Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe,
Director: Alex Kurtzman
I want to like anything that Tom Cruise does, because I really like him. He’s been a huge force in cinema my whole life, and some of his films are amongst my favourites. In more recent years, his feels like he does more action than drama, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him in a fantasy or adventure type film. Here he stars in a film that’s a remake of The Mummy, not the recent Brendan Fraser outings, but the original films that did so well from the 30’s to the 50’s.
It sounds like a great concept, but the issue is that franchises are so attractive to Hollywood these days that rather than make a film based on the old stories of ancient Egyptian curses and daring explorers, it focuses more on creating a franchise world. At the expense of story and character development.
Tom Cruise is Nick, a morally ambiguous fortune hunter who finds and sells artifacts on the black market. When he accidentally uncovers a mysterious tomb, he unlocks a curse and releases an ancient evil, but Jenny (Wallis), an archaeologist, is on hand to rein him in and help him life the curse. In the background, A mysterious man (Crowe) is the head of an even more mysterious organisation that may be able to help him, or may have it’s own agenda…
Sofia Boutella plays the evil mummy, and although her costume design is quite striking, she feels… well, like a lot of things in this film, there’s not a lot of tombs and iconography. It doesn’t really have that Egyptian vibe, which was a real shame for me because I love that stuff. It just feels like a creature feature.
There are some good set pieces in this film, some action, and as we know by now, Tom Cruise is good at that stuff. But while he’s meant to have a love/hate thing with the girl and banter with a sidekick, there’s nothing there really. There’s no chemistry between any of the actors, and their dialogue doesn’t really leap off the page and help them out. It all just feels rather flat.
I feel like that’s a problem with a lot of franchise films:they’re so busy thinking about the next film and setting up things that they forget to tell us an entertaining story now. So it’s flawed and doesn’t really gel, disappointing on the whole, but personally,… the real kicker for me is that there’s barely anything of Ancient Egypt in this films style or story.
And be prepared for more creature features as the Dark Universe films start to be rolled out.
See It If: you are looking for a fantasy/action film, or love Tom Cruise. It lacks meat, but has some entertaining moments.