The Mummy English Movie

Feature Film | 2017 | A | Action, Adventure, Horror
The Mummy eventually scares you, not with its treatment or performances but a sorry start to a series of big-budget films.
Jun 9, 2017 By Vighnesh Menon

Hollywood's obsession for recycling past hits is in no mood to cease. The latest in the line is action-horror-comedy The Mummy, which opens an ambitious cinematic universe by the name "Dark Universe"- Universal Studios' reaction to competitors Disney and Warner Brothers. Though courageous, the move to reboot a recent franchise in addition to its tent-pole status in the monster-based universe is misguided and impatient.

Here we have a film that doubles as a sign for more things to come yet at the cost of its own purpose as a feature film. Agreed, all films in a universe tend to be episodic and contribute in different ways to the larger context. The initial films bear the brunt of such an expansive vision, thanks to burgeoning expectations and speculations from all quarters. However, there is no excuse for skimming through two odd hours of a film that concentrates on nothing but world-building. The Mummy is watchable only when you blindly believe in its role on what awaits next. As a standalone film, it does little to exhilarate you in spite of all the intrinsic multi-genre chops.

This time, The Mummy ropes in Hollywood big fish Tom Cruise to tame the walking dead. Sure, the days of Brendan Fraser as the gallant crusader are done and dusted. But, he made the role his own through irresistible charm and a sublime middle-ground between comedy and action. Cruise is made to follow Fraser's footsteps, given the former's limitless energy and invincible screen presence. So, even when 'the' Tom Cruise cannot stop you from yawning at the darkly dim events in The Mummy, you know there is a real problem. It is also painful to sit through the dialogues from performers who take themselves too seriously. The culprits include Cruise himself, Russel Crowe and Annabelle Wallis, who forget to have fun and only find time to explain plot and character motivations to each other. Sofia Boutella, as the titular antagonist, pulls the film further down through a complete dearth of personality and hostility.

It is not a terrible idea to have an extravaganza of gods and monsters. But, if Universal decides to build its 'universe' like a house of cards, then there is no future to it. The Mummy has begun proceedings for the studio through self-mutilation and asks for instant resuscitation from the rest of the films. Its scratchy start is a classic reminder for filmmakers and studios that "less is more", especially for films with such high stakes.

Vighnesh Menon