Entertainment » Movies

The Mummy

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Jun 8, 2017
Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson star in 'The Mummy'
Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson star in 'The Mummy'  

A rugged adventurer slowly extends his hand towards a valuable historic artifact while the score swells in intensity. Later, this same rogue spars verbally with a beautiful yet tough female counterpart, their exchanges saturated with sexual tension. All of this, of course, against a backdrop of golden desert sands. Sound familiar?

In its opening scenes, there's no denying that Universal Studios' latest incarnation of "The Mummy" longs to echo the audacious thrills of Steven Spielberg's first Indiana Jones adventure, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." In later scenes, as a certain character's zombie-like ghost follows Tom Cruise around in a comedic subplot, one can't help but be reminded of this particular shtick's obvious influence: John Landis's "An American Werewolf in London." As our eponymous Egyptian monster begins to rise, she attacks a series of cops, investigators and guards, transforming them into walking corpses that visually resemble a whacky hybrid of Guillermo Del Toro, George Romero and Sam Raimi.

"The Mummy" wears its inspirations on its sleeve and doesn't try to hide them. Nor does it attempt to conceal the overbearing silliness of its source material, characters and script -- it's far more of a hilarious film than its fun, yet serious promotional campaigns would lead you to believe, and because of this "The Mummy" surprises. It also kicks like a mule, with pacing that halts only when the film adheres to the will of a studio-obligated framework for the new "Dark Universe" line of Universal monster movies. Thankfully, these moments are brief and unlabored, never feeling as force-fed as something like "Iron Man 2" or "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (there isn't even a post-credits stinger!). However, the original "Iron Man" also stirred up similar reflections ... by the 10th Dark Universe film I may not be singing the same tune.

But as a standalone, "The Mummy" delivers enough thrills and laughs and genuine entertainment value to justify its existence. Tom Cruise is known for being an action star willing to do anything to snag a perfect shot (he's basically an insane person, a quality that I think makes him unbelievably excellent at his job). In this film, CGI certainly takes reign over practical effects, but this doesn't lead to Cruise phoning it in. The actor is just as convincing getting his ass kicked by a bunch of CGI zombies as he is when he is actually hanging off the edge of a plane or actually dangling from a skyscraper. (The film, which features many, many scenes of Tom Cruise getting thrown around, punched and narrowly avoiding giant objects, serves as an excellent companion piece to the actor's "Edge of Tomorrow").

Admittedly, some mileage may vary when it comes to the strained dialogue. You know a script is lazy when upon discovery of the mummy's tomb, the line "This isn't meant to keep people out ... it's meant to keep whatever's down there in" is immediately followed by "This isn't a tomb ... it's a prison." Throw in some unwanted exposition and moments of cheese, and the script is certainly the film's weakest component (while some may be turned off by the occasionally goofy CGI).

Despite flaws, "The Mummy" is fine entertaining escapism -- a lean and solid summer blockbuster that thankfully doesn't end with a bunch of shit crashing into other shit. Yeah, it's karaoke, but the movie gets you drunk enough on its own carefree zeal that the occasional flat notes don't seem to matter. In fact, you may just catch yourself singing along.

The Mummy

Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet, a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.

Info

Runtime :: 107 mins
Release Date :: Jun 09, 2017
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States

Cast

Nick Morton :: Tom Cruise
Henry Jekyll :: Russell Crowe
Jenny Halsey :: Annabelle Wallis
Ahmanet :: Sofia Boutella
Chris Vail :: Jake Johnson
Col. Greenway :: Courtney B. Vance
Malik :: Marwan Kenzari
Crusader :: Simon Atherton
First Man :: Stephen Thompson
Second Man :: James Arama
Reporter :: Matthew Wilkas
Reporter :: Sohm Kapila
Archaeologist :: Sean Michael
Construction Manager :: Rez Kempton
King Menehptre :: Selva Rasalingam
Arabian Princess :: Shanina Shaik
Set :: Javier Botet

Crew

Director :: Alex Kurtzman
Screenwriter :: David Koepp
Screenwriter :: Christopher McQuarrie
Screenwriter :: Dylan Kussman
Producer :: Alex Kurtzman
Producer :: Chris Morgan
Producer :: Sean Daniel
Producer :: Sarah Bradshaw
Executive Producer :: Jeb Brody
Executive Producer :: Roberto Orci
Cinematographer :: Ben Seresin
Film Editor :: Paul Hirsch
Film Editor :: Gina Hirsch
Film Editor :: Andrew Mondshein
Original Music :: Brian Tyler
Production Design :: Jon Hutman
Production Design :: Dominic Watkins
Supervising Art Direction :: Frank Walsh
Art Director :: Tom Whitehead
Art Director :: James Lewis
Art Director :: Will Coubrough
Art Director :: Justin Warburton-Brown
Art Director :: Steve Carter
Set Decoration :: Jille Azis
Costume Designer :: Penny Rose
Casting :: Lucinda Syson
Casting :: Francine Maisler


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