“THE MUMMY” The Past Cannot Remain Buried Forever

Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters

Release Date: June 9, 2017
Running Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
Rated PG-13 for violence, action, suggestive content, partial nudity
Directed By: Alex Kurtzman
Grade: B Action/Adventure/Fantasy

Two thousand years ago, Ahmanet was the princess and next in line to inherit the reign of Egypt as its first female Pharaoh. When her father remarried and bore a son, Ahmanet’s dreams of power were nearly extinguished. Her intense feelings of betrayal pushed her to call upon Set, the god of death, with the intention of ruling the world. Captured by her father’s men she was mummified alive, buried in a tomb 1,000 miles away, and erased from history.

In present day Iraq, soldier-of-fortune Nick Morton and his comrade Chris Vail accidentally create warfare that reveals Ahmanet’s tomb. Upon being questioned by Colonel Greenway, Jenny Halsey (British officer of Cultural Heritage) arrives to warn the men about what they may find. As they assist Jenny, Nick and Chris attempt to steal jewels and other valuables Unknowingly, Nick frees Ahmanet from her carefully guarded tomb and becomes the object of her let’s say “affection.”   The tomb is raised and placed on a plane to London, but crashes on the outskirts, killing everyone on board, except Jenny who parachuted out and Nick who wakes up in the morgue.

As she suspected, Nick has inadvertently attached himself to and unleashed an evil that the world has never encountered before. Jenny’s employer, Dr. Henry Jekyll, explains that it is his mission to protect the world from monsters as well as protecting monsters from the world. As good and evil battle, Dr. Jekyll advises that it takes a monster to defeat a monster.

This is not a tomb.  It is a prison

The Mummy is terrifyingly terrific.  It launches Universal’s Dark Universe.   The shared universe will include classic iconic monsters such as Frankenstein’s Monster, The Invisible Man, The Wolf-Man and my personal favorite Dracula.

Director Kurtzman is best known as the producer for Transformers, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Star Trek.   He has one other film credit as a director for People Like Us.  Kurtzman does a respectable job employing horror techniques such as suspense, jump scares and fear of the unknown in addition to creating the atmosphere with crypts, spiders and dark lighting.  It is fast-paced with intense action sequences.

Oscar winning actor Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) is brilliant as Dr. Henry Jekyll (and Edward Hyde).  Along with his acting prowess, Crowe’s deep, baritone voice adds a certain tone to the film.  His character is the leader of Prodigium, a secret society dedicated hunting monsters. The mission of Prodigium is to recognize, contain, examine and if necessary, to kill monsters.

The unforgettable Tom Cruise gives a good, but not his best, performance. His character lacked solid development, which may not be needed in the future (no spoilers here).  Regardless, it is Tom Cruise and I enjoy everything he does.

The cinematography by Ben Seresin (World War Z, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) was well done and at times evocative.  Principal photography took place in England and Namibia. He filmed an incredible birdstrike and crash scene with a military cargo plane.  The creative team’s imaginative set decoration and makeup is dramatic and realistic.

 

SOFIA BOUTELLA as Ahmanet

The Mummy is mysterious with enough scares throughout to keep you enthralled.  The screenplay provides enough backstory and character development to lay the groundwork for future installments of the Dark Universe.  If the casting of Jarvier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster and Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man are a prelude, I can’t wait to see who stars as Dracula and the Wolf-Man. ~ A.S. MacLeod

 The hieroglyphs said she was named Ahmanet. Chosen to be Egypt’s next queen but her thirst for power led her down a dark path. One that had to be stopped.

Not quite two centuries but 85 years after the original The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff was released, Universal Studios rains upon the audience like a sand storm with this modern version. Universal Studios is known for their expertise in horror films starting with Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi and, luckily for us fans of the classics, has continued to reign in horror films. Not only does the plot incorporate modern geography but it also introduces the first female mummy in the franchise.

Actress Sofia Boutella impressed me with her performances in The Kingsman: Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond so I think that she was the perfect choice to portray the character. Tom Cruise never ceases to amaze me with his charisma and stunts. He’s like fine wine as he continues to get better with age. I was drawn to the film because Tom is the lead actor but walked away with a new appreciation for Russell Crowe. Now Crowe has delivered a wide range of characters in his previous 51 films and he had some big shoes to fill taking on the role that Spencer Tracy portrayed in 1941 but, not only did Russell excel in this modern tale, he also left me thirsting for a stand-alone film.

No stranger to undead story-telling, Ben Seresin (cinematographer known for World War Z) expertly captured the more serene scenes as well as the relentless action scenes. In his second directorial debut, Alex Kurtzman should be given a hats off for having a vision, attracting the right cast, and wrapping up this fine reboot in what I sincerely hope is the first film in Universal’s rumored Dark Universe. When good and evil are at war especially in the same being, the end result is usually very entertaining. Run, fly, and battle your way into the theater to see this one! ~Movie Buffette

Starring:
Tom Cruise as Nick Morton
Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll
Annabelle Wallis at Jenny Halsey
Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet
Jake Johnson as Chris Vail
Courtney B. Vance at Colonel Greenway
Selva Rasalingam as King Menehptre
Marwan Kenzari as Malik
Javier Botet as Set

 

About Leigh Ann Rassler

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