The Mummy is an entertaining, yet somewhat mediocre attempt at reviving the classic Monsters film series for Universal, now known as Dark Universe.
The film ticks a lot of boxes required of blockbusters these days. It features charismatic superstar actors, heavy use of visual effects (and some awesome practical ones), over-the-top action, and humour, all at a relentless pace – one that won’t give you the opportunity to get bored. With all those positive aspects attributed to the film, you may be wondering where it falters. It certainly has lots of surface appeal, but is lacking in density.
In The Mummy, solider/looter Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) uncovers an ancient tomb shrouded in evil mystery. Morton, alongside his partner Chris (Jake Johnson) and fellow tomb-raider Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), unleash an evil mummy (Sofia Boutella) on the world, setting off a chain of events that will see our protagonists fighting for their lives in various circumstances, while being introduced to a new world of Gods and monsters. Somewhere in there amongst the spectacle is a tale of love, death, revenge and redemption.
The plot is fairly formulaic and features elements we’ve seen in past mainstream action-horror films. That is to be expected in modern blockbusters however, so it can be forgiven if the film can engage the audience enough to keep them thrilled throughout, and make them care for its characters. The Mummy does a well-enough job in keeping you at the edge of your seat with its constant action, but unfortunately misses the mark on the character development.
The stereotypical principal cast of characters see Cruise as the obnoxious adventurer, Johnson his comedy-relief buddy and Wallis as the tough, empowered archeologist. The characters are walking clichés, and by the end of it all it’s hard to forge a connection with any of them. Thankfully the film has a witty script, giving the characters a chance to develop some personality through the use of humour. It’s this humour element, along with charismatic performances from the lead cast that keeps the tone light in The Mummy, saving it from taking itself too seriously, which is ideal for a film like this.
The Mummy might not end up being as memorable as some other monster films that have come before it, but as the first film in a planned series, it succeeds in opening the door to future films and characters based in Universal’s Dark Universe, all while providing an enjoyable cinematic experience.
The zero gravity scene took 64 takes and was shot for 2 days in a falling plane. Reportedly, a lot of the crew got nauseous during the scene and vomited, except for the main stars Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis, who were really proud of the stunt.