The one downside of having clout as a movie star is that sometimes your ego gets in the way of everything. And that’s one thing Tom Cruise has never really been accused of over the years. He’s heavily involved in any project he does, of course, but there’s never been the rumors of him taking over a film from a director because he could.
That streak ended with The Mummy, a mess of a film that the rumor mill has laying at the feet of Cruise ever since it flopped hard this past summer. If the rumors are true, and Cruise took over the film in ways a modern movie star has rarely done, then a film that flopped hard in the American market is the first film of his that failed because of his overreach.
Simple premise. Tom Cruise is a soldier who stumbles into the tomb of an ancient evil. Opening it up, he winds up being cursed and the mummy (Sofia Boutella) winds up on the lamb. It’s up to Cruise, Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe) and a damsel in distress (Annabelle Wallis) to save the Earth from her evil. This was intended to open up the Dark Universe of films, with Frankenstein and the old monster movie villains showing up be Universal’s counter to the comic book extended universes that Warner and Disney are using to propel themselves to seizing the top of the box office.
The film has a number of problems and they come to a head because this is a film so eager to set up a franchise it doesn’t give us anything to invest in early. No one is in danger of dying and the film isn’t designed to be one great film that leaves itself open. It is a franchise opener that leaves so much open that only a sequel can fill in the blanks. It’s frustrating to watch because the open-ended story leaves so much to explore.
It also seriously miscasts Crowe in the sort of role an actor like Nic Cage could’ve worked more effectively. Seeing Crowe taking on such a bizarre character, and being cringeworthy on a number of levels, makes it a difficult viewing.
The Mummy may be the first film in the new extended universe, with Bride of Frankenstein tentatively slated for 2019, but if it follows suit we’re looking at a film universe that leaves much to be desired.
There’s a ton of extra features on the Blu-Ray. The one thing a Cruise film does in the modern age is give you all sorts of goodies about the production on top of deleted scenes, etc.
presents . Directed by Alex Kurtzman. Written by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman. Starring Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Sofia Boutella. Run Time: 110 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on: 9.12.17
Tags: Russell Crowe, The Mummy, Tom Cruise