The Mummy directed by Alex Kurtzman, Universal Studios, 2017
Reviewed by Abbas Daya
When was the last time a mummy graced the big screen? No, not the type with wailing sprogs but the bandaged fiend variety moaning and staggering around pyramids? It’s been 9 years since we last saw a mummy on the big screen and then it was Jet Li in rusting bronze playing the titular villain in Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon emperor.
It’s only right then that we have a return of some mummy mayhem. Enter Tom Cruise’s The Mummy.
The plot needs no introduction – as ever, a bunch of adventurers stumble across an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, trigger a curse and have to find a way to stop the wrapped up wrongdoer.
This time round the setting is modern day Iraq and Cruise is Sergeant Nick Morton, a military adventurer, who along with his sidekick, Corporal Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), and love interest, “Jenny” Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) are fighting, er, ISIS? The Taliban? Muslims? Heck – who knows, or cares? They’re dark, speak Arabic and are referred to as ‘the enemy’ – so it’s probably all of them. Anyhoo, while nukin’ the hun till they glow, our hapless trio discover the tomb of an Egyptian princess and sorceress, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who lusts after power and immortality which in turn involves shenanigans with the god Set, a sacred dagger with a ruby hilt and crusader knights! The gang inadvertently resurrect her – oops! – and the ‘fun’ begins. Cue horror, Ahmanet reanimating, moans, groans, bones, zombies, stuff blowing up, mayhem and a bit of horror.
There’s no way this film can compare to Stephen Sommers’ Mummy (1999) and Mummy Returns (2001) films. They were a winning combination of excellent writing and casting and took the angle of adventure, fantasy and action horror comedies with a superb ensemble cast making them a fun romp with a capital F!
Fair play to Cruise, he does try. There is some humour in the film thanks to the chemistry between him and Johnson, who fans might recognise as Nick from New Girl opposite Zooey Deschanel, but it isn’t enough to breathe any kind of life into this celluloid corpse. The writing is weak, as is the action, and the performances from the cast are as lifeless as Ahmanet’s zombies with the only really chilling thing about the Mummy 2017 being Russell Crowe’s haircut! Credit has to be given for casting eye candy for the boys and girls – Cruise for the ladies and Messrs Boutella and Wallis for the blokes but after nearly two hours of the Mummy 2017, the only thing you’ll be thankful for is the end credits.
Do yourself a favour – don’t waste your dosh on this lame flick. Stream it.