MOVIE REVIEW – ‘The Mummy’ (2017)

'The Mummy' is an entertaining yet imperfect start to Universal's Dark Universe.

Review by J.T. Johnson

DIRECTOR: Alex Kurtzman
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Ben Seresin
WRITERS: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
MUSIC: Brian Tyler

Before I watch a movie that I intend to review, I do not look at other critical reviews beforehand. After I’ve watched a movie and made a decision on whether or not I like it, I may look at the Rotten Tomatoes score just to see if I agree with the other critics or not. Therefore, imagine my surprise when I saw that “The Mummy”, the first chapter in Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe franchise, had a 21% approval rating.

Yes, I will admit that I disagree with that score and that I did enjoy the movie. Now, I will also say that I don’t know specifically what critics are saying about the movie as I only looked at the aggregate score. I guess I can admit that I don’t think that the movie is perfect by any means.

The tone of the movie does jump from action to light horror to slight humor then back to action. Therefore, the movie is uneven at times but not enough to where I didn’t know what I should be feeling from scene to scene. Beyond that, I can also say that the characters are your basic archetypes.

Tom Cruise is going to be Tom Cruise no matter what Tom Cruise stars in and if you don’t like Tom Cruise, then you’re not going to like this Tom Cruise film. Now, I must admit that I do like Cruise in action films, so he never really bothered me. His co-star, Annabelle Wallis as Jenny, is the real problem for me with this cast.

Unlike Cruise’s Nick Morton, Wallis is as bland as a cardboard box. Like Cruise’s character, Jenny is written with only one note in mind, but unlike Cruise, Wallis cannot add any sort of charm to her character whatsoever. Beyond Wallis, the rest of the performances are fun to watch.

The true highlight of the film is Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet, the titular mummy of this particular film. Boutella successfully brings the sinister mummy to life and I was always interested in what was going on when she was onscreen. Thanks to her, I did believe that this undead Egyptian was a genuine threat.

Another highlight of the movie is Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll. He’s the biggest thing connecting this film to Universal’s larger Dark Universe. Also, we don’t just get to meet the good doctor as Mr. Hyde does show up in the movie. I really enjoyed Crowe in this role and I would gladly see him in his own monster movie.

As far as what this movie is, the answer is simple. This is an action movie and for the most part, it never forgets that and it provides some solid entertainment. Once Ahmanet is discovered, the action kicks up and it never really lets up as the chase is on to figure out how to stop this particular mummy.

The other critics may disagree with me and maybe they’re seeing something that I missed, but I ultimately had a good time with this movie. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and if they do make another movie in this series, I hope they do focus a little bit more on the writing. Still, I wouldn’t mind spending a little more time in this universe should it be allowed to continue.

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