The Mummy

Rating:  PG-13

Run time:  1hr 50mins.

Starring:  Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe, and Jake Johnson

As you visit your favorite theater to view your first of many blockbuster movies this summer, are you looking for meaningful thought provoking story lines or an abundance of action with overwhelming special effects?  Box office ticket revenue concludes that moviegoers are looking for the latter.  Action/sci-fi movies have been the reigning champion of the box office for some time.  But should summer movies be exempt of plot and story lines and feature special effects and action in excess in attempt to gain its bigger piece of the pie? If this is what the audience is craving, then why not?  Why not give fans more of what has proven to be the winning formula?  So, as you enter the theater, sliding into the comfortable new leather recliner movie seats (if you have not experienced this, it is certainly a must), eating your large popcorn with extra butter and nice cold drink to watch The Mummy, keep this in mind:  action and special effects first, plot and substance last.  But it still makes for one hell of a ride; for the summer that is.

Tom Cruise portrays Nick Morton, a member of the U.S. military who tries to get rich along with his best friend, Chris Vali (Jake Johnson), by selling stolen artifacts on the black market.  When they stumbled upon a map that Morton steals from Jenny Halsey (Anabelle Wallis), whom Morton has a quick but torrid affair, they accidentally unearth the tomb of the ancient princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella).  But unearthing the tomb awakens the pack that the ancient princess made with evil and horrors that defy comprehension.

Overall, The Mummy is very entertaining.  This film’s action scenes are like a theme park ride on steroids; and there are a lot of rides in the park.  The special effects are both imaginative and “jaw dropping” consisting of chasing mummies resembling zombies from The Walking Dead, but much faster (i.e. World War Z).  But they do not eat their victims, they literally suck the life out of them.

The friendship of Morton (Cruise) and Vail (Johnson) is full of laughs and high jinks.   The pair get into situations that Morton promises to be simple and easy, only to realize that they are in “way over their heads”.  They get into unimaginable circumstances from discovering the ancient tomb of Ahmanet crawling with spiders to Cruise trying to help his friend out of a despairing situation in which there is no coming back.  It is reminiscent of the relationship between David Naughton and Griffin Dune in John Landis’ 1983 phenomenon, A Werewolf in London.

The drawback of the film is also it greatest detriment.  The plot is convoluted.  If you are a familiar with the story lines of its predecessors, The Mummy of 1932 or The Mummy of 1999, open-mindedness is beneficial, because liberties have been taken.  Universal is attempting to make a Monster Film franchise, a series of interconnected monster films that it plans to build a shared universe film series.  Universal competing with Marvel and D.C. in the realm of superheroes seems like a disaster waiting to happen.  But only time will tell.  Does anyone remember Swamp Thing?

Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy is full of surprises.  Some are well received and others are a head nod in disbelieve.  But in the spirit of summer movies, the special effects,non-stop action and over the top CGI maybe just enough to warrant both your time and money.