It baffles me how Universal was so confident in this movie, the first in their planned “Dark Universe” of the old Universal monsters, that they slap the Dark Universe logo onto the start of the movie. They plugged the expanded universe before showing a single scene, character or actual monster, this sets the precedent for what was to come. A reboot for the 90’s Brendan Fraiser led Mummy series (not too sure if many people were asking for one), Tom Cruise plays an army soldier Indiana Jones type who gets on the wrong side of a Mummy played by Sofia Boutella unearthed in the Middle East. If that sounds like a fairly loose plot that’s because this movie struggles to have any inkling of a coherent story.
This film has a screenplay that was written by no less than five different people and that shows throughout the film because the screenplay is awful. It feels like each writer threw something into the mix and didn’t bother to make sure it fit with anything else going on. It is next to impossible to connect with any of the flimsily written characters that cant go anywhere beyond some of the most boring cliches. Tom Cruise tries at times but even his movie star charm is lost in this terribly executed mess. Annabel Wallis plays one of the worst written female characters in a long time, she is utterly useless and by the third act is nothing more than a damsel in distress. Perhaps this wouldn’t be as big of an issue for me if this film wasn’t released a week after Wonder Woman which was a big step forward for female characters. The movie has a desperate sense of humour, poor Jake Johnson is tossed in for no other reason than to spew out some awful attempts at comedy.
However the worst thing about this film is how obnoxiously it pushes the expanded universe. At times this stops being a film about the Mummy and just becomes a set up for all the other movies in the dark universe, as if they tried to do the Nick Fury post credit scene from the first Iron Man movie but dragged it out into a twenty minute exposition dump the second in this movie after the opening bombardment with exposition that could easily have just been shown over the course of the film. The movie is so focused on creating a cinematic universe that it isn’t even bothered to tell a good story, which is a surprise considering the director of this film was Alex Kurtzman who’s last film he worked on was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which had this exact same problem he made the exact same mistake again despite how badly it turned out the last time is that not the definition of insanity?.
So in short The Mummy is a movie with passable but forgettable action, a terrible screenplay with some really bad jokes sprinkled throughout and its only saving graces are Tom Cruise who tries his best in a losing effort to save this thing and Sofia Boutella who was actually a pretty good choice to play the Mummy. She was good in the role and in a better movie she would great but this is not a great movie it is a bad one. Serviceable only if you truly desire a stupid popcorn blockbuster, otherwise I would not recommend this arrogant plug for an expanded universe that could have potential if done right but judging by this first offering my hopes are fading for the Dark Universe. I give The Mummy THREE out of TEN