In 1999, a remake of 1932’s The Mummy became a surprise hit, going on to gross $416 million worldwide, and spawning two sequels. Given that success, and and Hollywood’s current taste for remakes, it’s not surprising that Universal would reboot The Mummy franchise while also launching a series of action/horror movies called “The Dark Universe.” With Tom Cruise starring in The Mummy, it must have seemed like a can’t-miss proposition. Surprisingly though, the film brought in a disappointing $80 million in the U.S. and worldwide box office of $407.8, The Mummy, while respectable, wasn’t the runaway smash most expected.
While more entertaining than its many critics suggested, the film has significant shortcomings that will leave a lot of viewers wanting more. While having a huge star like Tom Cruise in the film must have seemed like a great idea, I came away wondering if it might have been better to use a less established actor. More on that in a bit.
If you hadn’t guessed, the story takes place in ancient Egypt. Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) attempts to stage a coup against her father, Pharaoh Menehptre (Selva Rasalingam). His priests snuff out the plot, and mummify Ahmanet alive. Fast forward to the present day. Soldier Nick Morton (Cruise), is a man of questionable integrity who plunders war zones for valuables that he can sell on the black market. After a romantic encounter with archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), Nick steals a map from her that he thinks will lead to untold riches, but in fact leads to the tomb of Ahmanet. Jenny assists in the removal of the sarcophagus, authorities attempt to fly it back to England. Suffice to say, things don’t go as planned.
Cruise is really working overtime here to make Nick the smooth, agile guy he’s supposed to be, but it just doesn’t work. Halfway through the film, Nick does battle with a bulked up Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), alter-ego to Dr. Jekyll, who remarks, “You’re a far younger man than I.” Crowe is in fact a year younger than Cruise, but this movie works hard to make Crowe appear to be the much older man.
With the Mission Impossible series, Cruise has proven himself to be adept at high octane sequences. While there’s plenty of that here, his obvious desire to mold the character of Nick into what’s best described as the “Tom Cruise Movie Persona”—cool with a frenetic energy—adds up to a boring story, aside from the action. It’s a real shame, because all the actors involved have something to offer, but instead, take a back seat to Tom’s oversized persona.
Presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, a lot of this film takes place in the dark, so there’s a bit of a haze over things. Nonetheless, closeups look stunning throughout. Everything from individual strands of hair to the textures of fabrics, offer the rich details you’d expect from a 4K presentation. Black levels are consistent, while the drab color palette is fine, if not spectacular. Flesh tones fluctuate a bit from red to normal. There are no real artifacts to report. Overall, this is one of those presentations that certainly could have been better.
The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is rather dynamic, with a nice selection of highs and lows throughout. There’s a nice sense of directionality, and height. The subwoofer is given a nice level of involvement, adding a boost to the score, and a sense of heft to the overall track when needed. The rear channels are actively engaged throughout, creating a convincing surround experience. Dialogue is clean, clear, and we’ll prioritized.
English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are included.
All extras can be found on that Blu-ray, which is included in this package. A UV/iTunes digital copy is also included with purchase.
- Audio Commentary: Director/Producer Alex Kurtzman and Cast Members Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, and Jake Johnson discuss several aspects of the film, and its production.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 4:52 total runtime) Beautiful, Cunning, and Ruthless; Your Friend Is Alive; Sand In My Mouth; and She’s Escaped.
- Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation (HD, 21:15) The actor and director address an enthusiastic crowd, followed by a sit-down in which they discuss the film in detail.
- Rooted in Reality (HD, 6:52) Cruise, Kurtzman, and others discuss the use of the modern world as the films setting. The film’s development, and casting are touched upon.
- Life in Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash (HD, 7:32) Cruise discusses his vision for the scene, and the process of shooting on a real Zero-G plane.
- Meet Ahmanet (HD, 7:39) A closer look at Sofia Boutella’s character and performance.
- Cruise in Action (HD, 6:09) Cast and crew discuss Tom Cruise, his value to the film, and his role in a key action sequence.
- Becoming Jekyll and Hyde (HD, 7:10) A closer look at Russell Crowe ‘s role, and his place in the film.
- Choreographed Chaos (HD, 6:35) A look at the process of shooting several key scenes.
- Nick Morton: In Search of a Soul (HD, 5:43) A closer look at Tom Cruise’s character.
- Ahmanet Reborn Animated Graphic Novel (HD, 3:52) A brief look at the characters story with dialogue, narration, and animation.
Movie title: The Mummy (2017)
Director(s): Alex Kurtzman
Actor(s): Tom Cruise , Annabelle Wallis , Sofia Boutella , Jake Johnson , Russell Crowe , Javier Botet
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror