I don’t like spending money on movies. This summer it was between Wonder Woman and The Mummy and it was a no-brainer in which movie I’d choose to spend my money on despite the negative reviews. 😛
While watching this movie, I kept thinking of a suitable headline for my review. I kept thinking of Egyptian gods and how amazing TC was as Nick Morton ( ❤ ) hence the title. And director Alex Kurtzman said that he did not make this movie for the critics. Critics don’t represent me as I like to make up my own mind, but I have some choice words for him at the end of the review. Okay, let’s go!
STORYLINE: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
Some people are actors. Tom Cruise is a movie star.
Shot gorgeously, The Mummy is a fast-paced movie with some funny one-liners and a ton of action. However, when it all comes down to the script (screenplay) and direction, it can make or kill a movie and this is what happened in term of the dialogue. Writing credits were given to six people (too many in my opinion) including Christopher McQuarrie and the director of this film, Alex Kurtzman.
But, in a decade defined by superhero movies, reboots and franchises, The Mummy stands out as different.
Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder along with his equally greedy sidekick Chris Vail. Jenny Hasley only cares about her work. Each of these characters has one trait in common: selfishness. Yet, it is this selfishness that led them to the monster (Ahmanet). What I love about this movie is the fact that as it progresses, the characters begin to change from their selfish deeds and begins to consider the safety of the other. A lot of people don’t know what a character arc is so when they see Nick upset over Jenny drowning, it was not because he loves her, but it was because he had started caring for her. She also influenced and shaped Morton’s transformation. He even gave her the only parachute on the doomed plane although he’ll later say that he thought there was another one.
We learn that Princess Ahmanet was promised the role of Pharoah by her father, but after her father conceives a son with his new wife, Ahmanet is pushed aside and she goes on the hunt for vengeance by summoning Set the god of death (In Egyptology, he is the god of chaos, wars, and storms, but okay, Hollywood, we’ll just go with death), who gives her a blade that will help her carry out her plan to remake the world in her vision and take back what was promised to her: power (Yu-Gi-Oh! vibes, yass!).
Fast forward to modern-day Iraq. Army Sgt. Nick Morton and Corporal Chris Vail have come into possession of a map that would lead them to more than the treasure they bargained for when they unwittingly discover a tomb buried in Haram. Jenny Hasley arrives on the scene, slaps Nick and demands that he hands over the map that he stole from her, but soon lost interest when she saw the tomb the boys had discovered. Hasley wants to enter the tomb to study it and Colonel Greenway makes Morton and Vail go with her. After Nick unintentionally frees the mummy, a lot of mayhem occurs including Nick waking up in a morgue after a plane crash, his sidekick haunting him, being detained at Prodigium, the freaky creepy Mummy chasing after him, having to fend off zombies and eventually gaining Set’s powers (?).
I felt as if the movie was rushed, but I love the open ending as it sets up nicely for the Dark Universe. What even is Nick Morton? Monster? A god? The Mummy? Van Helsing? He is a cursed immortal, that is all we know and he’s going to live out the rest of his life searching for the cure to reverse the curse. There ain’t one, you dummy! 🙂
Want to hear a funny story about why I love Morton’s immortality? No? I’ll tell it anyway. Twelve or so years ago, I wrote a mini-series titled RAMSES (yes, it was Egyptian related) and Ramses was cursed from birth by the midwife, thus making him immortal. He’ll eventually wander around the world searching for a cure to break the curse coming up empty handed every time. I wish I could say that I wrote a happy ending for this series, but I never completed it. After seeing that Morton has achieved the same fate as Ramses, I think it’s high time that I return to this story and put it to sleep once and for all.
But I got the movie’s message loud and clear: Even if you cheat others, you can change to be selfless. This is what that thief Nick Morton did when he finds himself in the ultimate sacrifice to save mankind.
Tom Cruise is Army Sgt. Nick Morton
Cruise’s comic timing in this film is pure gold! Take that, people who said that Cruise doesn’t know how to do comedy! This character was a change for TC and I enjoyed Morton to the fullest. Morton is a flawed man who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. His moral standards are questionable. When Jenny accuses him of stealing from her, his answer was, “But I didn’t lie.” There is a certain playfulness about him and a twinkle in his eyes and I want more of this character.
Tom gave a dedicated performance as usual, but they should’ve developed his character further. Yet, I get what Alex did here leaving room for a possible sequel to this soldier’s story.
You know what’s funny? Of all the negative reviews that I’ve read about Tom’s performance, not one reviewer complained about his body. I see why, though. I see why. The man is fit for going on 55! Tom is naked in this film. I mean *whistles* NAKED! Well, he covered his manly parts, but it didn’t stop the women in the cinema from whooping in appreciation. Tom, I love you and I admire your fitness regime, but this was not a film for you to be exposing the goods.
I also have to note the reason why most people don’t buy Tom in this film. I mean, this is Tom Cruise. This is the man who runs around as a spy saving the world, but in this movie, he is running away from a Mummy of all things. I bought it. Change is always good.
Sofia Boutella is Princess Ahmanet:
The movie is titled ‘The Mummy’, yet Kurtzman saw fit to give Morton more screen time than Ahmanet. Why? Sofia was brilliant as this character. The way she moved, the way she talked, and the way she was relentless in pursuing her “chosen”. I was torn between rooting for her and condemning her. At one point, I was like, ‘Come on, Nick, just give into the woman! DO IT!’ Of course, he doesn’t give into her, but for the time she was sharing breathing space with Nick, there was something between them.
