wed 18/10/2017

The Mummy review – please don't let them make a sequel | reviews, news & interviews

The Mummy review – please don't let them make a sequel

The Mummy review – please don't let them make a sequel

Horror remake scuppered by absence of oomph

Bale out! Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) in peril

The best bit is in the trailer. It's the scene where Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) are inside a stricken Hercules transport aircraft as it suddenly plunges vertically out of the sky, leaving its occupants in weightless limbo as they struggle frantically to find parachutes so they can bale out. But it's too late – the ground comes screaming up to meet them, and poor Tom can't get out.

It's a classic teeth-clenching Cruise set-piece of the kind he painstakingly builds into his Mission: Impossible movies, and it's a shame he didn't concoct a few more of them here. Helmed by director Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy enjoys itself by updating some corny old horror-flick clichés, but the application of uber-gizmo technology can't camouflage the absence of oomph in the screenplay (there are six writing credits, as if they're trying to spread the blame).the MummyThe general fizzling out of the story is extra-disappointing because The Mummy gets off to a promising start. The prologue tells the story of the ancient Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella, above), who sells her soul to the devil and murders her own family to seize the imperial crown for herself, but is punished by being gruesomely mummified while still alive.

Fast forward several millennia, and we find Nick Morton and his US Army recon buddy Chris Vail (Jake Johnson, pictured below with Cruise) on active duty in Iraq. They're indulging in an off-piste excursion to hunt for ancient artefacts that might afford them a comfortable early retirement. Morton rashly leads them into the midst of a bunch of enemy troops, and soon they're pinned down by a hail of automatic fire. Vail whistles up an air strike, which blows a huge hole in the ground, revealing a massive ancient Egytian tomb. Which is strange, considering they're in Iraq.The MummyYou don't have to be Hercule Poirot to guess that soon, the mummified princess will be on the loose and looking for payback, and will be paying particular attention to little Tom Cruise, getting spookily inside his head with seductive visions of eternal lust and god-like powers. However, Tom has taken a fancy to feisty Jenny (a kind of Indianetta Jones), and all Ahmanet's satanic powers can never quite prise them apart.

Cruise being ever the Anglophile, the story plays itself out back in Blighty. The diabolical princess is searching for an ancient jewel (topically, it's discovered in a 12th century crusaders' tomb by workmen digging London's underground Crossrail link), and Nick and Jenny have to keep avoiding Ahmanet's army of reanimated corpses who caper about like zombies from Michael Jackson's Thriller video. There are incidental echoes of TV's Penny Dreadful when Russell Crowe pops up as Dr Henry Jekyll, who runs a clandestine army of evil-hunters and has to keep dosing himself up with weird potions to avoid morphing into Mr Hyde. Crowe keeps a commendably straight face, though it's a shame he's already reached that phase of senior-actor-does-crass-cameos-for-megabucks. 

In short, this movie is total bollocks, albeit in a light-hearted vein. Alarmingly, the ending looks suspiciously like a set-up for a sequel, or even an entire franchise.

@SweetingAdam

In short, this movie is total bollocks

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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