The Mummy screenshot

The Mummy (2017)

After uncovering an Egyptian tomb, Nick Morton is pursed by the ancient mummified Princess Ahmanet in modern-day London.

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The Mummy is the first entry in a rebooted Universal Monsters franchise dubbed the "Dark Universe." It's also the third separate Mummy incarnation from Universal, following the original from 1932 and the first reboot from 1999. In total, the studio has released nine different Mummy movies over the last eighty-five years. With a long, varied history of previous films, this 2017 version struggles to live up to the expectations created by all of them.

Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was the only heir of Egyptian Pharaoh Menehptre, until his second wife bore a son. Ahmanet murdered her entire family and attempted to bring the god Set to Earth where they would rule together. Her plan was foiled and she was mummified alive. Nearly 900 years later, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) discovers her tomb and Ahmanet's sarcophagus is taken to London. There, the Princess awakens and resumes her plan to bring Set to Earth, this time using Nick as the god's mortal vessel.

The Mummy screenshot

Ultimately, The Mummy is a Jack of all genres, but a master of none. The film ambitiously sets out to please fans of the original Universal Monster movies, fans of 1999's The Mummy and its sequels, and modern movie audiences. It's a blend of horror, action, and comedy with proven box office draws and promising new faces. It combines just enough of each different element in an attempt to appeal to a mass audience. Unfortunately, the film sacrifices its monstrous and horrific elements in pursuit of that mass appeal.

Those horror elements are where the film does its best work. Ahmanet is a solid villain, but she's never fully set loose to wreak havoc on London to her full potential. The film loses momentum in a hurry with the introduction of Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) and the secret organization known as Prodigium, certain to be an element that returns in future Dark Universe installments. It never gets that momentum back, and The Mummy degrades into a lackluster, incoherent blockbuster that had the potential to be so much more.

The future of the Dark Universe is not clearly defined by The Mummy. Most likely, Prodigium will return and be the linchpin that connects future installments. Equally likely, it will be another hybrid action/horror film full of missed opportunities. The potential possibilities are practically limitless for the Dark Universe, but the future would look a lot brighter if the first entry was better able to stand on its own.

The Mummy poster The Mummy title screen

Director

  • Alex Kurtzman

Cast

  • Tom Cruise as Nick Morton
  • Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey
  • Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet
  • Jake Johnson as Chris Vail
  • Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde