I’ve always been a fan of Brendan Fraser’s versions of The Mummy. They always had the best mix of action, thrills, and comedy. Heck, even Universal Studios liked it enough to make a ride out of it. When people heard they were remaking it for a new universe called Dark Universe starring Tom Cruise, they lost their minds…in a bad way. In a Ben Affleck sort of way. Now, I don’t really have anything against Tom Cruise – he has a lot of great movies…but what happens when he sort of tries…to be Brendan Fraser? Let’s talk about the plot.
Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension. – Written by Universal Pictures (IMDb)
Alright, so let’s get the complaints out the window. People were right. Tom Cruise shouldn’t have been cast in this film. If you look at the casting for the future Dark Universe films, you’ll notice something in common, they want big names. Big names are fine if they get the job done, but Tom Cruise trying to pull off a Brendan Fraser-esque persona? That didn’t work for me. That humorous personality works better on others than on Cruise, and that sort of took me out of it. That being said, the movie still looks really nice. There’s a lot to appreciate from the visuals in this film.
So, while I could’ve been happier with a different actor, do I consider The Mummy to still be a decent film? Well, let’s break it down to interpret the stars.
PEOPLE SCORE – 5/10
Acting – 0|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting, which was noticeably bad, mostly when it came to Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson. The characters were fine, but I won’t be remembering them forever. I think everyone did a fine job in the role, but that doesn’t mean they were the only actor for the job. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot, I was impressed. They had a reason, they had a purpose, they had history, and I love it. As far as the chemistry goes in this film, there wasn’t much of it. While it was fine, no one really cares about the relationships in this film.
WRITING SCORE – 7/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. I would certainly say that the film is very well-balanced and consistently holds a strong focus on the story at hand. When it comes to the actual story, I can’t really say it’s the best. It’s got a few things here and there that I think a lot of people will enjoy, but it’s certainly not the greatest story ever told. Is the film original? Well, I think elements of the film definitely feel fresh and new, but there’s always an itching feeling that we’ve seen this film before…so it’s not as original as it could’ve been. Was this movie interesting? Of course it was, don’t be silly. I was all-in for this one.
BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing- 2|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we’re taking a look behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals, and the visuals were pretty darn great here. Somebody knew what they were doing. The director actually did a really good job here. Completely based off of what they did, the movie looks and feels great and authentic on a different level. Well done! The editing was pretty impressive in this film. I’m always impressed when something surprising shows up thanks to the editor, and that is what you get here. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as-advertised, which is good. There wasn’t anything fancy or memorable about the music. It was basically as good as it needed to be in order to keep the tone in place…and that’s what they did here, as well.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Lastly, we’re gonna talk about the falling action, which was really great. It had a nice little calming down moment and a definite returning to a new norm moment as well, so that’s good.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 1
Next up, we’re asking if this film is any good to be considered entertaining when all is said and done. First up, we ask if it is rewatchable, to which I say…yes! I would have no issues checking out this movie again! Is this a film I would consider fun while watching? Oh yeah, absolutely. Whatever technical problems the movie may or may not have, it is definitely fun, and that’s something no one can take away from it. Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? Maybe in certain parts, but definitely not throughout.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 40/50
Dark Universe – 10|The Mummy – 5|Action – 10|Tom Cruise – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Onto the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the film. Now, this is the start of a new cinematic universe called Dark Universe. When I first saw Iron Man, the beginning of the MCU, there was enough going on in the film for you to fully understand and feel the beginning of the universe, which is ultimately what I wanted to feel here, and surprisingly enough, I did. As for this being a Mummy movie, I was a bit disappointed. I wanted them to do something more original instead of trying to copy something that’s been done before. Tom Cruise isn’t Brendan Fraser, nor will he ever be, so he should stop trying. Which is why when he’s out there doing his Tom Cruise thing, he’s great, but that weird personality change unleashing the Fraser, it sorta sucked. The action itself was very well done, though, for what it’s worth. Finally, was the film halfway decent? I’m not going to sit here and complain about an entire film because of some poor casting choices because there were things to really enjoy here, so yes.