Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) discover a sarcophagus beneath a ruined city in Iraq, and take it to London to be studied, unknowingly unleashing a long dormant evil in the form of a mummy. Once awoken, the Egyptian heiress, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), sets about regaining the power that was wrongly stolen from her, bringing forth ancient horrors into the modern world.
The Mummy, although taking the same title as the 1999 film starring Brendan Fraser, is perhaps more like a remake of The Awakening (2011), and its predecessor Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971). This film marks the first of Universal Pictures’ interconnected series entitled ‘The Dark Universe’. The studio is in the process of developing an overarching narrative, in association with Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, that will unite the modern remakes of classic horror films such as Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and Dracula. The film also incorporates Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde narrative.
The Mummy is a well-paced film that keeps the viewer entertained throughout. The intense action scenes and classic horror tropes will have the audience squirming in their seats, as they struggle to decide whether to look or not as they feel a jump-scare approaching. Those expecting jump-scares and bodily horror will be more than satisfied, although the underdeveloped romance plot gets in the way of the action at times.
There are a few plot holes, especially towards the climax of the film, with little explanation or reasoning behind how to end the Mummy’s curse, leaving the audience confused and taking away from the film’s emotional impact. The vague theme of good versus evil and the line between the two is woven throughout the film, but not well-placed within the narrative. Audiences may feel the general idea of what the film is attempting to explore, but will struggle to find more than cheap thrills and the occasional laugh.
The comedy elements often fall flat, particularly in the opening scenes that try to make light of terrorism and Middle-Eastern combat, a topic at which the world may never be ready to laugh.
Even though this film is meant to be one of an interconnected series, it needs to feel like a potentially stand-alone film in its own right, but instead feels like a set-up for something bigger.
I rate this film 6.5.
The Mummy is out now in Australian cinemas.