(Moderate Spoilers) - By Saleem Frazer | @SaleemFrazer
After finally seeing the 2017 modern take on The Mummy starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, I can confidently say, without a doubt, that it was...okay. Well, maybe "okay" might be stretching it just a tad bit, but I never felt in any way upset that I sat through the whole ride from beginning to end. If anything, The Mummy mostly left me slightly bored despite the amount of stuff that the filmmakers were constantly throwing at the screen (sand and dead birds mostly). I went into this adaptation of the classic story with lowered expectations due to the lackluster trailers that were being shown. So with that fail safe mentality in check, I never found myself with a majorly negative reaction towards the less than stellar horror and action, easily forgettable story component, and highly rushed sense of pacing offered here.
Aside from also not caring about any of the characters whatsoever as well as never seeing the mummy itself as being anything remotely compelling (despite Sophia Boutella's beautiful onscreen presence), there were a couple of fun little tidbits that I did enjoy. You have the heavily marketed Zero G plane sequence from the trailers that was a genuinely engaging action scene to experience. There's also a pretty creepy scene that takes place underwater where we see a panning shot of Tom Cruise struggling to swim away from an increasing horde of resurrected corpses (swimming zombies are the peak of hopeless scenarios for me). Last but not least is a quick but incredibly directed sequence where Cruise's character barely slides through a crashing bus. Unfortunately, aside from that, The Mummy fails to strongly deliver as an overall package of quality entertainment value.
But wait, what about that awesome idea about a fresh new expanding Universal Monsters cinematic universe being pitched to us? Hmmm, let's see. Well, there is a quick scene that takes place within Jekyll's office museum filled with fun easter eggs to speculate about. A shot of a vampire skull and a fish-like limb that resembles the Creature from the Black Lagoon all teasingly points fans to a wider and interesting world to get excited about. Aside from those brief shots and obviously Jekyll himself who has an abruptly introduced character trait, I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this concept. Being that the lore introduced about the mummy here wasn't really that compelling in its presentation, I was hoping to at least get some intriguing mythology about the world of monsters that we're about to embark on. It's a slippery slope of expectations and patience in a sense.
On one hand, I can hear my inner nerd for classic horror films yelling out in excitement at the thought of seeing Dracula interact with the Invisible Man down the line. However, on the other hand, due to how dull and uninspiring this film in particular felt overall, things just aren't looking too good for the other characters currently being set up...or is it? Glancing back at other cinematic universes of the past, there is alway a weak link somewhere in the chain to nitpick about, so perhaps the "Dark Universe" unfortunately kickstarted with theirs. If someone disliked the first Thor movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they were still treated to the highly successful and entertaining Avengers film years later right? So, there is still hope for this universe to fully break out with incredible entries in the future. [Fingers crossed]
It's a nice optimistic thought to hold onto as the upcoming interconnected films get officially announced with a hopefully better marketing push. Now, as far as The Mummy goes, I'll say that on its own, this is definitely an easy "Netflix & Popcorn" watch or whatever other streaming services that you enjoy using. It's definitely not worth the DVD or Blu-Ray purchase, but it is a watchable enough film to annihilate an assortment of snacks alongside the option of pausing to do something else if necessary. If anything, you do get to see Tom Cruise running away from a sandstorm, rolling under a flipping car, and holding onto dare life on a plane in motion yet again. Yep, it's the Mission Impossible money shot montage that you were never expecting all jam packed into one film about a strangely sexy zombie with an agenda to use Tom Cruise's body for...stuff. So yeah, there is that.
The Mummy (2017)