Movie Review: ‘The Mummy’ (2017)

Disclaimer: This movie review may give out certain plot points, so make sure you’ve seen it first.

Review by lou.

Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet, a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.

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The Mummy, yes, this year’s rendition, veers much away from the campiness of 1999’s summer blockbuster starring Brendan Fraser. Its spirit, isn’t anymore fueled by the endearing sense of adventure which came alongside with ridiculous yet enjoyable cheese that made itself look like a fun, guilty-pleasure rip-off of Indiana Jones. As a matter of fact, this one’s tone leans on the darker side of things – letting itself get taken over by doom and gloom to keep up with its other competitors in Hollywood’s remake business. Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet, the mummified daughter of a king, summons some creepiness, scaring through her vicious look, that makes us deem her undertaking of the role as totally effective and apt even. Tom Cruise comes onscreen, with Jake Johnson to be his comic-relief companion, and the both of them make you feel as if risking everything for something so precious would be a task made easy to enjoy because of their own antics that link up their charms quite well.

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Cruise’s ever-reliable ways as an actor never falters during this opening sequence, and we get to really see who his character is, and what he could potentially bring to film’s entirety. On the other hand, Johnson, tags along with humor and a lot of screaming to let us know who he is – all without verging on being too annoying to ignore. So, there you have it – a strong beginning, and a villain whom you would be genuinely terrified of to look forward to. Sounds good, eh? Well, unfortunately, the film just crumbles down to ruins after it passes the explosive 20-minute mark, where the excitement continues to peak, until everything else slowly starts to fade for whatever reason.

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What follows next aren’t totally boring, per se, but you’d really wish that there was something really happening since what they had going for it at the start was already a promise, albeit small. Considering that it’s the kick-starter to Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe brand, it’s understandable that the film wouldn’t be as fun as we’d expect since it tries to follow a formula invested in franchise-filmmaking. However, this all could’ve been so useful in getting us stoked for this cinematic universe had it not ended up drawing all the wrong strokes in an attempt to re-introduce us to what we’re already familiar with fashionably. It’s easy to see what the writers were getting at here, and yet, they could’ve done a much commendable job in this department.

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Being a re-branding of their beloved monsters for this new generation to meet, a complexity for Ahmanet is desiring to be developed further to let us know who these monsters are on a deeper level. That, these films are meant to be solo origin stories retold with better filmmaking technology fit for this era. This plot point in particular is quite fantastic, and remarkably appreciable on paper even if its execution met an unwanted fate, knowing that there’s a neat and believable motive in building this cinematic universe. Horror is allowed to become a dominant element running in this film, with jumpscares being used to harken back to the golden days of monster movies, in news ways that stick to today’s trends in horror cinema.

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With 2017’s The Mummy, the Dark Universe must’ve really regret getting off on the wrong foot. That’s not to say though that there isn’t hope since there were actually glimmers of it in this horror-action flick. Seeing glimpses of this franchise’s future in that one scene was part-fascinating, and part-worrisome, but, it’s probably best not to speak ill of its entirety since it isn’t too late for it to do its thing. Besides, surprises may come in the most unexpected places, they say.

Rating:

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The Mummy is now showing in Philippine cinemas from United International Pictures Philippines.

 

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