This is not your Brendan Fraser’s Mummy, for better and worse. Instead, Universal Pictures is hopping on the bandwagon for creating a filmic universe (a la Marvel and DC) called the Dark Universe. It sure is dark, as is preluded in the 2017 Mummy. With Alex Kurtzmann directing and Roberto Orci and the producers (Sean Daniels Company) of the original Mummy trilogy, THE MUMMY is a intensely action-packed and surprisingly scary reboot for the series.
THE MUMMY (2017) is the kind of film that knows how to entertain, play with audience’s expectations with familiar characters (played by Russell Crowe and Sofia Boutella) that bring new aspects and angles to the archetypes/characters of Henry Jekyll/Eddie Hyde and a female mummy called Ahmanet, no less menacing if not more so than Arnold Vosloo’s Imhotep from THE MUMMY (1999) and THE MUMMY RETURNS (2001).
The story and tone is darker and creepier than the original Mummy trilogy, yet engaging on a visceral level and on a level of fun as well. THE MUMMY does have its fair share of seriousness, but it’s also funny and silly when it needs to be thanks to Jake Johnson’s side-kick performance and occasionally self-aware jabs at certain scenes in the film.
Tom Cruise is an interesting choice for the lead character, a very Tom Cruise-esque character Nick Morton whose vanity and search for adventure and gold gets the better of him time and time again. I think he was an alright choice, just because of his star power and action chops. His acting is decent here, but it’s not ground-breaking. I think someone up-and-coming with a new take on the hero archetype would have been more welcome than Tom Cruise’s presence, honestly. He’s already Ethan Hunt in the MI series and still in many movies already, I think it’s just Hollywood indulgence how and why he’s the star of the Mummy.
I enjoyed the action scenes and the chase sequences involving Tom Cruise’s Nick Morton and the heroine Jenny Halsey, played by Annabelle Willis and usually the creepy and menacing Mummy Ahmanet. Mummies as zombie-like creatures are an interesting twist for the Mummy series. Not to mention those scary nightmare sequences feel very dream-like and bring out the cursed nature of Tom Cruise’s Nick. And Russell Crowe’s Henry character is a provider of helpful exposition, and also story twists and more.
All in all, THE MUMMY (2017) is not an essential 2017 film, but it is a fun, creepy, enjoyable time at the movies, especially for long-time Mummy fans and for people into the famous Universal Pictures monsters pantheon.
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