Mission Impossible: Make The Mummy Good

As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, The Mummy sucks.

This was supposed to be Universal’s Ironman, ie, the first movie in a successful franchise. Rather than the Marvel Universe, this one was dubbed the Dark Universe, and Universal NE82E04v4jQpaf_1_1had plans to introduce all kinds of monsters from the vaults, including Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man, and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster. With MCU releasing both Guardians of the Galaxy 2 AND Spiderman: Homecoming this summer, and an uncharacteristically strong showing from the DCU with Wonder Woman, Universal was distressed. In the rush to save The Mummy, which they knew was bad because they let Tom Cruise have creative control, they released this photo-shopped cast photo just to douse the flames. It didn’t help.

Yes, Tom Cruise’s over-involvement likely hurt the film. He finds a way to roll all of his most obnoxious roles into this one. Notice that Tom Cruise always plays a “regular guy” who for some reason has superhuman traits. He can run super fast. He can beat up many men. He can hold his breath an unnaturally long time. It feels like Tom Cruise has always wanted to play a super hero, and in this film, he tries his best to turn The Mummy into one.

Another big problem with the movie is the exposition, and I’m not sure we can blame that one on Tom Cruise. A pretty good rule of story-telling is “show, don’t tell” but the dyslexic screenwriters seem to have gotten this backwards. They tell. They tell a lot. They tell some more. Then they bring out Russell Crowe to mansplain some more.

And it likely doesn’t help that exactly 0 people were clamouring for a reboot of this franchise. Like, precisely none. In the wistful, wonderful 90s we were somehow charmed

bfl

Brendan Fraser, reading the reviews for Tom Cruise’s The Mummy reboot

by the Brendan Fraser version for a nanosecond and a half. Apparently. But we’re not so easily amused anymore. If Tom Cruise thinks he’s still got it, the worst thing he can do is stand alongside Chris Pratt, Gal Gadot, and Tom Holland, and pretend to be their peers. He’s amazingly ripped for a 55 year old, but with his shirt off, he’s veering quickly into Iggy Pop territory.

But at the end of the day, the Dark Universe feels trapped in the no man’s land between the MCU and the DCU. It lacks the camp and fun of Marvel, but nor does it have the edge of the DCU. It’s neither. It’s miles from funny (Jake Johnson does his best) but also lacks any real thrills, which seem like a monster-movie must. The Mummy is dead on arrival.

Iggy+Pop+Iggy+Stooges+Perform+Hyde+Park+6Rh-y9jlWbql

 

 

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49 thoughts on “Mission Impossible: Make The Mummy Good

  1. Paul. Writer and Filmmaker

    I like a dumb blockbuster as much as anyone but you feel like Tom Cruise’s script choices are losing their previous Midas touch. I like most of the M:I films so why not stick to that franchise? Also, Russell Crowe seems to be the go-to guy for plot-splaining following his role of Bas-El Exposition in Man of Steel.

    I will catch this on rental but hope Cruise’s next one American Made is better because it seems less said about the Mummy and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back the better; that was truly poor storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. J.

    Saw the trailer for this when I went to see Prometheus 2 the other week. Looked pretty dreadful. That Tom Cruise guy should make a film where he plays a lawyer or something. Or just stop acting. He’s just not convincing as some kind of action hero.

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    1. Jay Post author

      He’s really not ready to let that part of his life go. It seems increasingly clear that people don’t necessarily want to see him do that anymore, but he’s insistent.

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  3. Birgit

    This is a shame but I’m not surprised because it looked like the Mission Impossible guy meets the Mummy who has 2 pupils. Tom Cruise has an issue with control and that’s his undoing which one can see in this film. I love the Mummy movie…the first one, with Brendan Fraser because it’s done tongue in cheek. I think this one, they take themselves too seriously. I must wash out my eyes from seeing Iggy.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, the tone of the two movies is completely different. Cruise had a couple of lines which made me question whether he was occasionally playing for laughs – but the results were disastrous.

