The Mummy review: Tom Cruise's character reminiscent of Top Gun, Mission Impossible
The Mummy is the revival of the mummy franchise which spawned three films starting from 1999 and the spin-off four Scorpion King films.
This film stars Sofia Boutella in the titular role of Ahmanet, an Egyptian princess who wants to take over the world. Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, an Indiana Jones type figure who plunders ancient sites for artifacts he can make a fortune from.
The film starts with a flashback pointing to 1120 AD, with a tomb that has an old man in it.
Cut to present day, the same tombs are being unearthed and we see Russell Crowe, who plays a professor, trying to unearth the tombs.
He tells the story of princess Ahmanet, and we go into flashback. She was destined to rule Egypt, till her father the Pharaoh had a son, which would inherit the kingdom. Since she wanted to rule the kingdom, she takes help of an evil demon and kills her royal family. She was mummified alive for her crime and carried far from Egypt.
Cut to the present, Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) is the one who has enlisted the help of Nick Morton to retrieve the tomb; he works in the Army.
The story switches locations too frequently and without prior knowledge, making it difficult to really grasp what's going on.
Nick Warton is notorious in the army for stealing artifacts from Baghdad, where he is stationed, and selling them in the black-market for a very high price. He is a smooth talker who jumps headfirst into dangerous situations. Tom Cruise's role is very similar to his roles in Mission Impossible and Top Gun.
As they are carrying Ahmanet's tomb in a plane, Nick's sidekick St Valis (played by Jake Johnson, Nick from New Girl) turns into a zombie and attacks the people into the plane. At the same time, birds (crows) attack the plane, and as seen in the first trailer, the plane crashes, and Nick Morton is one of the casualties.
But we see him in a body bag, and he is brought back to life.
He also has constant visions of Ahmanet telling him he is the chosen one who set him free (because he raided the tomb). He also has visions of St. Valis calling out to him, which is more funny, than scary, because he keeps reminding you of his whacky character in the sitcom New Girl.
It is at this point that the tone of the film gets darker. The mummy starts terrorising random people, but doesn't seem scary despite the VFX.
So far, so not horror.
The VFX scenes with the mummy and Tom Cruise are more funny than scary. The film works well as an action-comedy till now.
The first half just works well in setting up the story, and the few funny moments help keep the story afloat.
The second half however, completely surprises you with a plot twist: there's a one more villian who is as sinister as the mummy, who wants to kill all of mankind.
Tom Cruise doesn't get to shine in his action sequences, he barely gets any play with the VFX involved.
His role is mainly being confused with what's happening to him, shrugging off imaginary rats and birds that attack him.
Instead Sofia Boutella shines as Ahmanet. Her action scenes are amazing, and she is very much in her comfort zone as the weird mummy.
Russell Crowe shines as Dr Jekyll, who is a character with a few shades of grey, with his ambiguous moral take on how he wants to keep the mummy in check.
Annabelle Wallis as Jennifer Halsey doesn't have much of a role in the film except for helping Cruise's character along the way
The story picks up in the second half with the plot twists. The first plot twist keeps you interested in the film, and the twist at the end does a great job of setting up the sequel for the film, with Tom Cruise playing a very different character than what you expect of him.