Where do I start with this trainwreck of a movie called The Mummy? I truly enjoy the concept of a shared cinematic universe, and think a lot of others do as well, seeing as how we’ve got the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe, teases of a HASBRO Universe (Transformers and GI Joe), and now Universal wants to cash in on their monster movie past with a Dark Universe. But this film should be derided like the Green Lantern film that failed to launch the DCEU. There’s tone issues, story issues, and character issues abounding. A franchise can survive these blows (looking at you, Transformers), but when it’s the first entry the Dark Universe may be shut out altogether.
The Mummy begins in ancient Egypt as Ahmanet is preparing to be next in line to rule until her father had a son. Instead of sitting back, she made a deal with Set, the Egyptian god of chaos to kill her family with magic jewel and knife and become his all-powerful being. The Egyptians stop her in the middle of the ritual human sacrifice, and demand her to be buried alive thousands of miles away from Egypt while the magical knife and jewel be separated was eventually hidden in England.
In the present, we meet professional looters Nick (Cruise), and his helper who unwittingly unearth the tomb in Iraq. They transport the sarcophagus back to England, but not before Nick breaks the cursed mummy out of her eternal sleep. In the best scene of the movie, the airplane goes down and kills all on board, including Nick – but he gets better. He is now the chosen of Ahmanet and is brought into the auspices of the Prodigium, a shadowy organization set about to watch monsters, ironically led by Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.
Tom Cruise as the lead character is kind of all over the place, at parts simple action star, other parts disinterested participant in the plot, and the dialogue is stilted to say the least. None of his one-liners zing. They all fall flat and just make it all very awkward. His character arc is badly telegraphed and has no real challenge. It’s Tom Cruise, he’ll be the best at whatever role he’s in. The best fighter pilot, the best secret agent, the best immigrant, and on and on. And this is no different. It’s just boring and old. For once, I’d like to see Tom Cruise not be the best at something. To fail and fail horribly bad.
If the Dark Universe is to survive and be a strong contender with other cinematic universes, they need a course correction in the worst way. And it would behoove them to rid themselves of Cruise, for starters. There are a lot of rumors out there that Cruise took on scripting and directing and more for this film, and The Mummy suffers for it. The Bride of Frankenstein is the next installment in the Dark Universe in 2019.
Maybe the stink from The Mummy will be gone by then.