Friday, 14 December, 2018

The 400-Word Review: The Mummy

Doris Mccormick | 16 June, 2017, 05:01

You might have been able to hear the bones actually cracking if it hadn't been drowned out by all the chatter around Hollywood that followed. It must be somebody's fault, after all.

The trade reports that Cruise had a contract with Universal on the project that gave him control of script approval and postproduction decisions, and he certainly wielded that power. Having arrived with nearly entirely negative reviews, the big budget franchise opener from Universal has greatly underperformed at the box office - prompting many to ask where the finger of blame should be pointed. The report also claimed that Cruise was apparently giving instructions to director Alex Kurtzman, who is a little inexperienced in the field of film direction.

The result was he turned what should have been a universe-establishing horror-adventure movie into a weird approximation of your by now standard Tom Cruise movie. However, sources said it felt like Cruise was the "real director" of The Mummy, often micro-managing the production and "dictating" the major action sequences. And while this is all effectively gossip, it seems so plausible given how out of touch The Mummy is with modern sensibilities, especially in its focus on Cruise's bland character that you're supposed to like simply because he's played by Cruise. If nothing else, at least he'll be able to survive the disaster. I mean, it worked for the Mission: Impossible franchise, right? Hell, he's even reviving Top Gun.

In 1959, Hammer Films, the British studio that usurped Universal's monster-movie mantle for a time, released a new version of "The Mummy" (the first in color, with Christopher Lee in the title role). Ironically, it took killing Tom Cruise over and over again in Groundhog Day style for people to laugh in Edge of Tomorrow.

This Mummy will kill you to death.

The idea that there was this much of a creative and leadership vacuum for Cruise to fill in the first place is sort of bonkers.

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Universal couldn't think of anything else to do with the Mummy, so they sold him to a bunch of British people called Hammer, who made a movie called The Mummy.

In the late 2000s, film studios, particularly Marvel Studios, realised that they could tap into the potential for creating stories that laid out a trail of breadcrumbs.

VM: Had this been set in the same period as the 1999 reboot, this would be a better film. In a happy coincidence, Universal made a lot of money. We could have focused on the mythology we were interacting with here, instead of needing to tie all evil in to one amorphous blob we could draw on later or being force-fed quite so much Dr. Jekyll. These are pre-existing roadmaps, and it feels natural if not necessarily always advisable to build a cinematic universe from them.

Hers and other backstories are shown as "The Mummy" stumbles out of its grave, vainly trying to organize the story around two burial sites (the other is in London), the unusual visions that begin plaguing Morton, and a quixotic gambit to stitch together a unifying principle for the Dark Universe.

Indefatigable and un-killable, Cruise really is the undead. It's not like he cast himself, either.

Really, the only reason Tom Cruise should have even done this movie is because he wants his own "Indiana Jones-esque" franchise he can keep banking on for another decade without having to kill himself doing insane stunts.

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