As I walked into this movie, I was under no illusion that this film had any chance of being good… because it was called “The Mummy”; I simply walked in to see HOW bad it was. So how bad was it?
It was really really bad.
This movie absolutely baffled me on how irritating it was. The worst part about it was just how confusing the tone was the entire time. Sometimes, it tried to be comedic. Other times, it tried to be horror. Still other times, it was action. And sometimes, they even went retarded.
In many ways, this entire film reminded me of the beginning of Revenge of the Sith because it had no idea what kind of movie it wanted to be.
Almost every time this movie tried to be scary, they would follow it up with a lame, slap-sticky joke. This attempt at being simultaneously funny and scary effectively killed its chance at being either because I had no idea how to feel about anything.
Now there’s another movie this year, Get Out, that also was part humor and part horror. But the reason why Get Out was successful and The Mummy wasn’t is because, in simplistic terms, Get Out understood that the horror elements and the humor elements are supposed to be separated. The Mummy thought it could be scary and funny at the exact same time for the entire story.
Tom Cruise‘s character motivation for doing anything was inconsistent and confusing. Initially, he’s a blowhard that cares about nobody but himself and exploits areas ravaged by war in order to fill his pockets.
But I think the movie realized that if they made him an unlikable asshole, then we would have no reason to root for him… so every once in a while, he does something that makes him look good, or he denies the evil mummy character because there’s a good person trapped inside of him or something. The result of this is that there was nothing unique or intriguing about his character. He is unlikable, uninteresting, and obnoxious.
Speaking of obnoxious, Cruise’s friend pictured above was useless and insufferable. I have no idea why his character was even there. Whenever he attempted to be funny or entertaining, he failed because he was such an obnoxious prick about everything.
Annabelle Wallis plays stereotypical love interest number 5,891, and she has no real reason for why she is so interested in Tom Cruise in the first place. When her character is introduced as some sort of archeologist, she’s tracking down Cruise because he stole something from her after they had sex in a hotel room one night. So why would a supposedly serious archeologist (who we later discover is part of some crazy secret organization) take her time to have sex with some selfish asshole while she’s on the job? My running theory is that it was necessary for the plot to happen… mainly because Cruise and Wallis have almost no chemistry with each other at all.
So they discover some hole in Iraq that has Egyptian symbols in them, so Wallis goes and investigates, and the colonel of the American military tells Cruise and his obnoxious friend to go with her despite the fact that Cruise lied to the colonel about where he was at, has been selling merchandise on the black market, and has stolen stuff from Wallis in the past. Why? Plot, I guess.
And wouldn’t you know it, Cruise screws something up and resurrects the evil mummy character.
The legend of this mummy is explained to us at least twice, both times through lazy exposition with flashbacks and/or dream sequences. The powers of this mummy are frequently undefined and confusing. For some reason, she’s vulnerable to stun darts, but there were times where she was being shot at by multiple machine guns, and nothing happened to her. She magically wills Tom Cruise to go to her because he’s entranced by her spell or something, but it stops working whenever the plot demands that Cruise gets away. She also immediately sucks the life out of every unimportant character she runs into, but every time she tries to kill Wallis, she mysteriously walks so slow that Wallis finds a way to escape her.
That’s not even to mention that this film is trying so desperately to set up this universe for additional films.
As it turns out, Russell Crowe is Dr. Jekyll, and he runs a secret organization that hunts down evil. Wallis’s character ends up being a part of this organization. When they’re introduced, the organization seems extremely incompetent, ill-equipped, and shows no actual signs of studying and knowing the evil powers of the mummy or anything else. Their plan to stop the mummy is stupid, and Cruise and Wallis figure out a much more simpler plan not even fifteen minutes later.
Good Lord, was this movie ever incompetent, confusing, and stupid. A reboot of The Mummy was a bad idea to begin with, but why try to make a story with boring characters in a movie that had no idea what it wanted its audience to feel? This movie didn’t make me feel excited about this upcoming monster universe; it made me exhausted thinking about seeing more movies like this.
There’s some very simplistic entertainment value that this movie has, but it is entirely surface level. There’s nothing of real substance that The Mummy has to offer apart from the absolute spectacle of its tomfoolery.