Cinematic Releases: The Mummy (2017) - Reviewed

Thanks to the folks at Marvel Studios, every Hollywood studio is now scrambling to have or be part of a connected universe. Whether it be Godzilla, Transformers, or the Universal Monsters, everyone’s got to get them a piece of that sweet cinematic universe money. The Mummy is no exception to this trend but offers a crucial lesson to studios that want interconnected movies: before you announce multiple films in a shared universe series, you better make damn sure the first one is good. The Mummy is not that.

A reimaging of the Mummy franchise, The Mummy is the story of Nick Morton (Tom Cruise). Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy feels less like a movie and more like a limp wristed corporate outing. It doesn’t feel like a movie that was made by a director with a distinct point of view or really anybody with passion. Literally anybody could have made this film. The Mummy isn’t a movie as much as it is a producer’s checklist adapted for the screen.
If you ever imagined what it would be like if someone decided to deliberately make a film with no original ideas or thoughts, it would be this film. Every stylistic and plot decision made in the film feels like a cynical attempt at making a blockbuster film franchise without doing the work. Every awful trend of the last five years is woven into this film with almost surgical precision. Do you like plot threads that set up sequels? They’re in here! Do you like an underdeveloped romance with barely any chemistry between two human beings? Oh boy, have I got a film for you! Do you like cringe worthy name drops of other figures in your potential franchise? Buy your tickets now!!!
How’s the acting in this film? Let me break it down for you. How’s Tom Cruise? Well, he’s playing the same character he always plays except this time…he’s a selfish dick. Annabelle Wallis? She’s a person who does things, I guess. Nothing memorable or interesting, but she’s in the movie. I don’t even remember her character’s name. Jake Johnson? He’s hilarious on New Girl…and he’s kind of there in this movie. He says lines that are kind of funny at points… Sofia Boutella as the Mummy is trying her best and deserves a much better role and Russell Crowe kind of imitates the late great Bob Hoskins at one point. 

So...We're going to do more of these, right?
It’s hard to talk about this movie as a movie because it feels like a shambling corpse made of the elements of better movies. It’s not the worst thing I have ever seen but it is something far worse than boring…it’s dull. Movies are supposed to make you feel things. We go to the movies to try and feel things like suspense, sadness, and excitement. That’s part of the fun of going to the movies is experiencing something new. The Mummy offers nothing new to the viewers out there. It’s just two hours that could be spent seeing much better films. It’s a damn shame, as the Universal Monsters deserve something so much better than this. Much like the titular figure, some things should stay buried.  
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-Liam S. O'Connor