Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
Life&Culture | By Kristin Armstrong

'The Mummy' Is the Start of Universal's Monster Mash

'The Mummy' Is the Start of Universal's Monster Mash

That's both a line of dialogue from "The Mummy" - stated twice in the movie's first 10 minutes! - and a guiding principle of why, here in summer 2017, we're being asked to endure yet another version of "The Mummy". The mummy, she transitions from a creepy, violent monster to a seductive goddess easily, but her impact is reduced by the screen time devoted to convincing us of Cruise and Wallis' love angle, even though that's devoid of any chemistry. She's not so much entombed as she is imprisoned, and much is made of the fact that the Egyptians took the time to carry her from home and bury her in Mesopotamia - an idea that never really goes anywhere. He seems to be playing a stock character, and the details in the script - he's Nick Morton, a member of the military who is more concerned with romancing women and stealing historical artifacts - are sort of irrelevant.

And now Tom Cruise is ready for you to see him in his new movie, out this weekend, The Mummy.

And flipping the Mummy legend on its head was just the kind of movie Tom Cruise wanted to make.

The narrative we get, courtesy of director Alex Kurtzman and screenwriters David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman, centers on shady American soldier Nick Morton (Tom Cruise). The answer, in the case of "The Mummy" - a big-budget reboot of the 1932 Boris Karloff gem - is a disgusting Frankenstein of a film that seems doomed to repulse anyone who comes across it. It was very apparent that the story ended way before the flick did and that makes me VERY nervous for the future of this universe.

In ancient Egypt, Princess Ahmanet is condemned to be buried alive after killing her family and selling her soul in order to ascend to the throne. Jen has secrets of her own, though, like how she works for Russell Crowe who-twist!-plays Dr. Jekyll. Then in 1999, Universal scored a major box office success with Brendan Fraser and Rachel staring in the wild, entertaining, and CG-enhanced "The Mummy". This group is led by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), and they secretly investigate supernatural occurrences all over the world. You can't really blame them.

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That commitment is once again on display in The Mummy, an endlessly entertaining film that kicks off Universal Pictures' attempt to join the franchise business with a callback to their monster-movie roots.

Very long story short: awakened-evil-ancient-princess mummy (Sofia Boutella) wants to give human form to god of death; curses Cruise; wreaks havoc.

I'm not about to write off the Dark Universe based on this first misstep.

That may come from Alex Kurtzman's directing.

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