Universal Pictures launches their own mouth-watering shared universe, multi-movie franchise christened ‘ The Dark Universe’ with The Mummy.
All our favorite old classic Universal Monsters will get a 21st century update, have their own solo movies leading up to a mammoth and spine-tingling monster mash event of a movie!
The Dark Universe didn’t begin very well. Despite trying to be hyped and promises of big name stars attached to upcoming flicks, the initial entry didn’t exactly garner much excitement from audiences. It was sort of like breaking an expensive bottle of champagne on a boat destined for an around-the-world journey, putting it into the water and watching it sink to the ocean floor.
Tom Cruise is this solider of fortune guy who pals around with his unfunny forgettable sidekick friend during dangerous adventures. A mysterious tomb is unearthed and a hot sleeping mummy is discovered. She awakens and sets her sights on Cruise.
So, Cruise has to do a lot of running away from creepy stuff and also protect his lightweight and dull romantic interest who is there to help with exposition and be a damsel in distress when needed.
Cruise then meets up with Russell Crowe’s Henry Jekyll who attempts to entice us with this huge universe of monsters that we will meet in later films. Cruise does more running away from pitiful action sequences and CGI effects. The whole thing ends with the promise of further adventures laying ahead – if you haven’t bailed or fallen asleep by that point.
A lot of folks have said The Mummy is probably the worst movie Cruise has ever made. I was trying to think of something worse he’s done. He’s done some bad movies, but yeah, this is…..practically unwatchable. This is just a string of poorly written, poorly acted and poorly executed scenes one after another in a very boring, unengaging story.
I guess the plane scene that everyone saw in the trailer is kind of neat. And if you like dodgy CGI effects some of the Mummy nonsense might hold your interest. But are there really any fans of bad CGI out there?
I still don’t understand why Cruise agreed to be in this. I understand why Universal would want him. He’s a big star, having him attached will draw attention and hopefully his charisma will bump up the box office (it didn’t help in that last case, at least domestically). But why would Cruise bother with this?
He’s already got his own Mission Impossible franchise that he headlines in and he can keep going back to every few years for a guaranteed hit. Why would he want to join this supposed ensemble of movie stars and films for this horror universe? Maybe he got infected with the shared universe craze like everyone else.
Anyway, this is quite the garbage from beginning to end. We learn that centuries ago Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was passed over to reign her fathers kingdom. She kills some people and plans to use this mystical ancient dagger for more dirty deeds, but is stopped and wrapped up.
Fast forward to present day where Cruise digs her out of tomb. She exercises some of her ancient power, possess Cruise’s pal, makes the plane go down but somehow Cruise survives because of a curse put on him. Ahmanet wants to use Cruise’s body as a vessel for….maybe her old dead lover or something. I’m not even sure. I have to be honest I was zoning out of most of this movie.
Annabelle Wallis is an archeologist that hates Cruise at the start, but then for no real reason they start to love each other. Whatever.
She secretly works for Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll who manages to catch Ahmanet allowing him enough time for him to reveal his whole secret society that specializes in catching these dangerous supernatural monsters and teasing us of this expanded monster universe out there. And also turning into Mr. Hyde in a really silly tensionless scene.
I don’t get why they would put Jekyll in charge of this big organization. The guy has some issues and if he misses one of his injections it could be a rough day at the office.
Ahmanet escapes and Cruise runs away from sandstorms in the middle of London. There’s a final confrontation where Cruise manages to save Wallis, kill Ahmanet with that dagger and becomes an adventuring mummy himself.
I think that’s what happens.
It’s a pitiful experience. There’s really nothing in it that held my interest. Director Alex Kurtzman doesn’t put any kind of unique stamp on anything here. The action scenes are poorly put together with no real flair or suspense. It’s as if they just grabbed the standard effect scenes from countless other movies and shoved them in here.
There is nothing notable about any of the performances either. They might have paid Cruise a lot of money for this, but there’s nothing special about him, he just plays a typical ‘Cruise hero’. It’s a sleep-walking Cruise kind of role.
In fact, I think he was badly miscast for this. Had they made a less expected choice of an actor to play a more nerdy archeologist who is out of his depth running from CGI disaster-filled backgrounds and being in plane crashes it might have helped create some tension and danger with some of this. At least it would have felt a bit different. Instead, they cast Cruise because he does that all the time and he’ll help with the box office.
