Just another typical big-budget blockbuster film that fails to impress.
Which is a shame as this film had the potential to be better than a mediocre story about a malevolent mummy.
Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was destined to become Egypt’s next Queen, but when this fate is snatched away she calls upon drastic measures to ensure those who wronged her pay the price, yet it is the Princess who pays the ultimate price. Regarded as a suitable punishment for her actions Ahmanet is mummified and buried alive, only to be awoken centuries later by Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), a soldier unaware of the evil he has just unleashed.
The film has nothing to offer in the form of being original, and like I said it is a real shame. It is to be expected when the film deviates very little from a textbook approach to making an action film about a vengeful ancient mummy. There are the occasional funny moments which barely originate from the dialogue, as the script kills any chance for any funny one-liners due to being too predictable. On top of this, the horror element of the film is practically non-existent, particularly in the form of scares for the audience, as we have become accustomed to spotting a lurking figure in the background.
However, the biggest crime of the film is the underuse of Sofia Boutella as the Mummy. Boutella is an incredibly compelling actress; she commands her scenes with dominance making it difficult to watch anyone other than her. The casting is perfect but director Alex Kurtzman has missed an opportunity to exploit Boutella’s talents, to make an original take on the ancient mummy tale, one that was brimming with complexity and not your usual two-dimensional antagonist hell-bent on destroying the world. Boutella puts in a good performance with the material she has been given, as I would have much rather sat through a two hour feature length film on her story rather than ‘The Tom Cruise Show’.
Cruise’s character Morton, is a too forced anti-hero, making for an under-developed protagonist failing to carry the film. Morton’s fellow comrade Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) is annoying and needless, but Russell Crowe’s Dr Henry Jekyll is just an odd addition to the film. It was unnecessary to introduce the Jekyll/Hyde subplot; neither being here nor there, the subplot is randomly placed and offers nothing to the wider plot.
Some elements of the film felt rushed whilst others were too drawn out. Ironically, the more interesting scenes were rushed like Ahmanet’s flashback scenes, which were shot beautifully across the desert highlighting the film’s potential, but unfortunately were more than likely shortened to make room for some predictable action sequences, like Cruise’s entrance.
If you go in with an open mind and wanting to be entertained you might like it, but other than that this is a weak outing and introduction to Universal’s Dark Universe expansion.
The Mummy is currently playing in all UK cinemas.