Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe
After the soft start of Dracula Untold, Universal have gone all in with their Dark Universe and the first tent pole is The Mummy.
Nick Morton (Cruise) and his partner Chris (Johnson) are tomb looters, currently in Iraq looking for various treasure of the past to sell for big money on the black market. After running afoul of insurgents, a drone strike reveals a huge tomb. Along with Jenny Halsey (Wallis) - who we find out had a map that Nick stole - they all end up going down into the tomb where they find the tomb of the titular mummy.
The film starts off strongly with a very nicely done prologue, setting up the story and for the first two acts I was on board. Unfortunately it starts to drag and by the end of the 3rd act you are just waiting until its over. I loved the ideas in the film, just that the execution both in the writing and direction was lacking.
The film is both lifted and then hamstrung by the casting of Tom Cruise. Cruise is a victim of his own popularity, he will draw in a crowd but also repel one. His performance is fine and brings his usual style to the role. The rest of cast have varying success. Boutella does well as Ahmanet looking menacing when required but she doesn't get much to do and for the main villain of the film that doesn't help her out. Wallis is good too, making Jenny a good partner for Nick to navigate the film with. Crowe's Dr Jekyll is an interesting character that isn't really given room to expand which I think is fair as it isn't his film. We get a glimpse of the monster inside him and its honestly underwhelming which is disappointing.
Kurtzman directs this in a workman like fashion, certainly there seems to be no personal style in the direction, it isn't bad it is just very straight line from point A to point B with direction, with the exception of an excellent underwater sequence that was the best scene in the film by a long way. The writing is fairly perfunctory throughout and this doesn't really help things.
Now despite all this the film still entertains. It is just a little disappointing that The Mummy is more a generic action film with dabs of horror than just a straight horror film. However, I will still be first in line to where this universe can take us next.
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78