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The Mummy  : Not Quite Yummy
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Friday, June 9, 2017
Action
Alex Kurtzman
Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis

As a studio, Universal Pictures are so keen to establish their new franchise Dark Universe that their debut has a safe storyline nearly as extinct as the mummies entombed in Egypt.

 

5000 years ago, Princess Ahmanet of Egypt is denied her rights, mummified and buried far away in what’s currently known as Iraq. 

 

Naturally, finding her or freeing her spirit comes with a curse. Or haram, as the hero’s sidekick calls it.

 

None of that is known to charming rake Nick Morton and his buddy Chris when they don US Army uniforms and instead of fighting insurgents in Iraq, they go looking for precious antiquities.

 

The charm and the chuckles last for a while as archaeologist Jenny Halsey joins them with a little swipe at Nick’s manly prowess which she declares lasted 15 seconds.  

 

Nick changes his course when flashes of a past life intrigue him and with Jenny he goes looking for the missing princess.

 

Soon, Princess Ahmanet is out on the streets of London, claiming a few lives with her kiss of death. It’s Nick watching out for Jenny now as he battles the evil princess.

 

What works is that there are ‘jump moments’ when you’restartled by what the tombs hold, with sandstorms and birds by the dozen adding to the eeriness. That jumpy feeling stops once Princess Ahmanet starts stalking Nick and Jenny.

 

What’s well done is the Egyptian excellence at unbelievably advanced canal and pulley systems that surround the mummy. Mummy Ahmanet’s makeup is also a mixture of scary and curious.

 

Proficiently impressive are the special effects and visuals, of a plane cracking up, of action inside tunnels, up in the air and down underwater.   

 

What’s the ultimate delight is watching 54-year-old Tom Cruise, fighting fit and charisma intact, as he goes from rogue soldier to man on a mission, even going from selfish to sacrificial for the woman he cares for.

 

Sofia Boutella as the princess, Annabelle Wallis as Jenny and Jake Johnson as buddy Chris provide the pillars for Cruise’s main act. The fourth pillar is a very solid Russell Crowe as Dr Henry Jekyll with skulls in his lab as he studies evil and monsters.

 

What doesn’t work is the let-down feeling of haven’t we seen all this before? But director Alex Kurtzman keeps a door wide open at the end for an army of sequels to come marching in.

 

For an old tale with an old charmer who holds it all together, The Mummy gets a 2.5* rating. 

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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