I know this film looks boring and generic, but it’s boring and generic done by amazing filmmakers. Perhaps you’re sitting there thinking, “I have no interest in a film about Tom Cruise trying to find his mummy. It feels like an outdated, stale idea.” Yeah, but it’s an outdated, stale idea done by really amazing filmmakers.
Tom Cruise initially had the exact same reservations as you do. In fact, Tom wanted to be in the sister film, Van Helsing, instead. Yes, he’d have rather been recast in a Hugh Jackman role than a Brendan Fraser role. But as The Mummy developed, he noticed how thrilling it was going to be. So he had Sam Worthington kicked off set and stepped into the title role himself. But his right hand man, screenwriter, Christopher McQuarrie (Edge Of Tomorrow, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), wasn’t as keen. Tom convinced him by asking, “How do we really know we’re the best, Chris?” This got Chris’s attention. “Anyone can make a great film from a great idea and compelling story, but what about a boring idea with a bland story. That takes genius.” Chris was on board right away.
Tom pondered the film for a while. Does he really need another massive franchise under his belt? Then Christopher McQuarrie assured him that the monster genre will take flight again very soon. It’ll blow superheroes out of the water. And he’s right. Take it from one who knows – it’ll be huge! The last time the monster genre was at its height was in the oppressive 1950s McCarthy era. Now, with Donald J. Trump in The White House, a new wave of monsters will capture the imagination of the public. Audiences will need to be reassured that good will ultimately trump evil, no matter how monstrous. You wanted to get rid of superheroes? Well, be careful what you wish for, because here come the monsters.
And it’s the first film to push an environmentally friendly message without it being ham-fisted. Yes, The Mummy is mother nature with a vengeance.
Universal are piling billions into their Universal Monsters franchise. And with Trump’s election, they’ve added a few billion more. And they’re off to a good start updating their intellectual property with The Mummy for 2017. And they went really far out when they decided to, for the first time in franchise history, cast a female as The Mummy. Sofia Boutella (the Star Trek Beyond stand-out) plays the ancient enchantress with the kind of dangerous sexuality you’d hope for.
Russell Crowe plays Dr. Henry Jekyll – so there’s no prizes for guessing that we’ll see him in future reboots. The Universal Monsters Universe will also share with us Van Helsing, Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, Count Dracula, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man and even Bride Of Frankenstein.
When Johnny Depp went underground amid wife beating allegations, he was cast as The Invisible Man. Universal had wanted Angelina Jolie for the Bride Of Frankenstein, but after her divorce, they’re not sure that’s a good idea. Will the public believe her as a noble wife? So, ironically, they’re now casting Amber Heard.
I was pleasantly surprised with this film. It has great performances, and is a riveting retelling of a dated story. It’s a thrilling spectacle – it’s not a swashbuckling adventure like the other Mummy movies, but rather a modern day roller-coaster ride. You won’t take your eyes off the screen. I especially love that The Mummy is actually Mother Nature getting her revenge. Some will hate the left pushing their agenda again, but it’s a nice twist.
What brings the team down is the special effects. The filmmakers have tried to push things to their limits here as far as way over the top sequences go, and unfortunately the special effects aren’t there to back it up.
All in all, it’s worth your while. I don’t want to give it away, but the Brendan Fraser cameo at the end, as The Dummy, is inspired. He’s such a good sport.