What feels like ages ago, in a time when CGI was still both oppressively expensive and still absolutely horrible to look at, audiences enjoyed watching Brendan Fraser save the day from haphazardly awakened mummies (and The Rock before his acting career became less terrible, before it promptly became terrible again thanks to Baywatch). Those were simpler times, when movies about supernatural creatures could be a mixture of silly and serious, charming and cheesy. The Mummy films were perfect for what they were, and as they ambled off into the sunset, presumably to a place where all of the talent involved could find additional work, there was a sense of completion. In the same way the arc of the covenant should never be opened, so too should Hollywood never have decided to make another movie in The Mummy series.
Naturally, because modern cinema is a well-oiled machine fueled by unimaginative remakes, reboots, and franchises, The Mummy is being rebooted and it’s really serious, people, and probably hopes to be so unsettling and action-packed that everyone will forget that the only real shambling, reanimated corpse in this film is Tom Cruise’s career as a tolerable actor.
Thanks to the previews, audiences know the titular mummy is a woman with two sets of pupils and irises in each eye, because additional bits of anatomy automatically make things frightening. Always. She appears to have the same powers as Arnold Vosloo’s mummy did, but with a better budget and the added ability to possess people to presumably give them additional eye-bits as well.
This film looks like a cookie-cutter action-adventure flick.
There are literally no redeeming qualities to this film as of yet. It takes itself far too seriously to roll with the best of the old-school monster movies. Most people, or at least most moviegoers, are far more fearful of actual, tangible issues now (like waking up to find oneself stranded on a long-distance space journey with only Chris Pratt for company, or student loan debt). Mummies, ghouls, and spirts have their place in the current state of Hollywood, but that is largely a place of jump-scares and psychological thrillers that end up being all-too-predictable.
The Mummy is a disappointing offspring to its predecessors of the same name, and the only way it could possibly be worth seeing is if it suddenly goes from serious monster movie to more of the good, old Brendan Fraser nonsense. Sure, they weren’t perfect films, but they look like Oscar winners compared to the current state of The Mummy.
By Phil Gorski