Every now and then there comes along a movie with a lot of issues that you can’t help but enjoy. Fair warning, for me, that film is The Mummy.
I understand that I am in the minority among critics in the sense that I actually enjoyed this reboot of a reboot of a movie that’s about 75 years old. Mind you, I recognize all of its issues, of which it has an abundance, but I absolutely did not hate myself watching this film. The storyline of a seductive lady mummy being found in Afghanistan only to be brought to London where it terrorizes the city sounds remarkably stupid on paper, but when executed actually turned into a pretty fun ride. It represents a genre of film that is rarely presented in today’s culture: the adventure. The action scenes are genuinely well done and exciting, the set and costume design are well-constructed and Tom Cruise at his most manic really serves the story. I’m not going to lie to you, I had a good time and want to see the rest of the Universal Monsters properties put to screen. That being said, I also recognize that this is a thoroughly flawed movie. And trust me, I do mean thoroughly.
The dialogue is absurd. It really is, and the writing on a broader sense isn’t that much better. It falls apart in the third act and spends a little too much time setting up subsequent films for my taste. Jake Johnson’s character is absolutely nuts, and while I may have appreciated how much they truly went for it when his role is concerned, I can understand where plenty of other people would be turned off. Annabelle Wallis’ character gives absolutely nothing to the film other than to be a pretty woman that Cruise falls for. Plus, the movie seems to be riddled with plot holes. Probably the worst part of the film is the unnecessary decision to revert to the classic trope of the faceless demon horde. It’s played out and pedantic and was truly done at its best in Lord of the Rings and anything beyond it will pale in comparison. So yeah, this movie has an incredible amount of issues. So how is it that I enjoyed it?
It just so happens that this movie is fun. It’s lighthearted and whimsical. I found myself laughing a lot and, for the most part, was reasonably entertained by what I saw onscreen. Egyptian curses are always engaging, as is the talented Sofia Boutella who played the mummy. Not to mention the fact that I was positively in love with Russell Crowe’s role as Dr. Jekyll. I’m a sucker for the Jekyll/Hyde story and have said for years that it would be the perfect movie to reboot. The Hyde scene was proof at how surprisingly subdued this movie was. It didn’t attempt to be a horror movie, as we all knew it wasn’t and didn’t resort to a 100% CGI flick like Gods of Egypt. It had real sets and only presented action scenes when the story called for it. Plus, that plane scene was just terrific. If you are a fan of goofy action movies, you’re probably going to have a good time with this one. It’s far from a perfect movie, but it remains decidedly entertaining.
All images are from The Mummy, a film by Universal