Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Movie Review: The Mummy (2017)

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: The action; Dr. Jekyll
Cons: No character development
The Bottom Line:
Horror universe
Derailed by poor first movie
Easy to skip this

This Movie Should Never Have Been Unwrapped

I have this strange fascination with horror movies.  I like them, but I don’t want to watch them because I scare easily.  But when I started hearing talk of a Dark Universe, I was excited.  The idea of all the classic Universal monsters starring in interconnected movies sounded like fun.  Until I started hearing the reviews for The Mummy.  They were so bad, I decided to wait until it hit DVD to watch it.  Sadly, they were right.

As the movie opens, we meet Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his friend Vail (Jake Johnson) in Iraq.  During a fire fight, they stumble over an ancient burial site.  Antiquities expert Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), is quickly called in, but due to the escalating situation there, the team bags up what they can and takes it back to London.

What they don’t realize is that their cargo contains the mummy of Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), a woman cursed in ancient Egypt.  As she begins to awaken and try to regain power, it pits our heroes against an ancient evil.  Can they defeat her?

Unfortunately, this movie is a triumph of action and special effects over plot and especially character.  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a mindless action movie as much as the next guy, but I still need a little meat on the action bones.  And the action sequences here were certainly well done.  Likewise, the special effects were very well done.

However, the characters needed development.  I need someone to root for in an action movie, after all.  Here, we could have had cardboard cutouts moving around the movie, and I would have felt as attached to them.  Now, I’m not blaming the actors for this, all of whom did fine with the material they had.  This is clearly on the script, which emphasized action and effects over character development.

Even the plot could have used some work.  We’ve seen this story before, and this movie hit the same notes.  There were a couple of small twists that I didn’t expect, but they weren’t enough to overcome the whole “been there before” feel.

Having said that, the ending was one of the things that did interest me, and I would have loved to see where this would have gone if they hadn’t scraped the plans for the Dark Universe.

The one aspect I really did like was the introduction of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as played by Russell Crowe.  I have loved this character since I read the book in high school, and I have yet to find a movie that does him justice.  I actually felt this movie set him up well.  He’s a supporting player, and, again, I would have liked to see what they would have done with his character in the franchise.

Unfortunately, this movie did so poorly that it killed the Dark Universe franchise.  Having seen The Mummy for myself, I can completely understand why.

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