I remember always seeing The Mummy remake with Brendan Fraser in it on TV all the time as a kid, it was a simple film to kick back, you didn’t necessarily have to pay any attention to it, but you’d come back to it now and again. I should have felt that same relaxation watching this reboot of a classic monster, something to enjoy, settle down and just watch. What instead was felt was complete anger and complete disrespect from Universal Studios.
Why? Because The Mummy is just one piece of the proposed universe that is going to bring back the monster horror period of early cinema. Now it’s not the studio bringing back classic monsters that’s the problem, I personally welcome the idea, but the fact that they have to be in one universe rumbles me. The Mummy even announces straight away before the film has even started that this is a new film universe with “Dark Universe” been shown after the Universal Studios title, ignoring any sort of set up until the film is nearing its conclusion. the fact that the film is so desperate to tell us this revealing the true financial motivation that has driven Universal Studios to reboot this franchise yet again.
I’ll leave that behind for now to have an in-depth look at The Mummy starting with the incredibly lazy writing. The film even seems to trip over itself in terms of fact checking itself. In one scene when the tomb is uncovered, the character of Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) mentions that the tomb is actually a prison, yet in the next scene, she calls it a tomb again. It’s only once, but once is enough to highlight the other inconsistencies with the script.
Now being the first piece in something called the Dark Universe, you’d expect it to focus on dark themes, which the film does to an extent, you might even expect some horror elements which The Mummy has, be that as it all may it boils down to a great number of jump scares, but comedy? And worst of all comedy that is cliché, feels cheap and doesn’t work? Its a triple threat.I acknowledge that the film is trying to bring back that laid back attitude that made the previous rebooted Mummy watchable, however, considering the original 1932 films’ historical importance to cinema alongside other monster films and when you are in a film world where you have established the most evil of evils, gags shouldn’t even be on the menu.
Speaking of odd choices, the decision to put regular zombies in this film is bizarre, if they were wrapped in the odd bandage here and their it would have fitted better with the Egyptian aura of the film. Thirdly within the films editorial department, the odd transitions placed in The Mummy were certainly different but overall do not work when flawlessly passing on scenes. One such example is the usage of a spark before a big leap in the films narrative. What are transitions used for? Well to show the passage of time obviously, but a dark background with a spark and sound accompanying it does not give the audience any clue to how many hours or even days have passed from the previous scene.
The sound design in The Mummy is a point I shouldn’t have to bring up because of the little amount of detail that I could comment on, but I must mention the films water scene where the ADR or dubbing is so obvious. The film seems to overlay a track of Annabelle Wallis gasping for air, and while it may go unnoticed to some, to the most observant, it is easy to spot the sound being played when she doesn’t even have her mouth open. I haven’t mention the start of the show Tom Cruise at all in this review, simply because Tom Cruise is pretty much a mix of every action character Tom Cruise has played.
I do have to admit that the visual design of the main antagonist Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was impressive, I enjoyed finding out about the ancient Egyptians in my youth and to see the Egyptian settings and costume design certainly sells the Egyptian aura that surrounds the film as previously mentioned. My soft spot is for adventure films, specifically involving archaeological discovery and ancient history, however my soft spot must not have been with me today since the films flaws were enough to even extract any kind of sympathy.
There aren’t enough bandages in the world to repair the damage the film has already done and worst of all it has set a very negative impression of Universal Studio’s proposal for the Dark Universe. I pray that Universal Studios will be able to treat its other monsters with the respect that they deserve, but seeing how they have started, the future isn’t hopeful and to me the words ‘film universe’ are tainted with financial gluttony.
Final Result: 1/10 – Dreadful
Have you seen The Mummy? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: Churchill