Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Film Review: "The Mummy" (2017).

"Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters." Welcome to the world of The Mummy. This action-adventure-horro film directed by Alex Kurtzman and written by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman, with a story by Kurtzman, Jon Spaihts and Jenny Lumet. It is a reboot of The Mummy franchise and the first installment in Universal's planned Dark Universe franchise. An ancient Egyptian princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Universal Pictures first announced plans for a modern reboot of The Mummy franchise back in 2012, with multiple directors at the helm, from Len Wiseman, in 2013, to Andrés Muschietti, in 2014. When Universal was planning their Dark Universe franchise they originally envisioned Dracula Untold (2014) as the first installment with this film being the second. That film ended with a obvious set up for future installments. There was early talk about Dracula appearing in this film. However, as this film progressed it was cited as the first in the Dark Universe leaving the earlier movie to exist on its own. While Dracula director Gary Shore said he hoped the possibility that his film would join the universe was left open. Director Alex Kurtzman said it would not be canon. Tom Cruise began talks about playing the lead in November 2015, with Sofia Boutella beginning talks that December. Kurtzman cast Boutella after seeing and being impressed by her largely mute performance in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015). Other casting news was announced between March and May, with Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, and Russell Crowe joining. Principal photography on the film began in April 2016, and wrapped in August. Filming locations London, Oxford, and Surrey, England, as well as Namibia, Africa. Filming for the film's pivotal scene involving a plane crash, the production made use of The Vomit Comet, and parabolic flight, to simulate the illusion of weightlessness. Initially Kurtzman planned to shoot the scene entirely using wires and a rotating set, however Cruise's insistence changed his mind. The set piece took a total of sixty-four takes and was shot for two days, leaving many of the crew becoming sick to their stomachs, except for Cruise and Wallis, who were really proud of the stunt.

The film stars Cruise, Boutella, Wallis, Johnson, Vance, and Crowe. The entire cast gave generic performances that is expected in a film of this kind, unfortunately, with Cruise, Boutella and Crowe providing the worst performances. Cruise gave the most generic Tom Cruise of his entire career, with lacklustre charm and stunts. Boutella failed to capture the terrifying and sympathetic nature that made Boris Karloff's portrayal immortal. Crowe gave a performance that was both incomprehensible and confusing as a character of classic horror literature.

It's difficult to make a persuasive argument for The Mummy as any kind of meaningful cinematic blockbuster achievement. There is hardly a thing I can say in its favour. I cannot argue for the script, the direction, the acting or even the mummy.

Simon says The Mummy receives:

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