The Mummy Review – Spoiler Free
The Mummy is a film which comes directed by Alex Kurtzman who some may know as the director that brought us People Like Us (2012). The film stars Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella and Jake Johnson.
The Mummy is the first film in what Universal hopes will eventually become an entire franchise of films known as The Dark Universe. Obviously this is a bit of an attempt from the studio to get another franchise in amongst its launches, while it does have Fast and The Furious, I suppose another is needed to combat other studios who have massive universes such as Marvel, DC and all those Disney films. This is a monster based universe which draws on characters from classic monster movies. The first they chose was The Mummy.
I am in no way an expert in monster films or the genre. I do however enjoy things like Godzilla or King Kong as well as classic monster stories like Frankenstein or Jekyll and Hyde. So with The Mummy I was looking forward to see what they would come up with, especially since it’s the start of a new universe. What have they got for us I wondered?
There are two things I like about monster movies. The first is the sort of scary/mysterious aspect of the actual monster. Sometimes these films can border quite close to the horror category. The first time I saw a Jekyl and Hyde story, I had no idea what that monster was capable of. He’s scary in a way, because he’s powerful and unpredictable. I feel with The Mummy, they have this aspect of the film right. Sofia Boutella’s Mummy is a bit scary and mysterious. But I felt that I really wanted more from the character, I want to know more about the mythology of The Mummy than what was here in this film. It’s all so interesting and there’s so much they can do with Ancient Egyptian mythology.
But the serious side of this film gets sidelined quite frequently by the other side we get. This side is the comedic side of things. I am not sure why Alex Kurtzman directed the film in this way, but the tone seems to shift constantly between comedic and serious/mysterious and then mixed in with action scenes. Now this is okay if it works, I understand there’s a balance that can be achieved by doing this and you can see that a lot in The Marvel Universe films. But here, for a monster film, I don’t think it does. Either the monster needs to be taken seriously or it isn’t and that matters for an audience. The comedy side in The Mummy just doesn’t work and it didn’t matter that Tom Cruise was playing the lead, his character came across as silly and even worse was Jake Johnson’s character.
On the plus side though Sofia Boutella was great in this. I’ve seen her act in the past as a dressed up character in Star Trek: Beyond and in this she is almost unrecognisable as The Mummy. If there’s anyone who stood out in this film it was Sofia. But Annabelle Wallis was also great with her part. I enjoy Tom Cruise usually, but here I think he seemed out of place, it doesn’t help though that his character is really silly. Jake Johnson and his character were terrible though and this one is especially responsible for things that should be serious being presented as a joke.
Overall this is a fairly mixed film. While the concept of a Dark Universe is interesting to me and I am curious to see the next one in this new franchise. I do hope they can improve on the mistakes that were present in The Mummy. If they can find the right tone for their universe and stick with it, I think it would be great. I’d suggest making it more serious and scary, that will be great for a monster movie, but could it ever be better than the classics? I don’t know. Sofia Boutella did do a great job as The Mummy in this and I’d be interested to see more from this actress in the future.