* DISCLAIMER – this is NOT a spoiler free review*
I am very excited for the Dark Universe series. Therefor, I thought it might be fun to share my thoughts on each of the films as they come out in the cinemas. The Mummy is the first film in the series. Let’s get right into it.
(please bear in mind that I saw this a few days ago while I was feeling a little down. If I miss a couple of details it’s because I don’t have the greatest memory. Otherwise, I hope you will find this a fun little read)
So, The Mummy follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) as they search for this ancient, hidden treasure. They stumble upon the tomb of an ancient princess called Ahmanet, and “accidentally” release her. Ahmanet was destined to be queen, when suddenly her father had a son, making him the new heir. Furious, Ahmanet summons Set, the God of death (or the devil), in hope that he will give her power, help her kill her father and his son, and join her in human form to rule the city as king and queen. She kills her father and the heir, but is interrupted in the middle of the ritual when the guards kill the man who is supposed to be Set’s human vessel. Ahmanet’s actions result in her being mummified and buried alive in the underground tomb, drowned in mercury to keep her dark spirit in check.
After Nick releases her, to show him how grateful she is, Ahmanet gifts him with the title of “her chosen one” or something like that… meaning that he is now destined to be Set’s new human vessel, the person that will get stabbed in the chest with a giant dagger in the ritual later in the movie.
The film is fairly similar to The Mummy that came out in 1999. The whole looking for treasures, finding the tomb, being stupid enough to release the mummy, the mummy sucking on people’s faces to regain his/her body and strength, the mummy waking up the dead and the mummy being absolutely useless in killing the main characters.
And also the two main characters who start of hating each other, but end up liking each other in the end. But, the whole dark universe corporation adds a new twist to it. Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), with the help of Jenny, runs a corporation that hunts and captures the monsters of the real world. This is the corporation that will be the main link between the films through-out the Dark Universe series. Dr. Jekyll says that Ahmanet is the oldest monster that they have ever encountered (obviously). As we get introduced to Dr. Jekyll, we learn that he is a bit of a monster himself. If he doesn’t take his medicine, he is taken over by this strong, evil personality that thrills on other peoples pain (lovely). He’s just like Dr. Henry Jekyll in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen if that helps, except for the body transformation and the other personality actually being nice and sorta helpful.
The beginning and the end are the parts that are the most fun to watch in this film to be honest. The plot gets kind of lost in the middle. Although I’m not that fond of the sex-discussion between Nick and Jenny at the beginning, the scenes in the middle go on for longer than they should. The whole thing with Ahmanet messing with Nick’s head and leading him to the church where the dagger is hidden, only to let him escape in a car and then mess with his head again so that he would drive the car back to the church without realising it. And while it was obvious that we needed an introduction to Dr. Jekyll’s character, the part where Ahmanet is chained up is pretty boring… I mean, she eventually called on a magic beetle and managed to escape in like 5 minutes.
There are many other things that they could have included in the film in order to achieve the desired length of 110 minutes. Like, a decent backstory for Jenny, Nick and his buddy Chris. It’s hard to connect to the romance between Nick and Jenny when we hardly know anything about them. Heck, I had to google their character’s names while writing this review because I genuinely couldn’t remember them. And it would have been interesting to know why Ahmanet became so furious that she actually summoned the DEVIL to help her unleash her wrath. It felt like the whole film depended on the excitement of the psychological thrills, jump-scares and the over all horrific appearance of the mummy. And this would be okay if the film belonged in the horror-genre. It doesn’t.
According to IMDB, the film belongs in the action, adventure, fantasy and thriller genres, all genres where a film with interesting characters and a proper structure is preferred.
But, at least this new mummy is certainly better than the big-mouth CGI disgrace that we got back in 1999.
All things considered, it’s not a bad film. It kept me entertained through-out the whole thing, and I will probably buy it on blu-ray in the future. That being said, after the build-up for the Dark Universe, I kind of expected a bit more from a film that is supposed to introduce us to and hook us onto the oncoming train of films for this series. It’s not a disappointment, it’s just not as good as it should have been. Nonetheless, I definitely think it’s worth seeing in the cinema.
Rating out of 10: