By Laurie Coker
Whether it’s called The Mummy, Mission Mummy or Mummy Impossible Mummy, Tom Cruise’s latest film is nothing more than a rehash of stunts and silly story telling on which Cruise banks. Unlike Brenden Frasier’s hit Mummy, this version leans heavily on the serious side. Packed with nuggets from countless other such films, The Mummy manages to make mediocre look good.
Mercenary and thief Nick Morton (Cruise) along with reluctant buddy, Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) unwittingly unleash a wicked princess from her tomb. They, along with Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wall) fight against evil in a dark world of undead and the devil. Sophia Boutella is Ahmanet the slighted Egyptian princess bent on making Nick the vessel for Satan. Russell Crowe plays Dr, Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, whose presence in the 21st century is inexplicable. At least with Hyde there comes some literary character reference, but other characters, except perhaps Ahmanet, are poorly developed making them unworthy of attention or care.
The superficiality of story bores and were it not for the special effects and zero-gravity stunts there’d be little to watch. In truth, skipping The Mummy and watching a “good” Tom Cruise movie really is the better option. It has all been done before and far better. I continually find it disheartening to see Hollywood reusing the same stuff over and over again. A bit of humorous banter between Johnson and Cruise keeps the film from totally floundering in the darkness, but all efforts in creativity of character are lost even when played craftily by Crowe. For their parts, Boutella and Wallis are talented beauties, but hardly noteworthy as villain and damsel. In fact, the only thing noteworthy about The Mummy is the opportunity it affords viewers to tear it apart.
Director Alex Kurtzman, who has a short lackluster resume, now has a full-on flop on his hands. Star-power and CGI can’t breathe life into this mummified mess and even more disappointing is the blatant promise (or threat) of a sequel. Rated PG-13 for violence, action and scary images and for some suggestive content and partial nudity, The Mummy misuses it cast and falters at every turn to muster up anything remotely fresh. It earns a D-.