An ancient evil is unleashed after her tomb is recovered from its burial site. As she slowly regains her human form after feeding on men, her mission is to find suitable man to sacrifice and make him not only her mate but a powerful god. In order to achieve this she will stop at nothing and destroy anything and anyone in her way.
The first entry into the planned Dark Universe series stars Tom Cruise in probably his worst performance to date. It also stands as one of his worst films. With the 1999 version of The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser, we got an action-packed and fun adventure story with some creepy horror moments (how can you forget those bugs that crawl under your skin and into your brain??). With this film we get a dumbed down Marvel version of that. The plot is decent and acts as a newer take on the mummy story, and I thoroughly enjoyed the general direction of connecting these monsters in this universe. At the epicenter of that would be Russell Crowe’s character playing Dr. Henry Jekyl with his alter ego Mr. Hyde. Unfortunately, as mentioned, the film itself ends up really dumbed down. First of all we are given an extremely incompetent “hero” in Tom Cruise’s character Nick. Of course Tom Cruise gets a few action moments here there, but mostly it consists of him running. But more often than not he’s a bumbling idiot. His love interest Jenny (Annabelle Wallis giving a pretty decent performance) is shown as a better and stronger hero and character. Multiple times she saves his character and uses her knowledge to get them out of situations. For love interests, their relationship is poorly written and the two-actors have zero chemistry. In all honesty, I don’t like Tom Cruise and don’t think he’s the best actor to begin with. But his performance his is unbearable, he’s a good action performer, but he doesn’t get to give us that. The little action sequences we get are well done, but super short. The plane crash sequence in the film you basically see in the whole trailer. It’s ultimately the scene where Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) wreaks havoc on London to seek out Nick (also shown quite a bit in the trailer) is more engaging action scene. But really, most of the action in the film is spoiled in the trailer. They’re still well-done however and are engaging enough. The horror is very minimal and forgettable. The humor in this film completely ruins the tone of the movie. All of it is so slapstick and often unnecessary. For example, a scene where Ahmanet has Nick pinned down, feeling him up and ready to stab him to completely her ritual, he begins to giggle and tell her to stop because it’s tickling (WTF??). But any braindead humor you see in Marvel is present here. It’s actually really depressing how much the people behind this copied a lot of Marvel tropes. I will say that the only decent humor we get is from Jake Johnson, but that’s because he was the comic relief character (and this was short-lived). Along with this, we don’t even get enough of the titular character. We have brief scenes of her regaining her human form and then her going Enchantress from Suicide Squad in the climax. Nothing about her is particularly scary or threatening unlike the mummy in the 1999 film, and her presence feels almost forgotten much of the time. As a result of this it just makes it comes off as a Tom Cruise vehicle and not enough about the mummy/Ahmanet. Finally, they couldn’t have picked a more cliched ending for the movie. I was so hoping for the dark ending it seemed to go for. Unfortunately it didn’t. If any strengths exist in this film they’re the scenes with Russell Crowe (easily the best performance in the movie) setting up the Dark Universe and the “world of gods and monsters”, the few action sequences we have, the comical Jake Johnson, and the pretty solid performance by Sofia Boutella (but it’s unfortunate she doesn’t get a whole lot to do or time to shine).
There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be certain fans of the movie. But if you’re going in expecting a similar movie to the 1999 film with some good Tom Cruise action and some creepy horror moments, you won’t find that here. Instead you get a film that copies Marvel films in many aspects in order to try attract audiences to this new world. Had they not chosen to go this route and given us more horror, action, more of the mummy, and further exploring this universe with Crowe’s character, this could have been much better.