If they don’t write a love story between Ahmanet and Nick, then I will.
Annabelle Wallis is Jenny Halsey:
Going into this film, I was skeptical about Wallis portraying an archaeologist, but she portrayed Jenny Hasley to a cold T. This movie would definitely make her a star in Hollywood, but I don’t see any love story between her and Nick. I see her as a companion for her employer, Dr. Jekyll. To the people complaining about her being a damsel in distress, what in the world did you want her to do? She couldn’t suddenly burst out some sort of martial arts technique because it would’ve been unbelievable (and laughable). She reacted normally in this situation.
Jake Johnson is Corporal Chris Vail
I LOVE VAIL! He was Nick’s funny sidekick, although he was constantly shouting at Nick. Haha! I love his bromance with Nick and I was delighted when Nick brought him back to life at the end.
Courtney B. Vance is Colonel Greenway:
I enjoyed the short-lived performance of Greenway before Vail killed him. Vance enjoyed working with TC so much, that I wonder if his wife would share the same sentiment when she starts filming for MI6?
Courtney is a self-confessed TC fan. He said that he has watched all of TC’s movies and here I am sitting grinning because I have not watched all of TC’s movies. ^.^
Russell Crowe is Dr. Henry Jekyll
I was sort of skeptical about Crowe playing this iconic role, but he won me over with his portrayal. I can see a stand-alone movie with his character in this Dark Universe. He was funny, unpredictable, and just a fun character to watch. I am pleased with his portrayal.
“Where’s your sense of adventure, Vail?” Nick Morton
^ Love Tom delivering lines in Late Egyptian. Never thought I’d live to see that day. ❤ ❤
^ The bathroom scene with Nick and ghost Vail was fantastic.
^ When Nick referred to Ahmanet as ‘the chick in the box’.
^ All the stunts, but my favorite has to be that stunning underwater scene.
^ The best line of the film was at the beginning when Morton tries to justify his thieving ways, “We’re not looters. We are Liberators of Precious Antiquities.”
^ “I’m sorry. We’re just never going to happen. It’s not me. It’s you.” When Nick delivered this cheesy line, the spectators broke loose.
Look at the stinking chemistry between the cursed and the crook! This could’ve gone somewhere had they, visual writers.
THE MUMMY (and beyond)
Although it was more of an introduction to the Dark Universe franchise than being a movie about a Mummy, it was not as bad as I thought it would have been. I don’t think the casting was bad either, but I have to blame someone and I blame the director, the screenwriters, and the editor/s. When Tom came on board, he said there was no script, just a photo of Sofia Boutella as the Mummy. This should have told him something: Alex Kurtzman, the director was not the one for this job. Why bring in an inexperienced director to reboot a project as huge as this? Of all the directors in Hollywood and the studio chose this one? An outlet is currently reporting that Cruise had taken over the project at one point. I can see him being “bossy” on the set (he’ll say he was helping and that it was a team effort blah blah blah), but if he had so much control, then why didn’t he improve his character (in terms of dialogue) given that he is a perfectionist?
Last month, I mentioned that I cannot see the Dark Universe extending beyond this movie given that I only came for Nick Morton, but after seeing it, I think Universal Pictures can revive this monster franchise with PROPER directors and screenwriters. Although I feel as if Tom sacrificed himself in order for the Dark Universe to be a thing.
This was supposed to be a reboot of the original Mummy starring Boris Karloff from 1932. I watched that one and thought it was boring and didn’t see the appeal of it. The Brendan Fraser franchise was cheesy and overly sexual. This one turned up the heat in the sexy body department. I mean, it was Cruise v Boutella in a showdown of whose body was sexier. I’ve watched all the Mummy films just once (yes, including the Fraser ones) and this one is no exception. But I’ll watch a movie with Cruise and Johnson in it because that bromance was LIT!
However, here’s a thought: If everyone can agree that we’ve passed the stage where women don’t need to be playing the damsel in distress, then why can’t everyone agree that it’s time for a woman to lead the Mummy (there have been female mummies before)? Because she’s too sexy? There is no such thing. I remember Imhotep running around half naked back in 1999 and no one batted an eye, but because Sofia is a female Mummy, people have an issue with her sexuality. *rolls eyes*
My suggestions for Universal Pictures: continue Morton’s story because you owe the audience one, fire Kurtzman, get a PROPER director and writers who know their history. Heck! I’ll write the story for free if you let me. The plot was weak in some areas and the dialogue (I live for dialogues!) could’ve been miles better. If I collect a penny for every time Nick said ‘What?’ I would’ve been rich.
I don’t think that this movie is suitable for a younger audience, I don’t care if there’s adult supervision and I don’t care if the gore is not hardcore. There are sexual innuendoes (though, not overdone), kinky moments, a naked side shot of Sofia, a naked and fit TC covering his middle parts with his hands, fighting, destructive scenes, lots of dead bodies… parents, be wise and keep your children away from this movie.
I don’t know about the hating but Tom Cruise stays winning.
… had to take one star off for the unenthusiastic dialogue, lack of execution and lack of character development especially Nick’s. Yes, the movie does not make a lot of sense, but I honestly don’t know which movie the critics had been watching. Universal Pictures might have disguised this as a reboot, but it doesn’t feel and look like a reboot (it’s an expansion of sorts) and they should’ve named it Ahmanet, but I know it’s an origin story. When the Dark Universe logo was shown at the beginning of the movie, I knew right away that this was an all-new adventure.