THE MUMMY. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, Tom Cruise Nick Morton, Russell Crowe Dr Henry Jekyll, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella

THERESA SMITH reviews

No chemistry between the leads, no texture or depth, and plenty of plot-holes make up Universal’s latest would-be money-spinner, The Mummy.

Tom Cruise plays thieving soldier Nick Morton, a character more intent on finding precious loot than helping his fellow soldiers survive the Persian Gulf.

He unwittingly sets loose an ancient evil in the form of a cursed mummy who wants to complete a ritual to bring back the Egyptian God of Death.

Tom Cruise The Mummy review Weekend Special
Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton

The story lurches forward in fits and starts

Said mummy (Sofia Boutella starts off as an emaciated stick corpse and gradually gains flesh as she kills more people) comes after Nick and archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Wallis).

There is a subplot involving Russell Crowe’s Dr Henry Jekyll which simply trivialises evil as a concept, and plenty of reanimated corpses are destroyed as the story lurches forward in fits and starts.

Universal Studios have thrown their ring into the hat, intent on creating their own shared universe in which a franchise of their own movies can play and, hopefully, make them tons of money.

Something like Fast & the Furious is not really a shared universe, not the way the Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe works. It has to be a series of standalone films which take place within the same setting. Characters can hop from one film to the next or not, or be referenced in other films.

Dark Universe

So here, The Mummy is supposed to be the beginning of their Dark Universe but oy vey, does Universal have the wrong end of the stick with this one.

This remake of a classic idea taken from The Curse of the Mummy (1964) is a soulless, flat insult to contemporary audiences.

Yes, a very young audience may be more used to flashy CGI, plenty of jump cuts and fast exposition, but a story of some kind is still needed to keep the movie moving.

Character development is practically nil and we never understand why Nick does any of what he does. As for the Jenny character, not only is she a terrible archaeologist who breaks all rules of archaeology digs, but Annabelle Wallis gets to do nothing with her character other than run after her male lead and ask him if he is alright.

While Luke Evan’s Dracula Untold was not included by Universal in this Dark Universe stable, THAT film, though not the best vampire movie ever, did make you curious about its setting and you wanted to know more.

This Mummy movie though does not spark any curiosity about what else could be happening in this fake world.

And what, pray tell, was with the double irises? Oh right. Of course. Director Alex Kurtzman worked on TV series Fringe, so that is where he got that idea.

Come back Brendan Fraser. We forgive you for that third Mummy travesty!

What: The Mummy
Classification: 13 HV
Running time: 111 minutes
Theresa Smith’s Weekend Special review. For more from Theresa: theresathewordsmith.wordpress.com
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