The Mummy works on the premise that all women find Tom Cruise irresistible. This includes a 5000-year-old Egyptian monster named Ahmanet. Ahmanet calls Tom’s character Nick, ‘My Chosen One.’ In one scene, she caresses his taut stomach. In another, she licks his cheek likes he is a delicious ice cream cone on a hot summer day. As you can imagine, this is the stuff of pure comedy.
The Mummy is a film so bad that it’s fascinating. You watch incredulously as one ridiculous scene leads to another. Admittedly, Mummy movies aren’t known for quality – the classic in the sub-genre was released in 1932 and starred Boris Karloff as the mummy. But this version sets a whole new standard of low.
And this is apparently the first in an ambitious new monster franchise called The Dark Universe being set up by Universal Studio. Russell Crowe makes an appearance as Dr Jekyll and Hyde. Films with A-listers like Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem are in the works. The Mummy also ends with the promise of a sequel – Nick jauntily asks his side-kick: Where is your sense of adventure?
I think it’s buried under the creepy digitial effects, which includes Ahmanet giving the kiss of death to several men – she sucks on them until they become murderous mummies themselves. This gets dreary very quickly but I did get a kick out of Ahmanet’s double pupils until the end. The Mummy has three people credited for story and another three for screenplay. But between six writers, we can’t get decent dialogue or a memorable plot twist. My favorite moment was Dr. Jekyll explaining that his business is evil. To recognize, contain and destroy.
Sofia Boutella who plays the Mummy, isn’t half-bad. Ahmanet is scary and sexy. Tom Cruise goes at this inane material with his signature wide grin and can-do spirit. He gamely gets licked and battered and tossed around. But director Alex Kurtzman and this impossibly brain dead script set him up for an epic failure.
The Mummy is dead on arrival.