The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








The Mummy (PG-13)
Film Reviews by Amy Diaz

By Amy Diaz

 Tom Cruise stars in the jumbled heap of stuff that forms The Mummy, the kickoff to the Dark Universe, a, heavy sigh, monster movie cinematic universe. 

In ancient Egypt, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was about to lose at game of thrones to her father’s baby son. She killed her father and the baby, and planned to conjure up Set, the god of death, and put him in a human body. But before she could finish the ceremony, priests stopped her and then “mummified” and buried her alive. 
When her coffin is unearthed in the present day, this semi-immortal being escapes, sucks the life-force from people to reconstitute herself and continues in her quest to bring forth Set so that … something. I never really saw what Ahmanet has to gain from this science experiment, especially since its success means she takes backset to a god rather than being the big noise herself.
Meanwhile, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his poorly-written comic relief, Chris (Jake Johnson), are U.S. military reconnaissance and, basically, looters. When their looting puts them in the way of insurgents, they call in a U.S. airstrike to get out of trouble.
The bombing uncovers Ahmanet’s tomb, which they explore with Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), some kind of antiquities investigation person. Since the tomb is in the middle of a war zone, she has the military ship Ahmanet’s coffin to London.
The plane carrying Ahmanet’s coffin and the central cast members crashes shortly before reaching its destination and, though Nick should have died in the crash, he wakes up in the morgue. We hamfistedly learn he has been chosen by Ahmanet to be the vessel for Set’s entry to the human realm. Why him? Because he’s Tom Cruise, and if you’re going to have Tom Cruise in your movie he needs to be in the  middle of the action.
We also meet the head of a magical-evil-stuff organization, one Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Yes, clearly, this movie, which didn’t really know what to do with its one monster (the Mummy), needed to mix in another monster (Jekyll-and-Hyde) to really underline the “part one”-ness of the endeavor.
On the other hand, that this movie is the first in a franchise is the most coherent idea in The Mummy. This movie seems to want Tom Cruise to be an adventurous Indiana Jones type, with some modern anti-hero mixed in and a good supply of funny lines. And the movie is clearly meant to be a mix of action, horror and a smidge of romance. But, as this movie designs those elements, none of them go together. And this is not a “striped sweater and polka dotted skirt” kind of clash, but a “striped sweater, head of lettuce, biology textbook” level of disconnectedness. I feel like I’m watching randomly applied studio notes that The Mummy should be action-packed, be visually exciting, have moments of horror and sell people on the grand mythology. Do them all! In every scene! With a side of Dr. Jekyll! 
In addition to not making sense or having much fun, the whole blob drags down Tom Cruise, who is normally great at the actiony, humor-y popcorn flick. D+
Rated PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity, and presumably for the despair you’ll feel for all involved. Directed by Alex Kurtzman with a screenplay by David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman, The Mummy is an hour and 50 minutes long and is distributed by Universal Pictures.

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