The Mummy Review: 4 Ups & 7 Downs

In present day, black market artifact dealer Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) accidentally uncover Ahmanet's crypt, unknowingly releasing the evil princess, and must figure out how to stop her from inflicting her revenge upon the world.

Universal is trying to jump into the franchise universe game with its new Dark Universe franchise, featuring the old Universal monster movie favorites - Dracula, Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Phantom of the Opera, etc. This is an attempt to bring their classic Universal Monsters into the modern age. Crowe is also great, giving gravitas and presence to his role as Dr Jekyll. In order to do this, she killed her mother and father along with her baby brother.

At its core, "The Mummy" is less a resurrection of a classic than a boring zombie movie, following in lockstep with the lifeless "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales". It tries, all right, but something's just not there, that intangible something that sets this kind of movie apart from the pack. But audiences have come out to see them and that looks to be the case with this latest one. David Koepp is the writer.

So despite the fun critics are having with the movie, Kurtzman may be getting the last laugh by Monday morning.

It comes as a bit of a shock that the film's screenwriters include heavyweights David Koepp ("Jurassic Park") and Christopher McQuarrie (Oscar victor for "The Usual Suspects"), along with actor Dylan Kussman and three writers given "story" credit: Jon Spaihts ("Doctor Strange"), Jenny Lumet ("Rachel Getting Married"), and the film's director Alex Kurtzman ("Star Trek"). After the fast-paced thrills of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, among other action movies, seeing Cruise breaststroke away from some zombies is freakish and comical. So, he may have bitten off more than he could chew when he accepted this project. For example, after a supernatural incident, a dead character haunts Cruise in such a tone-deaf way that it feels like a Tommy Wiseau-directed version of An American Werewolf in London. I honestly can't decide which is the true fault. He has heroic moments - saving Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) a couple of times - but the movie keeps telling us there's some evil in the selfish lead, but we don't see it enough to make it convincing.

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Still, it's not Cruise's fault this doesn't work.

Cruise is in his overly familiar guise as the hotshot morality-challenged military asset in the Middle East.

Cruise must have woken my demon spirit, too.

Frustrated by the box office dominance of Marvel Studios' massive superhero franchise and a growing sense that rivals Warner Brothers might finally be waking up the DC comic universe, Universal has launched the Dark Universe as their own interlocking series of big-budget popcorn flicks. All our favorite movie monsters are about to become action heroes played by very famous movie stars.

  • Darren Santiago