The Mummy Unwraps The Bandages of a Dark Monster Universe (Movie Review)

Despite 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!

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, 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 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 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?

The Mummy

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 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.  However, one day Nick and his hilarious partner in crime (Johnson) come under attack in the Middle East.  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 got it right with the 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 terrifying 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 moviegoing audience when certain action sequences 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.

The Mummy

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.  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.  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.

Now here’s the million dollar question though, will it beat Wonder Woman this weekend?  I want to say no, but I’m not the box office pundit.  I’ll leave that to the professionals.  However, I say give it a go and unwrap what’s all behind The Mummy this weekend at a cinema near you.  It’s a brisk, darkly decadent and quite the thrill ride 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.  What more do you want from a film?  Enjoy!




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).

1 Response to “The Mummy Unwraps The Bandages of a Dark Monster Universe (Movie Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Cruise is nothing like Indiana Jones here. He seems like the jerk guy who would be a villain in a Jones movie. I like Cruise more than you, but I was pretty disappointed in this all-around.