella), and escapes with glam Lara Croft-type accomplice Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis).

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“So much exposition I grow sleepy”

Due to some psychic link with the evil, ancient force, our hero survives an attempt on his life by his possessed mate, then wakes up unscathed after an impressively staged plane crash. Throw Russell Crowe into the mix as shady boffin, Henry, and a quest for a dagger with a precious gem in the hilt.

Sadly, once the plane goes down, so does my interest. There’s so much exposition, I grow sleepy, and not even Cruise running, snappy editing and the score-what-you-see soundtrack can inject the necessary lifeforce to make this work.

Seen after Transformers: The Last Knight, I seem to be watching elements of the same movie. Tombs; ancient England; chases in modern London; supernatural threat. You get the idea. Oh, and more skulking around in digital darkness. The visual equivalent of nails down a blackboard.

When I start wondering about the nocturnal habits of cows more than the plot due to one scene, it’s a sure sign I’m not fully immersed in the plot.

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It’s not a complete disaster. The cast acquit themselves well, even if a so-called twist with a certain character falls flat. Wallis is a fine love interest who can carry a scene with assured skill and Boutella has become rather skilled at propping up films, such as the disappointing Star Trek Beyond and this offering.

The Mummy (2017) is the first part of ‘Dark Universe’, Universal’s attempt to create an interlinked Marvel-style world of overlapping horror characters. Alas it feels more like Hugh Jackman action-horror flop Van Helsing than Brendan Fraser’s feelgood take on The Mummy (1999). Even the much maligned League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a better mash-up than Tom’s money-spinner.

The last five minutes is also a mess as the finale goes down one path, then the epilogue seems to ignore all of that and ends as it began. A shame, as I have a lot of time for the Cruiser. Let’s hope the pending Mission Impossible 6 gets things back on track.


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