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Tom Cruise convinced Courtney B. Vance to star in The Mummy

10 June 2017

Among these characters is Morton, a selfish man given the clichéd "heart of gold" narrative, Vail, a supposedly seasoned army man playing the role of whiny, terrified sidekick, and Halsey, who quickly becomes Tom Cruise's damsel in distress. Their latest expedition uncovers a tomb underneath a small, remote town. Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), for example, is supposed to be a central figure of the movie - someone wise and authoritative, with a somewhat-unhinged dark side - but his presence is weirdly artificial and entirely uncalled for.

As the man who released Ahmanet from her prison, Nick is forever cursed to serve as the vessel for Set, the Egyptian God of Death. "The Mummy" is the first in Universal's "Dark Universe" series of movies, and I'm quite excited to see him make an appearance in later films. Apart from the effort behind the sets, the CGI (Computer Graphic Imagery) in the film and the VFX, this movie let me down big time! Have a great day at the movies and don't forget to save me some popcorn.

The only other highlights worth noting are two actions: the cargo plane crash which is impressive and the underwater chase with Nick swimming to save Jenny from Ahmanet while being chased by the mummy's zombies.

This is surprising...yet not.

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Writer: David Koepp (screenplay), Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay), Dylan Kussman (screenplay), Jon Spaihts, (screen story by), Alex Kurtzman, (screen story by), and Jenny Lumet (screen story by).

In the end, Nick uses his power to resurrect his buddy Chris (Jake Johnson), and together they go back to searching for adventure in the Middle Eastern region of the world. The actor actually imbues his exposition with a bit of panache, and Jekyll's brief appearance is the most fun the movie has. She has zero chemistry with Cruise and fails to show fear when her character should be terrified. I honestly can't decide which is the true fault. Maybe this only jumps out at those of us who came of age during the Golden Age of The Cruiser - when the supernova of his stardom was an inescapable cultural fact - but as far as I can tell, The Mummy is the first Cruise-starring picture in decades in which his part seems like it could have been played by anybody. He has heroic moments - saving Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) a few times - but the movie keeps telling us there's some evil in the selfish lead, but we don't see it enough to make it convincing.

Cruise should be likeable from the outset if his character is going to work. Even if his character is out for themselves, like in Edge of Tomorrow or Jerry Maguire, there still needs to be something about him that makes the audience like him. Granted, the person Nick becomes at the end is more in line with a role that fits Cruise, but by then it's nearly too little, too late.

The decision to lose focus on the Mummy and concentrate on the Dark Universe lead to an incomprehensible continuity, irrationality and a very lame final showdown. There's just a big baddie who wants to kill people, and some "goodies" who are trying to stop her.