Review: ‘The Mummy’ & Future of the ‘Dark Universe’

In case you didn’t already know Universal Studios is putting together a cinematic universe known as the Dark Universe. Universal’s first attempt to create this universe was back in 2013 with Dracula Untold, being a disappointment critically the studio decided to hold back on its Dark Universe for the time being. By deciding to not go with Dracula Untold as its starting point, Universal went back to the drawing board and came back with The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, and Sofia Boutella, thus welcoming viewers to a “New World of Gods and Monsters”.

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Universal Studios, Dark Universe Logo

Being a fan of Universal Studios and the classic movie monsters I had hope that if any studio can properly create a monster cinematic universe it would be the original creators of these monsters, Universal, and lets just say that I was wrong. The Mummy revolves around Tom Cruise’s character Nick Morton, who is some type of military looter who protects ancient artifacts and sells them on the black market? Long story short, Cruise’s character awakens the mummy, played by Sofia Boutella, and he finds himself trying to escape the terror that he unleashed upon himself and potentially the world. The Mummy was poorly made, it’s nothing more than a set-up film that is meant to introduce us to the Dark Universe and the movies to come. As viewers we really know nothing about our main characters expcept what we are shown, which is that Tom Cruise is a military looter, Jake Johnson is his extremely annoying sidekick who serves no purpose what so ever, Russell Crowe is the head of something (no Spoilers), Annabelle Wallis is an archeologist but is nothing more than a damsel in distress, and Sofia Boutella is Princess Ahmanet also known as “The Mummy”.

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Nick Morton played by Tom Cruise and Dr. Henry Jekyll played by Russell Crowe

Backed up by house hold names like Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe you would think the film would be half decent, well it wasn’t at all to say the least. What The Mummy really falls short on is its story, there is no depth to it, what you see is what you get from these characters, which is not a very promising start for a new universe. The movie seems to be having an identity crisis because the writing is all over the place. Does it want to be an action or a fantasy? Or how about a straight up horror? I wish I knew the answer because I couldn’t tell you after watching this movie.

 

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Princess Ahmanet played by Sofia Boutella, Universal Studios

But enough of the negativity of this film let’s talk about what was actually good, and sadly there isn’t much of it. To begin with Tom Cruise’s action sequences are visually appealing and shot very well, I give Cruise a ton of credit for doing his own stunts on this film. Although Tom Cruise is great, Sofia Boutella is hands down the best part of this film. Her portrayal of the Princess Ahmanet is phenomenal as she creates an evil, creepy, and seductive mummy. Being the first female mummy she brought a new twist to this character by displaying the great power this monster holds while simultaneously being a seductive princess who has a thirst for power.

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Left to Right: Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Sofia Boutella

Over all The Mummy does not have many redeeming qualities unfortunately. Being the first film in the Dark Universe, The Mummy does’nt have a strong punch. With every studio and their mothers trying to create a cinematic universe, Universal falls extremely flat on creating a capturing film/universe. With the disappointment The Mummy has brought to critics and viewers I’m curious to see how Universal responds to all the criticism with future films in the Dark Universe, such as Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Monster, Invisible Man and the many films set to be in this universe.

 

FINAL GRADE: C-

 

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