Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Screenplay by: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman
Screen Story by: Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet
Executive Producers: Jeb Brody and Roberto Orci
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari and Russell Crowe.
Welcome to Universal Picture’s Dark Universe: A series of Monster-Verse movies to be distributed in the coming years beginning with the release of, The Mummy.
This is the first time we’re seeing the monster as a female mummy – Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ancient Egyptian princess cheated out of her rightful place as ruler and a god amongst men.
Ahmanet draws on the power of evil to reclaim what she believes is rightfully hers only to be thwart at the verge of succeeding. Erased from history and imprisoned for 5000 years, she’s unwittingly released by Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), a careless soldier of fortune who has no scruples using anything and everyone to get what he wants. The perfect match for a monster.
But is he evil or just an idiot?
There’s chemistry between Nick and the British officer of Cultural Heritage, Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), with a sprinkling of humour that sometimes missed the mark for me but made the pair tolerable.
Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), Nick Morton’s side-kick, was a bonus providing comic relief, lifting the film out of taking itself too seriously, allowing the audience to laugh intentionally. It can be a close call – to laugh with or at seemingly ignorant action-types.
Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was well-cast as the evil Egyptian princess. The costuming (Penny Rose) and make-up (Lizzie Georgious) creating the rune-style writing on her skin very effective and the double iris a unique look l’ve never seen before.
This leads me to the explosive effects and setting which made the film worth watching on the big screen. Shot in three countries from the Bridge of Sighs in Oxford for those creepy dark and dank moments, to Namibia in southeast Africa for the heat and desert surrounding the discovery of the Sarcophage containing, The Mummy.
If the story remained the light-hearted, explosive action, sometimes scary zombie, Mummy-come-to-destroy-London movie, this would have been a familiar, successful formula. What I don’t understand is the addition of Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Adding a character so different to the rest of the story stretched the suspension of belief too far leaving me to question – why?!
I was absorbed with the explosive opening and the effects, so-much-so, I put off that desperate need for the bathroom because I didn’t want to miss what was coming next.
But there was a wrong turn in the story with too much weight put on the already thin character of Nick. Add the Henry Jekyll character and you’re losing the audiences enthusiasm for the characters’ survival.