Tom Cruise is a modern Indiana Jones who must battle the evil of an ancient undead Egyptian princess. How could this miss?
Normally I strive to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible, so fair warning – I’m going to tell you exactly why this is being called “the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made.”
Imagine Indiana Jones, but instead of the suave persona inhabited by Harrison Ford, you have Tom Cruise as an unlikably cocky soldier in Iraq who has taken it upon himself to “liberate” priceless artifacts along the way. For a profit of course. He obviously thinks of himself as an Indy type character, but falls woefully short. With a goofy sidekick (Jake Johnson) along for the ride (reluctantly), he’s not above sleeping with women to steal their life’s work or endangering US military operations for a paycheck. A shoot first, ask dumb questions later kind of guy, he’s apparently perfect to be an evil princesses new chosen one. Chosen one for what? The human vessel for inhabit with the god of death. Because of a deal that makes no real sense but just go with it.
Yeah, so fast forward through a bunch of heavy handed exposition that reads more like a Wikipedia entry than a script, a few cool action moments, a couple decent one liners, and a whole bunch of weak-sauce generic Hollywood non-magic and we get to the point. The point being that this is really just a big introduction to what Universal is hoping to turn into a mega franchise of monster movies. Think the MCU except with evil supernatural beings. Russel Crowe is Dr. Jekyll who is apparently this franchise’s Nick Fury, and he wants to destroy all evil – even if that means waking it up first to do so. Smart.
Instead of a cinematic universe on par with Marvel, I’m reminded more of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the SYFY original series, Warehouse 13, and Once Upon a Time – taking the worst qualities of all those and mashing them into a messy movie that completely forgets to be fun, exciting, scary, or surprising, despite being an epic monster flick starring one of the most charismatic action heroes currently working. Cruise’s dedication and effervescence can usually buoy a bad film, to some degree at least, but he’s clearly floundering here with not much worthwhile to hold on to. Never settling on whether it is The Last Crusade, Van Helsing, or The Dawn of the Dead, The Mummy is stitched together like a flaccid version Frankenstein’s monster. There are some cool ideas sewn together into a an ill conceived quilt that clashes quite horribly with itself.
So, as this movie ends, asking us to be excited for what’s to come in this universe, I ask you this. Are you excited to see Tom Cruise playing a dull prick who has become the human host of Set, aka the Egyptian god of death, aka Satan, becoming either “the greatest ally or greatest threat” to a team of meddlers who can’t keep their own evil controlled half the time? On paper it sounds like one of those ideas that could be so bad that it is actually genius. Maybe in the hands of better writers that could actually be the case. But no.
Putting the cart before horse in launching the “Dark Universe” series, I don’t think Warner Brothers needs to bother going through with the trademark infringement suite regarding that name – by the time they get around to needing it for their own uses, this franchise will be long dead. *Insert mummy joke about death*
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film.
Brother Hamster did not screen this film
My rating: Two out of five hats
The Mummy arises in 4,034 theaters, including IMAX 3D, June 9