Written By: Nick Poulimenakos
Universal Studios is back with a brand new Universal Monster Movie, The Mummy. The film is meant to be the kickoff for a cinematic universe centered around various other Universal monsters such as The Invisible Man, Dracula and The Bride of Frankenstein. The review embargo has finally be lifted for The Mummy so what do people think of Tom Cruise’s latest film? Well… it’s mixed… very mixed. The film currently sits at a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as reviews keep flooding in. Here’s what critics are saying!
Alonso Duralde from The Wrap:
If we’re being honest, 21st century audiences don’t need — and wouldn’t even accept, probably — faithful recreations of Universal’s ’30s-era fright aesthetics. It’s a different world, admittedly, and legends can always use tweaking. But what set those horror classics apart was a fierce individuality about gods and monsters and their grim allure.
If Dark Universe is going to conjure a new, interconnected world of evil, it’s going to have to lose the feeling that we’re being sold something, and invent new forms of weird and woolly. In the meantime, this “Mummy” is rags that produce no riches.
John Defore from The Hollywood Reporter:
The most involving scene by far shows Morton swimming through underwater crypts, trying to save Halsey from Ahmanet before he either drowns or is destroyed by the zombie warriors swimming behind him.
But that sequence lasts just a minute or two, and is immediately followed by a Morton/Mummy standoff in which Cruise fails, rather spectacularly, to wring a laugh out of a kiss-off line one hopes neither Koepp, nor McQuarrie, nor Kussman would admit to having written. It’s the kickoff of a climax that requires more heroic self-sacrifice from Morton than we have any reason to believe he’s capable of. Unless, that is, we have a financial interest in the sequel set up by Jekyll’s longer-than-necessary final voiceover.
Owen Gleiberman from Variety:
The problem at its heart is that the reality of what the movie is — a Tom Cruise vehicle — is at war with the material. The actor, at 54, is still playing that old Cruise trope, the selfish cocky semi-scoundrel who has to grow up. Will Nick give in to Ahmanet, the malevolent temptress in her Bettie Page Egyptian hair? Or will he stay true to Jenny, the brainy angel of light? The trouble is that Cruise, at least in a high-powered potboiler like this one, is so devoted to maintaining his image as a clear and wholesome hero that his flirtation with the dark side is almost entirely theoretical. As Universal’s new “Dark Universe” (of which “The Mummy” is the first installment) unfolds, I wouldn’t hold my breath over which side is going to win, or how many more films it will take to play that out. It’s not just that there isn’t enough at stake (though there isn’t). It’s that the movie doesn’t seem to know how little at stake there is.
Daniel Krupa from IGN:
The Mummy isn’t completely rotten, but given its heritage and larger ambition it feels frustratingly generic and unfulfilling. There are moments where it reaches out for horror and produces something interesting and distinct from Hollywood’s other blockbusters, but those moments are buried beneath unremarkable and, by the end, tedious action sequences. As the first chapter in the coming Dark Universe films, The Mummy contains glimpses of promise and potential, but it’s far from the most solid foundation.
Jeff Grantz from Hollywood Hollywood:
Overall, I really enjoyed The Mummy. I think that this was an excellent start to the “Dark Universe,” a name that might not stick with a possible lawsuit in Universal’s near future (wish I could say it’s not too late to change it, but they’re already pot-committed, with a massive Dark Universe logo at the start of the film). I do love a good monster movie, though, and I think this one checked just about every box I had for it going in. The action, adventure, humor, and horror all blended together perfectly. I’m really excited to see where the rest of this universe goes, but if the subsequent films are anywhere near as strong as this one, I’ll be one happy horror nerd.
Dan Jolin from Empire:
It’s a strange mix all right, but it is at least lighter on its feet than the iconic Doctor’s lumbering, bolt-necked revenant. Rattling along at a fair old clip — as most Cruise movies do these days — The Mummy ’17 proves a hokey entertainment that should keep you sufficiently distracted for a few hours without unduly bothering your higher brain functions.
Matt Donato from We Got This Covered:
The Mummy feels like a poorly navigated mashup between World War Z and a Universal theme park ride, never committed to one cohesive theme. Alex Kurtzman succeeds in confirming there will, in fact, be a “Dark Universe,” but what awaits still remains a subject question – and that’s a major red flag. This is your “Mummy” origin story, yet there’s far more to be said about Dr. Jekyll’s horror homage to James Gunn’s The Collector or one fateful closing scene that rewrites the book on masturbatory he-man character “development.” Not enough Sofia Boutella, even less excitement and too many pixelated rats.
Hugh Armitage from Digital Spy:
Kingsman actress Sofia Boutella is a smart choice for Ahmanet, making the most of the dancer-turned-actress’s physicality and striking presence. Alas, her prescient backstory of institutionalised sexism doesn’t quite carry over to Wallis’s role, which too often casts her as a damsel in distress.
The Mummy might not have featured on many ‘most anticipated films of 2017’ lists, but as an entertaining summer blockbuster, it delivers, and we’ll be interested to see where the Dark Universe leads next.
So what do you think? Are you going to see The Mummy this weekend? Comment below and on social media and for all things in nerd culture and entertainment, keep it locked on Talkies Network!