The indifference and lack of passion gets passed down to the rest of the cast who also don’t help and go through the motions of this run-of-the-mill blockbuster fare. Maybe everyone was locked up in a sarcophagus for a few centuries and were just let out to deliver their dull lifeless expository dialogue.
I guess, it was nice they cast Boutella as the Mummy. Sure. It’s a girl mummy this time. I guess we can give the movie a point for that radical updated idea.
It’s all so lifeless and not fun! The goal of this is to make you want to get onboard with this expanded monster universe – and they’re certainly busy setting that up with all the little teases – but it all feels like ominous, hollow promises. If the rest of the universe is as boring as this movie then they can count me out!
The effects, I thought were quite bad actually. I can’t really think of anything that stood out about any of them. I’d almost guarantee you’ll forget about The Mummy immediately after watching it. And while you’re watching it you’ll be thinking about other stuff. The Mummy is like a perfect example of the worst kind of quintessential summer blockbuster rubbish.
Yeah, I really didn’t like it. It was a real struggle to get to the end of it, but I managed it. It wasn’t worth it.
When I first heard about this Dark Universe idea I thought, “Hey, this could be cool. I love the old monsters!” But I was envisioning something very different.
I was picturing a scaled back series of films. Creepy, suspenseful and maybe having a bit of throwback of a gothic vibe to them. Maybe these movies would take a different approach that would make them stand apart from the other series of franchise movies we’re surrounded by. A fresh take on the monsters that would make kids see them as something as neat and scary like they were viewed generations ago when they were first introduced on movie screens. Make them cool again in kids eyes, instead of just viewing them as a bunch of goofy looking monsters you see around Halloween.
Nope, Universal tackled The Mummy in the most uncreative and predictable way imaginable. They made a mindnumpingly bombastic, effects-heavy movie hoping it will get everyone geared up to see more of this world. And the results end up being a movie where there is nothing worth caring about.
It’s truly an awful movie. Talk about a horror show!
1) Worst Tom Cruise movie? I think the worst movie he’s ever been in was his first, which was Endless Love (1981) but then again his role in that was less than a minute. This is definitely his most boring movie. Did he deserve the Razzie for Worst Actor? Sure, but I think Russell Crowe should have won to for Worst Supporting Actor.
2) Many critics noted that this film had the novelty of having a female mummy, but they obviously have never seen The Awakening (1980). Sofia Butella was arguably the best aspect, but I found her the most annoying on the commentary track because she’s one of those illiterate types who can’t stop saying “like” in every damn sentence.
3) This is definitely the worst mummy movie of all time and you are right in that the effects in particular were amazingly awful. This whole Dark Universe idea was just bad from the start and, don’t get me wrong, I love Universal and those old monsters. They are now trying to get Gal Gadot to play The Bride of Frankenstein…whatever!
4) The most aggravating thing was if only the writers had just dialed the camp factor up to the nth degree in the story of a centuries-old mummy coming back to life to seduce Tom Cruise and make him her bitch, then it would have been a real guilty pleasure. Alas, like you alluded, this was just an utter chore to sit through, no fun at all.
I’m still very curious if they’re going to proceed with this whole Dark Universe thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just pull the plug on the idea. Did the Mummy ignite any excitement about seeing more monsters? I did hear the casting rumors about Gadot as the Bride. I have the same sentiments as yourself.
BTW that is a big pet peeve of mine about commentary tracks! I love listening to them, but when it’s just one of those filled with meaningless observations like, “Oh this is a good scene”, “I remember when we shot this”, “Doesn’t that look cool” I can’t stand that! I’m listening for some worthwhile content about the production and all they give are these worthless comments. They might as well not record a commentary for the flick!
I would like to add my 2 cents about the commentary track: Stone Gasman found Sofia Butella the most annoying part of the commentary track? How was he able to listen to her with Annabelle Wallis impolitely interrupting everybody with the most idiotic of observations (the ones HapAdmin is talking about).
I thought the British were polite. Well, they might be, but Annabelle Wallis certainly isn’t. Someone please tell her to shut up when others are talking.