Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: Sofia Boutella

The Mummy Movie Review (2017) | Dark Universe’s First is a Misfire

Dark Universe’s The Mummy movie is Universal’s epic fail. For most parts, it is scrounging for a plot, galloping forward with an out of focus story, at the same time trying to delve into an impending universe. It doesn’t retain the magic the original Mummy had. Neither does it have the power to sustain on its own, nor does it carry any chemistry to even let you feel anything for its characters. With this unpredictable tumble, the fate of the rest of the movies lined up for production has suddenly become uncertain.

While everyone is busy trying to get on the bandwagon of Universes following Marvel‘s footsteps, why would Universal be left behind? And so they decided to revive that old ghastly universe with characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, Invisible Man, Jekyll-Hyde, Wolfman and every other literary character that were better off being a fantastical story than being spoiled with a cheap shot at motion picture.

They bagged good actors, nay great ones, and things seemed to be going fine for them, with their website and everything, except they didn’t think the story through. How do you introduce characters into the universe? They didn’t make DC’s mistake of shoehorning every character into just one movie. And yet they failed big time. So what really went wrong?

Plot of The Mummy Movie

It wouldn’t be wrong to take a dig at their storytelling style and focus. Because it really sucked. To kickstart the events of The Mummy movie we are shown some Templars trying to hide a large ruby in a tomb of one of their own. The same knight’s tomb is discovered in the present day by a mysterious figure, who supersedes every authority.

Then a flashback starts showing us glimpses from the past about a princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). She was going to be the ruler when she was stripped of her birthright because his father’s second wife gave birth to a son. She makes a deal with the devil allowing the Egyptian God Set to enter into a special dagger. Ahmanet goes rogue on her family slaying them all and tries to bring Set to life by sacrificing her lover. But she gets caught and is mummified for eternity inside a sarcophagus.

Depicting the events of the present world again, we have Tom Cruise cruising down alongside Jake Johnson in their Nick Morton and Chris Vail avatars trying to fight off insurgents in Iraq. I was really looking forward to that bit, but it was as terse as it was in the trailers. I thought they were going to show how they ended up being sitting ducks, but the director Alex Kurtzman had other plans. (Was he running out of time already?)

Ahmanet’s Ruin

In comes archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who makes an entry planting a slap on Nick’s face. They clearly had a past. I wanted to see that too, but Alex skipped ahead. They come to discover a tomb (just the three of them) and Nick, the smartass he was, decides to shoot the ropes that seemed to be clearly keeping something down. Ahmanet’s coffin surfaces, and suddenly Nick becomes the chosen one. He begins to see visions thereafter.

Tom Cruise as Nick in The Mummy Movie

Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance) and his crew take the sarcophagus up on a plane where Vail starts behaving strangely. He was infected by a spider in the tomb and ends up killing Greenway and attacking others. Nick shoots him down. But their plane gets attacked by countless crows as they crash. However, before dying Nick saves Jenny by giving her a parachute in the ‘nick’ of time.

Nick wakes up in the morgue. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?) I think we saw that part in the trailers too so digesting that wasn’t that hard. But he could now see Vail’s ghost too who is talking to him with his intact sense of humour. Vail tells him about Ahmanet’s intention to use Nick as a body vessel to let Set free into him.

Unleashing Chaos

At the crash site, Ahmanet is now back in her mummy form busy sucking life out of rescue workers to regain her strength. With her powers, she coaxes Nick into seeing him in a church, where the dagger is. But the dagger wouldn’t work without the red ruby atop. While trying to attack Nick andJenny, Ahmanet is interposed and subdued by a group of soldiers who take her down to a secret place. We find about Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) then the mysterious man we had seen earlier, who claims to be the leader of Prodigium a secret society aimed at keeping supernatural threats in check. Jekyll reveals his intent of letting Ahmanet possess Nick so as to let Set out. He wanted to kill him then so as to rid the world of evil.

As Ahmanet overpowers a technician to escape, Jekyll ends up becoming Hyde (I was really looking forward to him turning into a monster but I was really disappointed to see him stay the same size) and attacks Nick. Nick subjugates Hyde with the serum he used to use to control himself from becoming his alter ego. Ahmanet escapes breaking all hell loose on the city. She manages to grab hold of the ruby too by summoning her army of mummies. With that, she had everything she needed to summon Set, except Nick’s body.

You can order The Mummy from here:

The Final Clash

She lures Nick by drowning Jenny, and slaps her (yes twice and really hard too!) into making him bow down to her. Nick steals the dagger and stabs himself letting Set enter his body. (So she was already going to stab him with the dagger, and he chose to do that himself. Hmmmm…interesting.) However, the tables turn when Nick sees Jenny’s body. He becomes furious and sucks the life out of Ahmanet. He then revives Jenny back to life. (Oh! stop) Then he revives Vail back (Oh! stop already!) and proceeds to seek more adventure.

Other Issues

There isn’t just one thing wrong with the movie and you know it. That resuscitating angle where Nick wakes up in a morgue without a scratch after crashing head-on to the ground, I mean how did they even find his body? He should have been blown to smithereens. You could argue that it was Ahmanet Wolverinizing him, but that’s just as pathetic as it sounds.

The Mummy movie delves into horror more than it should have. You are mid-way and you are thinking if you bought the right tickets.

Then a big downer was Hyde, who I thought would turn out to be some kind of Hulk, but that would have been even more cliched. However, somehow their decision to show him as a normal man, just powerful seemed like a right idea. But watching him turn like that just didn’t fit the bill.

