Verdict: An exciting mix of action and horror.
There are some things you expect when going into a Tom Cruise film. There are even more expectations at stake when the said Tom Cruise film is supposed to launch a film franchise that's set to rival the likes of Marvel and DC. The Mummy meets those expectations, but barely so.
Egyptians might have stowed away great evil all the way in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, but they underestimated the greed of future treasure hunters. And that's what Tom Cruise's Nick Morton is, no matter what fancy twist he puts on it. Tom Cruise excels in playing the roguish rake. He masks his faults in a wave of charm, something that he manages to do for the whole movie itself. Any complaints with the over-dramatization can be brushed off with the strength of Cruise's on-screen presence.
Jake Johnson as Nick Morton's best friend, Chris Vail, delivers some excellent well-timed humor throughout The Mummy. Annabelle Wallis, playing the archaeologist love interest, provides a reason for Nick to not give in to the dark side. Russell Crowe's Dr. Jekyll does a large part of the narration in The Mummy. He introduces Nick Morton and the audience to the world of gods and monsters. He leads an organization meant to fight evil in every form – Prodigium. Look carefully and you might even see a fanged skull hinting at a Dracula movie. It's with Dr. Jekyll's character that the larger picture of the franchise comes into play.
The force of the story, though, comes from the bold Ahmanet. Even 5,000 years later, she's a formidable foe who can still manage to seduce a hero to join her evil side. At the same time, she's fierce, especially when she's at her most Mummy-ish form. Sofia Boutella does justice to the Egyptian princess, giving the character more than just sheer exotic beauty.
There are similarities in the main characters to the 1999 Brendan Fraser starrer, but that's where it ends. It's not just a flat-out CGI adventure with a dash of romance thrown in. The monsters are more monstrous, the romance is ever so complicated when both Jenny and Ahmanet want Nick Morton all to themselves. There are more than a few elements of horror, and The Mummy does not shy away from showing it – whether it's through creepy crawlies or through decayed corpses running amok.
The Mummy does run into a few problems when it tries to explain what's going on as opposed to just showing the action play out. There are too many repeated lines, and they tend to lose their power after being said again and again. The film struggles between introducing the universe for upcoming movies while trying to establish its place in it. Once it does decide to ramp up to the action though, does The Mummy truly start to shine.
At its best, The Mummy is a creature feature with large-scale action sequences. There are fights, chases, and a thrilling plane crash. It manages to wrap a monster we've all seen before in a whole new avatar that's scarier than ever. Dark Universe has officially gotten its start and it can only get better from here.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If you've enjoyed Tom Cruise movies in the past, you are bound to enjoy this one. Fans of the horror genre are sure to love the powerful monster. Look no further beyond the Mummy if you're looking for some excitement.