An ancient crusader tomb is discovered underneath London, the examination of which is taken over by a mysterious organization headed by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Meanwhile, rogue American soldiers Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) enter an Iraqi village, the location of which was stolen from archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), hoping to find valuable riches to sell on the black market. Following an airstrike during the subsequent firefight with Iraqi soldiers, an ancient Egyptian tomb is discovered underneath the village. Inside the tomb are the mummified remains of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who comes back to life and curses Nick to be the human vessel for the God of Death, Set.
18 years after the highly entertaining 1999 adventure starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, Universal Studios once again decides to remake their classic 1932 monster movie The Mummy. This time around, the film is meant to kick-off Universal’s new “Dark Universe” series of connected monster movies. In fact, it can be argued that this version of The Mummy is just as much about building this universe, than being yet another remake. At the center of the Dark Universe is a monster hunting organization headed by Dr. Henry Jekyll, who has been searching the world for a way to stop ancient evils.
In many ways, this version of The Mummy is more a remake of the 1999 film, than it is the 1932 film. In fact, the biggest differences are a present day setting, a greater emphasis on action, and a female mummy played by Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond), whose character of Princess Ahmanet seems just as much about appearing in various stages of undress as being an evil being. It is interesting that Tom Cruise would agree to star in this film, since he typically isn’t the type of star that would usually be associated with these types of horror-based stories. However, it quickly becomes apparent that this new film is The Mummy on steroids, with multiple action scenes involving Ahmanet’s mummified minions. It’s also no secret at this point that the film has a zero gravity set piece aboard a crashing plane, which has been a highlight of the film’s marketing campaign.
In addition to the original film, there are subtle references in The Mummy to the other films of the Universal Monsters family, particularly the various artifacts present at Dr. Jekyll’s headquarters. And yes, there is an appearance in the film by Mr. Hyde, which sadly just involves Russell Crowe getting veiny skin, super-strength, and a cockney accent. There also happens to be a subplot in the film that is so close to An American Werewolf in London, I’m surprised John Landis isn’t seeking royalties.
While not quite “The Mummy meets Mission: Impossible” as the marketing has suggested, this film is also somewhat better than expected. However, some of the expositional dialogue in the film is still somewhat groan worthy.