What were they thinking, closing the door and isolating Hyde? If Nick wouldn’t have got accidentally trapped, who would have turned him into Jekyll again? Were they planning on sitting it out? Weren’t they prepared for this kind of aberration? Too hard to digest.

Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and Hyde in The Mummy movie

Not Addressing the Obvious

To stop Ahmanet after finding out her true power, there were just four soldiers guarding the gate. I mean really? You should have sent an army, to stop her from reaching the ruby.

And when the final showdown between Nick and Ahmanet is happening why does she order her minions to go to dust. Why couldn’t the boss fight be made better with other mummies attacking Nick too? I would have loved to see Nick struggle through all those mummies to reach the boss.

There’s no element of surprise when Nick kills his first mummy. Did he already know that’s how they were supposed to go down? Had it something to do with him watching the original movie Mummy and being prepared beforehand?

The Mummy movie seems to be running towards something. It would have really helped if they sat down for a while to understand what is going on. We couldn’t see any real acting, but unfeeling people trying to escape or fight their way through.

The Final Verdict

The Mummy movie lacks focus, shoots a dud shot, tries to be horror and action, lacks chemistry, forgets all about drama and aspires to be a hit. Unfortunately, it has nothing of the sorts. It becomes successful in making you go nostalgic about the Stephen Sommers franchise which was something at least if not great.

The plan to whip a universe out of dark characters has failed miserably. I wonder what Universal is thinking right now.

Check out the trailer of The Mummy Movie here:

 

Star Trek Beyond Review (2016) | Pensive and Mesmerizing

The beauty of Star Trek Beyond lies in its pensive narration. It will let you resonate alongside the musings of its characters. For once you will truly fathom the importance of USS Enterprise in the lives of Trekkers. You will get to witness the rudimentary lost Franklin up and running. You will see why a job needs to be done with a proper explanation, with an optimal aftermath. In short, everything is in place.

STAR TREK BEYOND PLOT (SPOILERS INCLUSIVE)

Movie’s plot is like a chain reaction of events that fission into a deadlier game at play. It begins with James T. Kirk’s (role reprised by Chris Pine) contemplation.

Knee deep in a five year mission, the fleet has been leading a life like commoners, compelling Kirk to go in a profound reflection of elusive things in the unknown.

still of Captain James Kirk in star trek beyond movie

The farther out we go, the more I find myself wondering what it is we are trying to accomplish. But if the universe is truly endless, then we are not striving for something forever out of reach.

At their liberty stop at Yorktown, Kirk is scrutinizing a promotion. In a weird stagnant like that, enters an escape pod introducing us to Kalara who claims her crew is stranded at a nearby planet. Induced by her misery, the Enterprise goes on a rescue mission only to be attacked by rampaging swarm ships.

still of swarm ships attacking USS Enterprise bees

Swarm ships or Bees in Star Trek Beyond will be remembered for their awesome theatrics. The way they acted in unison to decimate anything that appeared in their way make them look sheer bad-ass. With their intrusion we see the USS Enterprise’s annihilation too. That’s when Captain James Kirk makes one of the toughest decisions of his life – to abandon their beloved ship.

That’s only the beginning. What follows therefrom is a brilliant affair of perversion that finds its way via cruel intentions of Krall played superbly by Idris Elba.

still of idris alba as krall in Star Trek Beyond movie

Peace is not what I was born into.

Inclusion of Jaylah to the tale was nicely done too. Played by Sofia Boutella the character finds a new meaning, perspective and direction. Montgomery Scotty reprised by Simon Pegg remains the nerdy heart of the Starfleet. His presence in the team is weirdly satisfying.

OTHER ASPECTS

Screenplay of Star Trek Beyond has been written elegantly. There are moments when you see the crew relaxing for a word, delivering superb lines amidst conversations.

You spent all this time trying to be your father, and now you’re wondering just what it means to be you.

still of Anton Yelchin as Chekov in Star Trek Beyond

Seeing Anton Yelchin up, alive and breathing on the screen was really lovely too. He seemed so lost in his character, unperturbed, unfazed by the mishap that awaited him in the corner, that you can’t help feel sorry. A true talent, lost in life’s fickleness!

It’s easy to get lost. In the vastness of space, there’s only yourself, your ship, your crew.

You cannot overlook Justin Lin’s brilliant direction as well. The way he scales the camera with every motion is laudable. The way he cuts his frames by merging into a new territory, the way he races and traces down, filling voids (capturing the stunning vista of Yorktown) will leave you appreciating his prowess. Creating Yorktown’s colossal beauty was a visual achievement, as Doctor Leonard McCoy puts it:

It looks like a giant snow-globe in space just waiting to break.

Star Trek Beyond DVD is here. Grab your copy today:

A PROBABLE DOWNSIDE

Star Trek Beyond scores a little low on the theatrics panel. Meaning it didn’t have in his villain, flair like that of Khan’s. It misses somewhat on bringing the flamboyance of its prequels, but is more or less similar when the build of previous installments is concerned. It appears a tad dull in terms of Editing. But, if you ask me this is how the Editing should really be. A calm dip that lets us hit and cover every thrilling spots one by one.

If you really look at it, Star Trek Beyond comes straight from a bag of Starfleet’s numerous adventures. So, it is apparent, there are more parts to come. Fasten your belts!

Check out the trailer of Star Trek: Beyond movie: