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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: