Does this mummy wrap you up?
Cinematic universes are all the rage these days. After seeing the successful model implemented by Marvel Studios, other studios have been rushing projects to the forefront to try and catch up. It’s a fascinating time indeed. DC is just now starting to get it’s bearing on its universe. Other studios, like Universal, are just trying to get into the game. Enter the Dark Universe.
Universal owns most monster properties such as Dracula, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and The Mummy. They decided it would be worth it to reboot all these characters into an intertwined landscape to compete in the modern film era. The possibilities seem intriguing if it’s done correctly. That’s always the catch, though isn’t it?
The Dark Universe kicks off its hope of box office domination with the reboot of The Mummy. It is the story of a cursed Egyptian princess who sells her soul to the devil to maintain control of the throne and ultimately power over the rest of the land. She is caught in the act of murdering her family members and entombed alive. This brings us to present day after the passing of a millennia. The princess is taken out of her crypt after an archaeologist and team of treasure hunters discover it in Iraq. This obviously leads to a situation where the cursed Mummy is exerting her will over the world in an effort to capture the soul of treasure hunter, Nick Morton played by Tom Cruise, so that a satanic ritual maybe fulfilled.
Ok, so instead of going the creepy horror film route, Universal decides to go generic with a fun filled adventure flick that’s derivative of movies like Indiana Jones and the Avengers. That’s disappointing because these properties have so much promise for creative modern-day horror. If this is the tone that the rest of the Dark Universe will take on then sure they will be moderately enjoyable, but ultimately lacking.
This movie is not awful. There are some good things here. The acting probably not. Tom Cruise seems to be just cruising through here (pardon the pun). Annabelle Wallis, who is literally a young Michelle Pfeiffer, lacks depth here. Jake Johnson, while likeable, undermines any seriousness this movie has with his comedic presence. However, I did think Russell Crowe was great as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. While he is clearly the Professor X or Nick Fury of this universe, his take on the extraordinary gentleman is interesting. I just wish they didn’t jump the gun with his character as you will find out if you view the film.
Ultimately this is just a mindless popcorn flick in the end with some nice action sequences. Sofia Boutella does play a creepy mummy but her backstory is convoluted. I struggled to understand the why behind her mission. What was she hoping to achieve that she already didn’t possess in life after death? The ending is also a mess as I also failed to understand the actions of our protagonist, Nick. I guess all you can do is just sit back and see some cool stuff here and there. Enjoyable but missing a soul. What a shame.