A FEW (SPOILER-FREE) THOUGHTS ON ‘THE MUMMY’

Right from the jump, I didn’t give one fuck about anyone in this movie — and that’s just one of many problems this movie has.

When will people who make summer blockbusters realize that it would be nice if they gave the audience characters they can at least be interested in? Nearly everyone in this movie, from the star of the show to the villain he goes toe-to-toe with, are straight-up dickheads. (Don’t even get me started on Jake Johnson’s undead pal, a straight-up ripoff of Griffin Dunne’s ghost bud from An American Werewolf in London).

While it’s fun seeing Tom Cruise get back into cowardly-cad mode like he did in Edge of Tomorrow, once again displaying his secret knack for physical comedy in several scenes, there’s really nothing else that’s interesting about his character, a mischievous military man and treasure hunter who stumbles upon the tomb of a witchy, mummified woman (Sofia Boutella, who did nothing for me here) and somehow, some way gets roped into her plan to unleash evil upon the world.

There are a few, cool action set pieces, like Cruise beating off zombies while driving down a dark road. But, once those sequences are over, we have to deal with the plot, which was mashed together by several screenwriters (including summer-blockbuster vet David Koepp, Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie, Sidney Lumet’s daughter Jenny and Jon Spaihts, who wrote the rapey-ass Passengers). Really, most of the movie just consists of the filmmakers setting up Universal’s “Dark Universe” franchise, with Russell Crowe showing up as Jekyll and Hyde and saying he’s the head of an organization that tracks down evil. As Universal announced in that heavily-photoshopped picture they dropped a couple of weeks ago, Crowe will return in future installments to investigate all those scary monsters from yesteryear Universal will be bringing back and revamping for today’s audiences.

If Universal is, in all seriousness, looking to turn this into a franchise, they need to sit their asses down and come up with a properly laid-out, game plan. Because The Mummy is a gotdamn mess, slinging out barely-there characters and spending all their time making the action scenes look awesome and not concentrating on the scenes that come before and after them. I saw this movie in IMAX 3D and I was still like what-the-fuck-ever. Even the old lady sitting next to me was checking her Facebook during this thing. (Of course, I had to put a stop to this, asking her, “Facebook? Is Facebook really that important?”)

Well, at least Wonder Woman will be number-one again this weekend.