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  4. Carrie Rubin

    Yeah, this one was a “mostly here for the popcorn” for me. And I find it funny that Tom Cruise is actually older than Russell Crowe in real life. You’d never guess it from this movie.

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    1. Jay Post author

      I know, I caught that line about him being a younger man and I thought – I”m not even sure if that’s true. And you’re right, it isn’t – Russell has only just turned 53.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. ninvoid99

        At least Crowe looks good and mature for his age and I’m sure he didn’t like to be second banana to some overrated whacko who think he’s still in his 20s.

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  5. desertcurmudgeon

    I was hoping you’d review this one! A friend of mine made me suffer through this piece of garbage last weekend and, though I thought this would have been impossible, it actually made me despise Tom Cruise even more than I already did. Holy Xenu!

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  6. Hazziesof

    I decided to save my money and wait until it’s on DVD, Netflix, or something after seeing all the bad reviews. lol I was never a fan of the older movies either and kept wondering why there was a remake at all.

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  7. ninvoid99

    I’d still rather see Iggy naked than Tom. Iggy is God. In fact, it’s amazing the man is still alive considering all of the drugs he’s done over the years. He is the true Last Man Standing. He would kill Tom Cruise and that bloated ego of his.

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  8. Liz A.

    It probably doesn’t help that nobody really cares about the Mummy. Wonder Woman people have been clamoring for for years. The Mummy? Nah. Although, the idea of a Dark Universe is a good one. If the execution is there.

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  9. Susan Leighton

    Oh, Jay! Thanks for the pic of Iggy. Is it too much for him to put on a shirt? As for Tom Cruise, I never understood what the fuss was about. I have liked movies he has been in but now he is getting ridiculous. Like you said, he is 55. Really, Tom? How long are you going to keep doing the stunts? Plus, a young woman is going to find you attractive? I wasn’t clamoring for a remake but I will reserve judgment until after I see it. Terrific review, Jay!

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. EclecticMusicLover

    Jay, I just love your reviews, and your writing in general. This line is hilarious: “And it likely doesn’t help that exactly 0 people were clamouring for a reboot of this franchise. Like, precisely none.”

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  11. Sarca

    Tom Cruise as Iggy! Bwahaha!
    And you’re right…I watched the first Mummy…and made it through 45 mins. And exactly 0 were waiting for a reboot, including me. Let it die, Hollywood…

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  12. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy

    I was one of those people who thoroughly enjoyed the Brendan Fraser version of “The Mummy.” It was funny, it didn’t try too hard to be anything but a light-hearted romp, it didn’t take itself seriously – basically, it was just a fun, summer movie. The last thing I wanted (or needed) was a movie that rehashed a movie that has recently(-ish) been remade and had been done in a decent manner. Why don’t people ever remake movies that had lots of promise but didn’t deliver? That seems like it would make a lot more sense.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, the original was almost a parody of the monster movie. This one wants to be serious without being good – and occasionally funny, i think, without earning it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  13. The Telltale Mind

    Actually… I loved that they did a reboot as it will hopefully bring us more in their Dark Universe series. Being a fan of the originals from the 30’s and 40’s, it was only a matter of time before they tried to update them and while this film was not perfect, I still found it a lot of fun and enjoyed all the world-building that they did to set the next ones up. If they happen.

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  14. Christopher

    I’m still charmed by the Brendan Frasier Mummy which wasn’t great but I thought had some great moments and great casting (although Billy Zane was mostly wasted behind a lot of unnecessary CGI).
    As long as Universal is rebooting their old monster classics, though, why didn’t they go with the Creature From The Black Lagoon?
    Maybe I shouldn’t say that. I know they will sooner or later.

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  15. reocochran

    I liked The Edge of Tomorrow and Oblivion, as well as the M:I movies. The first Jack Reacher was pretty good. I liked him in the film, “Collateral,” with Jamie Foxx.

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  16. Divorce With Me

    Can Tom Cruise & Russell Crowe switch retirement plans with Daniel Day Lewis? Once upon a time, their names meant something when attached to a movie. Now it just means it’s guaranteed it’ll suck.

    I can’t. No puedo. Por favor!!!! Lol

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