By Ryan Keating-Lambert

★☆☆☆

There’s nothing that works here. Tom Cruise leads a host of one dimensional characters in a messy setup of this underwhelming ‘Dark Universe’. The Mummy is terrible.

Ancient Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) is resurrected when her tomb is invaded and corpse stolen by military antiquities person Nick Morton (Tom Cruise). Morton, with the help of archaeological expert Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) soon learn that not only is the princess after him to lead the apocalypse and unleash Seth, the Egyptian god of death, but that there’s an entire world of monsters living among them when they meet Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) in London.

Every now and then there’s a remake that blows you away, and that’s exactly what The Mummy doesn’t do. Although there have been countless versions of this story since the golden era of Hollywood, this modern take on the tale is more or less a remake of the 1999 Stephen Sommers’ action adventure romp. From the narrated back story to the cloud of sand sweeping through the streets of London, this version pays tribute to the classic a lot, but when it comes to standing on its own two feet and adding some originality of its own, it fails miserably.

Probably the biggest problem with this film is its lack of decent characters. Morton has the immaturity of a spoilt 12-year-old child that still manages to woo the two main female characters. His decisions are contradicting and completely irrational, and towards the finale he becomes little more than a tiring plot device. Crowe’s Jekyll is given no room to shine as his scenes are rushed and only serve to introduce this boring universe of gods and monsters.

Then there’s Jenny, the blonde Annabelle Wallis is there as eye candy for the guys, and nothing more. Her character, despite being the only person with brains, is treated as a favourite chew toy for Cruise, and it’s insulting. Boutella’s Ahmanet starts as a mysterious and seductive villain but soon turns out to be nothing at all, as the movie diverts all attention to setting up the franchise.

For those who like scares, there is virtually nothing here for you. Aside from a few jumpy moments, and countless zombies (are zombies even scary anymore?), there’s nothing to fear here. There’s a distinct lack of atmosphere – no time has been put into careful build-up or mystery. It’s like a surprise party that you already know about.

Even the visuals aren’t anything special. Aside from the intricate Egyptian production design in the flashbacks and Sofia Boutella’s ‘double-eye’ party trick, there’s nothing noteworthy happening here. The actors also seem to have been given a bit of a Photoshop makeover, especially Cruise and Wallis. Unnatural and awful. Barbie and Ken out to save the world from a super stalking corpse.

This film is terrible, and will probably go down as one of the worst for this year. A crying shame, as the old ones have their charm, and the 1999 version with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz was wonderful. The future doesn’t look bright for this ‘Dark Universe’. No pun intended.

Photo: The Mummy Official

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