The Mummy Review: A Desiccated Corpse Held Together By Flimsy Bandages


Some films usher in the start of a great franchise future, like Marvel's Cinematic Universe kicking off with Iron Man. Others come off less stellar, like the recent King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which was meant to be the start of a series of Arthurian films, that seems to have done so poorly that it may well be a one and done. The Mummy is Universal's go at kicking off their Dark Universe series of films, meant to usher back in a cross-pollinated world of Phantom of the Opera, Wolfman, Dracula, the various Frankensteins, and of course The Mummy.

The Mummy works out about as well as The Incredible Hulk movie. Remember the one that came just before the whole MCU started up? Had that been the start of Marvel's efforts, it might have turned out with much less enthusiasm from the Studio. It's a frustrating film – there's some decent set pieces and ideas, some pretty spiffy jump scares – even a handful of amusing moments. However in the end it's a barely held-together storyline going from scene to scene in a fervent attempt at forcing in all the worldbuilding beats they felt just had to be in this one.

Tom Cruise plays graverobber (think a mercenary version of Indiana Jones) named Nick Morton who's managed a one night stand with Doctor Jenny Halsey (played by Annabelle Wallis) in order to steal a letter containing directions to a grand hidden treasure. From there he manages to flail around until he pretty much blows open a hole to a huge chamber courtesy of a hellfire missile.

From there they stumble across the sarcophagus-prison of an erased from history Queen of ancient Egypt. They pry it out of the ground in the fastest operation in history (how they got a massive sarcophagus extracted from it's holding chains, through a tunnel, and airlifted out in under two hours is it's own flight of fancy). From there, she begins to stir, and things go off the rails pretty quickly from there. Once she's on the requisite rampage they capture her for a time thanks to help by one Dr. Jekyll (yes, the one of Mr. Hyde fame and played by Russell Crowe) who seems to be this universe's version of Nick Fury (and a Lawful Evil one at that).

People will probably flock to it, and it'll make enough money that the Studio pulls the trigger on the next handful (though why they've got Bride of Frankenstein currently slated before Frankenstein I've no idea), but it's just not a well done piece. It's probably a touch better of the Egyptian pissed off powerful character type that was Suicide Squad's Enchantress and her storyline. But beyond that, it's not really that far off the mark the more I think about it. A group of barely controlled monsters out saving the world from other monsters – sound familiar anyone?

Maybe 2019's Bride of Frankenstein, the next film in the series, will be better. One can only hope.

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About Bill Watters

Games programmer by day, geek culture and fandom writer by night. You'll find me writing most often about tv and movies with a healthy side dose of the goings-on around the convention and fandom scene.
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