I must admit that if I had a choice what blockbuster movie to watch this week and “The Mummy” happened to be pitted against any other movie, I would have skipped it. I seriously had reservations that Tom Cruise and Russel Crowe were taking over the beloved franchise and even the trailer didn’t sway me that it was going to suck big time. Thankfully, I was wrong, and I should say that this was by far, one of the better reboots to come out of Hollywood.
Synopsis: “The Mummy” revolves around Egyptian Princess Ahmanet, who was set to inherit the throne of Egypt from her father the Pharoah and was raised with the promise of being a living god among her people. Unfortunately, her father gets remarried and welcomes a son who instantly becomes the heir. Ahmanet then makes a deal with the god of death Set, to claim her power in exchange for providing Set a vessel to assume human form. The plan fails and centuries later, Ahmanet’s tomb is unwittingly liberated by a military officer Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his sidekick Sgt. Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) using a map made by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russel Crowe). With her evil unleashed, Nick must find a way to stop Ahmanet and save himself from the curse that his actions has caused.
I must give due credit to “Fringe” creator Alex Kurtzman, for his expert handling of this movie. While many critics have panned this reboot, I think “The Mummy” 2017 was fairly successful in kick-starting a new direction for future films. While the film draws some inspiration to the Brendan Fraser classic, it manages to separate itself from the original franchise to tell its own story.
At first, I had reservations about casting Tom Cruise for a major franchise like this once because he was so closely identified with the “Mission Impossible” franchise as well as other action flicks. His style was so different from Brendan Fraser. Where Tom was all business, Brendan managed to deliver on the action but be funny at the same time. Still, kudos to Tom who managed to pull off a strong performance that did not put his celebrity in the middle of the story. This was the same with Russel Crowe. Sure, they were A-listers but the film did not make these two actors the center of the story. Instead, Kurtzman made sure that he focused on making the characters a part of the whole picture.
One of my favorite characters in the movie was actually Jake Johnson’s Vail. He has perfected his smart ass ways as (incidentally) Nick, in the comedy series “New Girl” and each time he spoke, the entertainment value of the scene just rose. Even when he was possessed by Ahmanet, audiences just can’t find it in their hearts to get mad at him. His banter with Tom Cruise was great because Tom had great timing for one liners as well. I loved the “Jerry Maguire” reference during the climax.
There was also great CGI and amazing make up for this reboot. The film didn’t go overboard with the effects and utilized just the right amount for full effect. At times, Ahmanet seemed like she was the lead in a horror franchise but the girl needs to be cut some slack for not looking her best. She was, after all, mummified alive.
Don’t get me wrong. “The Mummy” reboot was not perfect. Sure, the plot needed some work because it seemed to want to tell several different stories at the same time but I think this was mainly due to the fact that film wanted to be a springboard for a new lease on the franchise. And these issues could be polished in future installments. I have faith that there will be more.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed a reboot of the franchise that I was super attached to. Kudos to the “The Mummy” reboot team for a job well done. When I am wrong, I am not one to shy away from admitting it and this time, I am happy to admit that my initial impressions were wrong.