2017, Movies

The Mummy (2017, Alex Kurtzman)

This is a dull, fairly humourless new version of The Mummy which shows the perils of making a film for the purpose of starting a franchise, as opposed to making a film. It also begs the question, if the remake you are making is worse than the last remake, why bother making it?

The opening of the film is rather inexplicable, both in terms of what exactly Cruise’s character is up to – and allowed to get away with by the Army – and why the tomb is where it is. Of course, the filmmakers expect you to forget about Cruise’s character’s issues with his employer because he’s Tom Cruise, but it’s just weird they didn’t come up with a better story.

Casting a woman 22 years Cruise’s junior as his love interest is icky. Can we please stop doing this? This man was in his mid 50s when this movie was made. Can you at least find someone who is 40? That would still be silly but it would be a little (a little) less ridiculously.

I find the attempt to modernize the story unnecessary and it doesn’t really work. Like, why does this have to be set in the present? The only thing I can come up with is guns and technology. (And obviously the plane scene.) But they don’t add to it. There’s nothing 21st century about this story, it’s a story inspired by the early days of professional archaeology. Like its predecessor, and like the Indiana Jones movies, it should be set in the past.

The plot is rather incomprehensible, though you expect that from these kinds of films. As Jenn said, if that’s how the dagger really worked, there’d be a line around the block of people trying to stab themselves with it.

Perhaps the biggest misstep is trying to create a universe before they even had one successful film. Jekyll/Hyde doesn’t add anything to this movie and really feels parachuted in. Also, a TV show basically already did this -without The Mummy – and they did it better.

The humour mostly doesn’t work all that well, either. This is a silly idea at this point and it should be treated campily like it was in 1999. This film is too serious and the attempts at humour are just not funny enough to save the otherwise very serious film about a 5 year old old mummified corpse coming back to life.

But the production values were good and the cast is good. So, uh, I guess it could be worse.


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