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Film Reviews HollywoodThe Mummy is ‘barely a film at all’

Jul 08, 2017

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Tom Cruise’s new film barely qualifies as a film at all. The studio behind it, Universal, is planning to copy Marvel by establishing a ‘shared universe’ of interlinked blockbusters. But instead of being about superheroes, the so-called ‘Dark Universe’ movies will be about The Invisible Man, The Wolfman and the other classic monsters from Universal’s back catalogue.
This film deserves to be shut inside a pyramid for several millennia
The Mummy has the job of getting the franchise started. Rather than telling a self-contained story, then, it commits much of its running time to introducing concepts and settings that will crop up in future Dark Universe instalments. And it finishes with such a shameless non-ending that there might as well have been a caption on screen saying “To Be Continued”. It’s passable if you view it as a trailer, or as the pilot episode of a television series, but as a film in its own right it deserves to be shut inside a pyramid for several millennia.
Even if The Mummy hadn’t had to lay the groundwork for the Dark Universe, it would still be a shambles. A mish-mash of wildly varying tones and plot strands, Alex Kurtzman’s perplexing horror-comedy-sci-fi-espionage-disaster thriller is stuffed with characters whose beliefs and abilities change minute by minute, and punctuated by murkily lit action sequences which don’t show how those characters get from one location to the next. Maybe part of the problem is that there are six credited screenwriters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wrote 20 pages each without ever glancing at what the other five had come up with.

Tom Cruise’s new film barely qualifies as a film at all. The studio behind it, Universal, is planning to copy Marvel by establishing a ‘shared universe’ of interlinked blockbusters. But instead of being about superheroes, the so-called ‘Dark Universe’ movies will be about The Invisible Man, The Wolfman and the other classic monsters from Universal’s back catalogue.

This film deserves to be shut inside a pyramid for several millennia

The Mummy has the job of getting the franchise started. Rather than telling a self-contained story, then, it commits much of its running time to introducing concepts and settings that will crop up in future Dark Universe instalments. And it finishes with such a shameless non-ending that there might as well have been a caption on screen saying “To Be Continued”. It’s passable if you view it as a trailer, or as the pilot episode of a television series, but as a film in its own right it deserves to be shut inside a pyramid for several millennia.

Even if The Mummy hadn’t had to lay the groundwork for the Dark Universe, it would still be a shambles. A mish-mash of wildly varying tones and plot strands, Alex Kurtzman’s perplexing horror-comedy-sci-fi-espionage-disaster thriller is stuffed with characters whose beliefs and abilities change minute by minute, and punctuated by murkily lit action sequences property management video which don’t show how those characters get from one location to the next. Maybe part of the problem is that there are six credited screenwriters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wrote 20 pages each without ever glancing at what the other five had come up with.