Sunday, June 25, 2017

THE MUMMY (2017)

I love the Universal Monster movies from the 30's and 40's. Those films have an atmosphere about them that I still love to this day. So when I heard that Universal Pictures was bringing them back, I got excited. They announced that the resurgence was going be a cinematic universe. Okay? Whatever, just as long as the Monsters are coming back for a new generation to discover I'm fine with that. But, we're starting with THE MUMMY (again) and Tom Cruise is the star.

Tom Cruise? Now, I like Tom Cruise as an actor but this just felt weird? And weird it was, that first trailer was just awful! They fixed it the best they could a couple of trailers later, but the damage had been done. Instead of a monster movie it looked more like the Mission Impossible franchise just went supernatural?

Regardless of how low the Rotten Tomatoes score I was still going to see the film. I'm that much of a sucker when it comes to the Universal Monsters. When BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN comes out (2019?) I'll more that likely see it too. But after the domestic box office of THE MUMMY, I think Universal Pictures' Dark Universe is D.O.A.

Treasure hunter Nick Morton awakens an ancient princess from her crypt ("This is not a tomb, it's a prison"). The curse begins immediately as a murder of crows causes the airplane carrying the Egyptian coffin crashing to it's doom. Being the "hero", Tom Cruise, oops, I mean Nick Morton saves everybody but goes down with the aircraft.

Free from her sarcophagus, Princess Ahmanet sucks the life out of living things to regain her vigor. Meanwhile, Nick awakens in a morgue confused and apparently cursed. He learns from his treasure hunting partner Chris Vail ( who is also dead) that in order to break the curse, Nick must kill Ahmanet with some special dagger.

The good news for Nick is that he doesn't have to search for the Mummy because she will find him. After a chase and some tossing the protagonist around, a special team shows up and captures Ahmanet.

In some special disclosed location Nick meets Dr. Henry Jekyll. It's here where we the audience and Nick get a big exposition dump of what the heck is going on in the movie. And this is when I lost all interest in THE MUMMY. As a viewer I felt very insulted and robbed. If you thought IRON MAN 2 was terribly obvious in setting up the MCU, you haven't seen nothing yet!

I love the Marvel movies but their cinematic universe serialized storytelling has become the bane of franchise films existence. A childhood friend of mine loves BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. One of the many things he likes about that movie is that it's not a origin movie. Instead we're told a story with already established characters. My point in bringing this up is that I am getting extremely bored with serialized storytelling in blockbusters. The trend is becoming story small enough for one film stretched out over three (or more) films?

Studios are disguising box office returns with character development. If Tim Burtons' BATMAN was made today the third act of that film would now be the third movie. In terms of structure BATMAN is pretty solid! I haven't seen POWER RANGERS, but I've heard that they only become Power Rangers (in suits) at the end of the movie. We only see them once? The reason is not character development, the reason is milking the fans wallet. I'm ranting, so I'll wrap this up, all I'm saying is that you don't need one film stretched out into a "trilogy".

Bringing this back to THE MUMMY: maybe if Tom Cruise, the screenwriters, and the director just focused on Nick Morton vs. Ahmanet, then they might have had a better film? As awkward as it was bring in the Dr. Jekyll stuff at the end.

In conclusion, I don't expect THE MUMMY to be the worst movie I see this year, maybe the just the biggest disappointment?

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