The Mummy (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The MummyDespite loving Sofia Boutella in Kingsman: The Secret Service I must admit I wasn’t too keen on this newest monster tale reboot when I saw the first theatrical trailer.  Yawn!  I thought to myself another modern day movie that feels like it has to insert a woman into a leading role normally occupied by a man.  I know that’s a sexist way to look at things, but I’m an old, tired man now and sick of all the ultra sensitivity in this world.  Ha ha.  But seriously, it wasn’t until the second trailer of The Mummy that got me semi-excited for things here.  For some reason it just spoke to me more.  After all though how could one refute the star power of Hollywood’s ageless vampire, Tom Cruise?  That’s a rhetorical question because you can try, but ultimately you’ll fail.  The man can do no wrong in modern day action films.  By the way I don’t count the Jack Reacher films as action films.   However, it was this news here that The Mummy would be the start of Universal’s Dark Universe that really made me take notice of.  I’m all about a well planned out, shared universe full of continuity so I’m super stoked to see where things go from here.  And truth be told I’m forever thankful that 2014’s Dracula Untold was a one off.  Thank the Gods for that!

The Mummy


So like I was saying up above this Mummy is a reboot of The Mummy branded franchise and is the first installment in the Dark Universe film series, unlike the previous 3 Brandon Fraser films.  The action horror film stars Tom Cruise, easy on the eyes Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari and Russell Crowe.  It’s directed by Alex Kurtzman off a screenplay written by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman.  That sounds like a lot of hands in the proverbial writing kitchen when you add in the fact it’s based off a story by Kurtzman, Jon Spaihts and Jenny Lumet, but I digress.  As long as it’s a good, exciting flick, that’s all I personally care about.  However, I will not tell a lie.  That PG-13 rating when it comes to horror films always makes me cringe.  You want to do a monster movie right?  You have to give us blood, guts and carnage.  You want to sell tickets to a film?  Then I guess you make it PG-13.  Ha ha.  Another serious question that comes to mind is shouldn’t Cruise portray Dracula in his own film?  Gotcha thinking don’t I?

Although our story starts somewhere else, I guess you can think of our leading man, Nick Morton (Cruise), as a modern day, military Indiana Jones.  He is a soldier of fortune, albeit a soulless one, who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder.  He also sounds like my kind of guy.  He thinks in terms of money and riches.  I like those scoundrel traits in him.  However, one day Nick and his hilarious partner in crime (Johnson) come under attack in the Middle East (what used to be Mesopotamia).  As a result the air support battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet (Boutella), a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert there hidden for thousands of years.  Don’t worry the filmmakers fill you in on Ahmanet’s backstory right from the get go.  So now with her powers constantly evolving (think in the way the most recent Mummy films did), Morton must stop the resurrected “monster” as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.  Oh and I forgot to tell you Morton is also kind of resurrected in a way too.  Don’t worry I’m not giving anything up that you haven’t seen in the trailers.  What do you say we unwrap this Mummy picture and look under the bandages of it all?

First let’s talk about the horror of it all here.  After all it is a horror film, albeit a PG-13 one.  However, that’s oaky.  I think Universal at least got it right with the dark tone of this one.  It’s dark, grisly, twisted and if I was a youngster it would scare the bejesus out of me.  I’m just saying.  It’s a tale of darkness and evil, but also of both peril and action.  I mention the latter because at times the intensity of The Mummy is dialed up to 11 in the action department.  I heard people sigh to catch their breaths in the theater when certain action sequences finally let up.  The airplane crash scene in the film’s trailers for instance was quite a heart-pounding experience.  However, there’s that hyper, supernatural element to it all that could very well break down the walls of disbelief as we see Cruise and Wallis’ characters thrown around quite a lot throughout and very hard too.  I’m like come on there’s no way Annabelle’s character is walking away from this.  Sure as eggs spoil when you forget to put them back in the fridge she does just that.  What I am getting at though is despite the dark tone of it all, The Mummy is a bonafide summer action movie at times.  It’s not Mission Impossible-like stunts, but it surely won’t disappoint in this department either.

Now there’s the continuity department to address here.  The Mummy is the start of a shared universe or as Universal calls it “a new world of Gods and monsters.”  Although I predicted a certain twist before the film even started I was glad to see my hunch come true.  It set up what I call a curious start to build a franchise from.  I’m also very curious as to how many pictures some of the actors are signed up for.  Did they plan out numerous deals like Marvel did when they began all these years ago with the Iron Man and Captain America pictures or are they just rolling the dice and seeing where this takes them?  No matter what is said about The Mummy, it’s leaps and bounds better than Dracula Untold in my opinion.  Ha ha.  Is that even fair to compare the two?  I’m just glad Dracula Untold is left out of this new Dark Universe.  With that being said though the many Easter Eggs and Russell Crowe’s character left me excited for possible things yet to come in future installments.  However, they have to be done right or else this will all have been for nothing.  Oh wait!  Before we move on did I not tell you who Russell Crowe’s character is?  Where’s my manners?

So I already mentioned this new Dark Universe of films up above.  They are all connected by a mysterious organization known as Prodigium and are led by the mysterious Dr. Henry Jekyll.  Yep!  That’s who Crowe portrays in this outing and you know what?  I like the role and I liked very much what I saw of his um let’s say flaws and characteristics.  He was fun and stern at the same time.  Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and whenever necessary destroy the evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world.  I guess you can say Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists in our world and as this films shows will go to any length to contain it, and of course destroy it if it has to.  Couple Crowe’s character with the always lovable, anti-aging, bankable action star, Tom Cruise, the beautiful Annabelle Wallis and the butt kicking Kingsman youngster Sofia Boutella and you have a recipe for guaranteed success so you would think.  It’s not a perfect blend, but it’s a team I’ll take any day to launch a shared universe from over the drudge that came before, Dracula Untold.  However, it will be interesting to see whether this one sticks or is rebooted years later.  Come on China give us all that box office money you can!


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Mummy.  Disclaimer: your results may vary here, but I wanted The Mummy to look better.  With that being said let’s take a closer look at things here down below.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Not on the UHD disc
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Size: BD-66
  • Clarity/Detail: I wish I had way better news in this department, but this was by no means the sharpest presentation I have seen thus far on the 4K Ultra HD format.  It was very much quite the opposite.  A lot of this film takes place in darkness so detail gets killed there a bit too, but there’s this haze over the majority of this presentation.  However, all of this gets turned head over heels in closeups as then this UHD looks stunning.  Close-ups reveal everything you’d expect in 4K from pores and individual strands of hair to the rich details in the many textures of fabrics, clothing, stones, sets and props and more.  I tried researching what the Digital Intermediate used for this is, but I found nothing.  I know some of the camera footage was obtained in 6K like in the airplane and underwater, but no mention of the Digital Intermediate finishing.
  • Depth: As a result of what I just dropped on you up above depth of field suffers a slight bit, but there’s still plenty of examples to go around like the ruins and airstrike grounds in Mesopotamia at the beginning, in the streets of London, Dr. Jekyll’s lab, climbing down into Ahmanet’s tomb area and so much more.  Like I said up above when we get closeup on characters this one really pops, but other times at least depth of field is looking good.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are like eating a can of mixed nuts.  Sometimes they are spectacular and sometimes they are just Blu-ray ordinary.  The black levels for the most part are deep and inky and moments of fire and flame certainly pop against them with the utmost of contrast and concentration, but things do get lost amongst the shadows here.  It’s not the most brilliant use of HDR in my opinion, but there are moments of brilliance like how absolutely stunning the presentation looks when (SPOILER WARNING!) Ahmanet escapes Dr. Hekyll’s clutches and is reunited with the red stone she needs.  Her skin glows with the utmost of clarity and luminance.  I wish it all looked this good, but alas it does not.  Again this is just my opinion.  This one kind of reminded me of the drab Underworld 4K at times (see that review here).
  • Color Reproduction: I kind of already hinted up above, but the color palette of The Mummy is pretty drab and dull most of the times.  It’s like watching a vintage film, which makes sense because of all it pays homage to.  However, step outside into the desert scenes and colors are rich and plush.  For the most part though, don’t expect a lot of pop throughout.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones fluctuate too.  In some scenes like at the bar in Act 2 they are pretty hot, but others see flesh looking pretty natural and authentic.  In other words this one is not perfect.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Other than a very slight, thin veneer of grain at times there’s nothing nasty or ugly looking to report on especially when your film features the lovely Annabelle.  Ha ha.


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Universal’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Mummy.  Both the 4K Ultra HD and the 1080p HD presentations come equipped with a Dolby Atmos surround audio track.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1, French DTS Digital Surround 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: This one’s a pretty nice dynamic track with many pleasing highs and lows from scenes of dialogue and serious thought to bombastic ones of Zero G moments slamming around in an airplane to rolling over a vehicle in the forest while glass smashes all around you.  Everything has a nice sense of directionality throughout and best of all none of the dialogue ever gets lost in the shuffle.  It’s just a very balanced Atmosphere presentation.
  • Height: There’s many titles of better Atmos use than The Mummy, but here’s some examples of moments you can expect with this 4K title’s surround track: crows, thunder, grenade exploding, debris falling, helicopter, an airstrike, glass shattering and my ultimate favorite here, the uppercut Ahmanet gives Tom Cruise’s character in the forest.  BOOM!  I love that punch.  It’s better than anything in that Mayweather-McGreggor bout from a few weeks back.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer complements things nicely here from the subtle boost to the score to the bigger moments where a sense of heftiness is both  implied and necessary.  From effects, gunshots and airplane engines to evacuation tools breaking up grounds, birds smashing into the plane and car crashes the bass will punish you throughout in a very good way.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels remain actively engaged throughout the presentation with many fine examples to gush over such as score filling them with bliss, bullets spraying, voices, camel spiders, Zero G moments, an automobile rolling over, glass shattering, sand whipping and so much more.  You picking up what I am dropping here?
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialog levels are loud, clear and prioritized throughout.  I never once had a problem understanding or hearing a single spoken word.  You have to love that!

The Mummy


Universal’s The Mummy 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack includes more than an hour of never-before-seen bonus features as the filmmakers reveal the deepest secrets behind this wannabe epic monster movie.  The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the theatrical version of the film redeemable in both UltraViolet and iTunes, which the former should redeem in UHD in VUDU.  Now let’s unwrap all the bandages on the Blu-ray Disc and explore the main extras on it down below here.

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 4:52) – There’s a total of four scenes here, which are also selectable via a Play All choice too: “Beautiful, Cunning and Ruthless,” “Your Friend Is Alive,” “Sand In My Mouth” and “She’s Escaped.”
  • Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation Rooted in Reality (HD, 21:15) –  In this conversation Tom Cruise and Alex Kurtzman discuss the making of The Mummy.  I got to say this was a very fun conversation as you can tell these two love each other and were both interested in making the best film possible.  They laugh and joke throughout.  It’s also evident that Kurtzman banks upon whatever direction Cruise wants to take in the film.  If Tom wanted something changed or had a better idea, you better believe Tom got it.  There’s also quite a lot of behind-the-scenes footage in this one.  If you’re a fan of the film, I highly recommend sitting through this extra.  It was engaging to say the least.
  • Rooted in Reality (HD, 6:52) – Filmmakers and cast reveal how they broke away from old tropes and traditions to create a dynamic and realistic 21st century monster movie.  Whatever, huh?  No, really.  They explain how they wanted this one to be relevant and fresh to pay homage to the old Universal monster films and ground this one in the modern world.  They based the horror from The Exorcist they said.  You also get a look here at all the exquisite sets that were built.  No expense was spared in the making of this one.
  • Life in Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash (HD, 7:32) – This is the one extra I really wanted to see!  Here you get to watch Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis and the crew shoot the incredible Zero-G plane sequence.  This one was all Tom’s idea, but of course, as he wanted to make this both visceral and terrifying offering the moviegoing audience the richest cinematic experience possible.  I loved watching all the training that went into shooting this thrilling action sequence and even learning about all the rubber props within it.
  • Meet Ahmanet (HD, 7:39) – Here the beautiful Sofia Boutella shares the excitement of reinventing a monster icon and how she communicates the horror through her nonverbal actions.  She also talks about the immense physical training she went through the endure the painful days of being chained up like she was.  She’s a real trooper.  They also go into how there are 5 stages of her character’s looks.
  • Cruise in Action (HD, 6:09) – This extra is a behind-the-scenes look at Tom Cruise’s most memorable Mummy stunts and basically how he pushes and encourages everyone to give their all.  There’s no doubt about this man is infectious to be around, and I mean that in a very good way.

  • Becoming Jekyll and Hyde (HD, 7:10) – Spoiler alert!  Here you’ll find out how the casting of Russell Crowe brought a bold new dimension to the roles of Jekyll and Hyde.  My Annabelle also talks about how exciting it is working with two of the biggest stars in this one, not to mention the fight scene amongst them.
  • Choreographed Chaos (HD, 6:35) – Watch as cast and filmmakers create an epic outdoors clash between ancient and modern worlds.  We get to see the scenes involving all the extras in the museum and library, destruction in London streets they closed down and my favorite a discussion of how fast Annabelle can run (keeping up with even Mr. Cruise).
  • Nick Morton: In Search of a Soul (HD, 5:43) – Tom Cruise describes what drew him to play what most critics hated, a man seemingly without a soul.  He goes on a bit about his selfless act of redemption here.
  • Ahmanet Reborn Animated Graphic Novel (HD) – In this extra we witness Ahmanet’s descent into the monstrous underworld as she is reborn into the Goddess of Chaos and Wrath.
  • Feature Commentary – The audio commentary here features director and producer Alex Kurtzman and cast members Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson.  Where’s Tom Cruise at?  I know, right!  This is the sole extra that can be found on both the Blu-ray and 4K UHD disc.

The Mummy


I’m a bit more kind than most would be here so I say give The Mummy a go and unwrap what’s all behind bandages.  It’s a brisk, darkly decadent and quite the thrill ride at times should you allow yourself to surrender to it.  By the way I say brisk for two reasons: the 107 minute runtime and the action packed sequences.  I believe The Mummy packs enough to both intrigue you and never outstays its welcome, but can you get used to a Tom Cruise without a soul?  That’s the million dollar question here.  If he’s in 4K Ultra HD, then I bet you can, no?  This was my second outing with this one and I’m not afraid to go in for a third.  That has to count for something, no?


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


The Mummy

Blows A Lot of Dust on

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

September 12th




The Mummy 4K


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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