Friday, June 9, 2017

The Mummy Review: Rises Up as A Thrilling Reboot!

Over the years there have been many movies that have defined Universal Studios, but none may be as prudent as the Universal Monsters. Since the studio's inception the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman have defined the world of horror and Universal. It had been many years since these creatures have graced the silver screen, but that may change with the new summer blockbuster The Mummy. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy not only reboots the horror adventure series but also starts the Dark Universe: a cinematic universe that encompasses the Universal Monsters. The movie looked like a typical summer blockbuster, but could The Mummy bring new life to this series or is this a franchise that was better left dead and buried?

The Mummy centers on Nick Morton (Tom Cruise): a former soldier who scavenges the desert for valuables to sell on the black market. After a recon job goes south Nick discovers an Egyptian tomb that contains Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boultella) who sold her soul to the god Set in order to gain power. With the help of archaeologist Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) Nick unearths Ahmanet's sarcophagus in the hopes for Jennifer to study the remains. However doing so allows Ahmanet to revive herself and her dark powers begin to fester- including cursing Nick so he can become Ahmanet's chosen for the vessel of Set.

Going into this movie I was not expecting much from the story of The Mummy. The preview made this dark plot look like just another blockbuster tale. However after watching the movie, I can say that I am actually impress with the plot's outcome. The story was able to blend the film's adventure with a sense of horror that kept me invested. Along with this compelling narrative was the movie's intriguing lore that not only established the world of The Mummy but the foundation of the Dark Universe. However when it came down to it there was not much to the plot. There were times where the story felt rushed and certain elements to the movie, such as Nick's curse,  lost their impact. Then again perhaps the real reason this was disconcerting was because I wanted to see more from this story-which actually says a lot to this monstrous tale.
In the matter of the cast this group did work to the movie's benefit. Tom Cruise was quite effective in his performance as Nick.  While I do not care for the majority of his action roles, Cruise as the cusred hero actually worked well with movie's tone and gave the actor something different to work with. Annabelle Wallis was effective as Jennifer, despite the character's narrow development, as her chemistry with Cruise's Nick was believable. The movie also featured a handful of supporting characters who managed to be memorable; like Jake Johnson as Val and Russell Crowe as Henry Jekyll-who was particularly interesting. Then there was Sofia Boultella as Ahmanet. Boulista's performance as the Mummy was more than effective as the undead princess was as menacing as she was creepy.

When it came to the movie's technical elements aspects such as effects managed to work to the movie's concept. While the big effects could be too bombastic others such as the Mummy's design and transformations was commendable as it blended practicality with movie magic. The score by Brian Tyler was not​ particularly memorable but it did work for both the adventure and the horror aspects ​to the movie. When it came to the action the movie could be quite entertaining (and a bit creative) with this element. Yet what I found most surprising was the horror factor to The Mummy. The film was by no means the most frightening experience to see this year but the film did not shy away from having dark and gruesome moments; and it made the movie feel almost refreshing.

I found myself shocked with how much I enjoyed The Mummy. The movie does have its issues as like its rushed presentation, but that did not take away from movie's merits like its adventurous story, its standout cast and its thrilling atmosphere. Because of its execution, The Mummy was able to bring itself to life as it was an exciting way to restart the horror series-not to mention begin the Dark Universe.

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