Universal's answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off with this shameless Tom Cruise vanity project. It's a severe enough misfire to make me question Cruise's creative instincts outside of his "Mission: Impossible" wheelhouse. A high tolerance for PG-13 tentpole schlock kept me in my seat, but I imagine Joe Sixpack will finish their popcorn and bolt from the auditorium long before the credits roll.
One extra star for Tom Cruise's irrepressible effort in every production he participates in. There's so much expensive guff around at the moment - just think what Hollywood could be capable of if profit wasn't the main incentive.
Universal's attempt to start the 'Dark Universe' franchise is somewhat a stillborn effort only hinting at the other possible 'monsters' and providing a hilariously over the top Russell Crowe as a certain mad doctor. Strip away that nonsense and you're left with a passable summer movie full of dazzling effects, a dashing hero and a villain with some true threat.
A lot more subversive than people gave it credit, in large part due to the latent homoeroticism on display. (Nick Morton saves the girl, but it's a guy he rides off into the wilderness with, &c &c.) However, the second act is particularly turgid, with awful pacing and Crowe delivering some godawful line readings. (One also wonders why the Mummy is impervious to bullets, but that's neither here nor there.)
On its own, it had all the elements to work as a horror comedy or as a "Raiders"-esque supernatural action film, if the filmmakers could have picked a tone and stuck with it. But, as our introduction to a potential cinematic universe, it was very clumsy and unpromising. In addition to the aforementioned tonal issues, the actual horror aspects seemed secondary to the action and spectacle.
Tom Cruise is a dashing joker,lying,cheating rogue in the US Army (what?) & The Mummy'17 needs to be buried alive now: even its most interesting setups (the plane interior setpiece)are somehow, inexplicably yucky- all these grey metal interiors,nighttime London sewers,the awful wacky comic relief, the bubblebursting attempts at an extended universe, the soporific stakes..late stage studio delusion. cool sequel bait.
It straddles two templates for blockbuster filmmaking, the first a Raiders-lite goofy and amusing adventure tale, the second a self-serious CGI wreck. Cruise can do lovable jerk in his sleep but by the time Crowe gets his spiel this is in League adaptation territory. Cribbing the worst aspects of the MU isn't a good start, they should put this franchise to bed with a stake to the heart.
This will probably be top contender for those golden raspberries. Unfortunately this is such a mess and a terrible start for the dark universe.
Tom Cruise was a bad choice and the rest of the cast is invisible. Poor directing with no care for the small details...so many mistakes.