With the ridiculous success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe it was only a matter of time before other movie worlds would begin popping up. DC jumped on the bandwagon in 2013 kicking off their Extended Universe. Now seemingly out of nowhere Universal have announced their Dark Universe, and a whole load of upcoming movies. All of which are being jump started with ‘The Mummy’ reboot, which almost no-one has been anticipating since it was announced. Could Cruise surprise us all though and pull off a cinematic universe opener like ‘Iron Man’ or ‘Man of Steel’?
The film actually starts off quite well, it gets straight to the point of filling in audiences on what they need to know. It keeps this origin section concise and interesting. The story introduces the main characters pretty quickly and throws them straight into the action. The highlight of which has to be the plane sequence which is depicted in the trailers. This is easily the best part of the whole movie and the action that follows it simply can’t top it. I thought it looked impressive and it was exciting to watch, not too laboured or exaggerated just a top tier Cruise stunt. It’s a pity that the rest of the film just wasn’t as good. There’s a strange combination of real darkness running through the movie and then attempted comedy too. It’s a hard balance to achieve and the film never really successfully blends the two together. There is some fun to be had with the jump scares, predictable as they are, as it’s definitely the kind of film to take advantage of those cheap scare opportunities.
After the plane sequence the biggest problem the film has is that it’s just not that entertaining. I found myself completely disinterested with the main characters and even Sofia Boutella’s Mummy. I was much more intrigued by Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll who was on the fringes of the film at first. When he begins to get a little more spotlight I dared to hope. Unfortunately his eventual transformation was underwhelming to say the least and more amusing than it should have been. Another wasted talent was that of Jake Johnson, he plays the friend of Tom Cruise’s character and at first appears to be the comic relief for the film. This is a role that was much needed for the majority of the film but they squander the potential of his character by taking him in a really bizarre direction. A more prominent role for Johnson could have helped the issues the film had with it’s tone. Of course this potential for comedy is substituted for an almost lifeless dynamic between Cruise and female lead Annabelle Wallis. There’s a few decent one-liners in there but it’s not an engaging focal relationship.
‘The Mummy’ won’t be the start to the Dark Universe that Universal were hoping for. The cast of big names fail to make the content overly exciting and it does little to inspire anticipation for future installments. It’s not horrendous though, there have been worse blockbusters out this year already. It’s watchable up to a point, almost entirely thanks to its opening, but I can’t envision any rewatches. Tom Cruise’s finest hour though, this is not. Worryingly, no amount of his famous running would be able to stop this reboot from stumbling somewhat in its own cinematic sandstorm.
Rating – 4/10
Question: What’s your opinion on cinematic universes?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.