Detailed Synopsis of "The Mummy"
by Jason Minton
The Mummy – 2017
Production by: Universal Pictures, Pefect World Pictures, Secret Hideout, Sean Daniel Company
Distribution by: Universal Pictures
The film opens in modern day Iraq. Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are disgraceful soldiers who take from the poor bombarded countries that they’re in, selling whatever they can find of value on the black market. In their 30’s and 50’s respectively, Vail and Morton act like college frat boys as they run amuck through Iraq under seemingly uncaring supervision. Tom Cruise seems completely out of place at the beginning of the film as he tries to play something other than the hero. When one of their childish endeavors causes a bomb to go off, a cavern is uncovered which holds an Egyptian tomb. Did I say an Egyptian tomb in Iraq? Yes I did. Too bad we aren’t currently at war with Egypt so it would make a little more sense for this movie. At the tombs discovery, enter the beautiful military archeologist? Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), who just so happens to be the one night stand Nick Morton/Tom Cruise had last night.
If you’re beginning to the see the cookie cutter, Hollywood manufactured movie being baked in the oven, I’ll warn you it doesn’t get any better. This point is where our CG effects begin. The quality of effects in The Mummy are oddly mixed. The cavern our group of three, haplessly descend into looks great. When they get to the bottom they disregard the potential dangers of a poorly animated pool of mercury and continue exploring the Iraqi, Egyptian tomb. There’s plenty of animated sand and fog throughout the film and it looks perfectly fine. If there’s one thing the Mummy likes as much as it’s sand and fog, it’s animated animal hoards. As I said before The Mummy is a darkly lit film. While you can tell the CG hoards aren’t the best, it’s a dark enough film and they keep the hoards moving fast enough not to focus on the details. The quality of animated mummy/zombies in the later parts of the movie are comparable to the animated hoards in the Walking Dead. A $200 million dollar film should have better graphics than a tv series, and they did but only slightly. While not what it should be, overall the animated mummies aren’t horrible. My biggest complaint with this is during a lot of the animated action scenes they use darkness and quick movements to make the poor animation less noticeable. You have a $200 million dollar budget, I shouldn’t have to deal with shaky-cam in the action scenes.
Military Archeologist Jenny comes to the quick conclusion that this Iraqi Mummy is a Princess (Sofia Boutella) who was erased from Egyptian history. Jenny decides the mummy Princess isn’t being suspended in a pool of mercury on a pulley system of ropes as a tomb. The ropes are holding her there as a prison. Tom Cruise gets the Shining, and sees what the Iraqi Mummy Princess has to show him. He shoots the ropes, raising her from her prison. He has more visions as his Shining grows stronger with the mummy. The first animal hoard of camel spiders attacks as the mummy is raised from her mercury grave. The camel spiders bite the half of our frat boy twosome that isn’t Tom Cruise affecting him more than it should.
The stereotypical superior officer Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance) forces the three amigos out of the cavern and our Military Archeologist makes sure she brings the Mummy’s sarcophagus with her. Moving ancient artifacts on a whim is always a good idea. Military plane goes up with everyone including the coffin inside. Military plane crashes down, killing everyone who wasn’t already dead except Military Archeologist Jenny Halsey. Tom Cruise saves her before he dies in the plane crash. All of a sudden his horrible out of place acting, starts getting better as he becomes the hero. I’m not a Tom Cruise hater. I enjoy the majority of his films. I don’t care who’s couch he’s jumped on or what his religious beliefs are. Watch the movie and tell me that he didn’t seem to start caring about this role until he became the hero of the film. Or maybe it was just a man in his mid-fifties, trying to play a frat boy and it didn’t work. Amongst the dead of the plane crash, are the two most intriguing characters so far. Stereotypical Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance) and best friend frat boy Chris Vail (Jake Johnson). They actually die before the plane crashes but that’s not important. Not to worry, Johnson rejoins us as a ghost. I kid you not.
As British? military forces retrieves the coffin from the crash site, Jenny goes to identify the bodies of those who died on the plane. Before she arrives, Tom Cruise awakes from death looking as fit and alert as he was before he died. Zombie Tom Cruise is immediately haunted by the ghost of his frat boy brother Chris Vail, who goes on to haunt him throughout the film. Both Zombie Tom Cruise and Military Archeologist Jenny are drawn to go find the crash site of the Iraqi Mummy Princess’s remains. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Mummy Princess has killed a few British? officers in an attempt to re-inflated her dried out self. Of course this isn’t a female empowerment movie. In order to revive herself from her mummified state, the girl mummy kisses her victims, sucking the life out of them and turning them into her army of zombies. They had to make her method of killing sexual. I don’t remember Arnold Vosloo Frenching his victims back in 1999. Boris Karloff certainly didn’t.
When Zombie Tom Cruise and Military Archeologist Jenny get to Iraqi Mummy Princess, she’s revived herself enough to look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. The first battle begins and she sucks enough face to revive herself to be Sexy Iraqi Mummy Princess. Revived all but for one piece of her nose and a dried out body. The Mummy catches Cruise while he’s down and mounts him cowgirl style. She reveals he’s the “chosen one”. Apparently because he’s the guy who pulled her out of her mercury controlled prison and because he’s attractive, has his own teeth and nice abs, she’s chosen him to become her Mummy man husband for eternity. This leads to the best moment of the movie. They try to be humorous several times in the film. None were successful but I did laugh at their failed attempt in this scene. The beautiful, Military Archeologist Jenny walks in on the girl Mummy straddling her one night stand Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise looks up at Jenny and calls out her name like a teenage boy would say, “Moooom”, if their mother walked in on them masturbating. After a long pause, he then tells her to run. It was funny for the wrong reasons. By the end of the first action scene, our two heroes have to be saved by a team of unknown soldiers who appear out of nowhere. The unknown soldier use bows and arrows to do what the British? military couldn’t do with guns and capture the Mummy Princess.
Up to this point, less than halfway through the film, we’ve had a simple, big budget, Hollywood action, adventure version of a Mummy movie. When Zombie Tom Cruise awakes he’s in the secret hideout of the mysterious team who saved him. Universal’s intentions of a Dark Universe series to compete with Marvel and D.C. is unveiled fairly quickly. We’re introduced to the Jekyll and Hyde character played by a robust Russell Crowe. He seems to be the leader or at least a high ranking member of this Universal Monsters Hall of Justice. Crowe is a wonderful actor but his lines in this movie are so bad no one could pull them off. I’ve never seen such a prominent actor be given so much bad dialogue to work with. Surprisingly his Mr. Hyde villain turn, didn’t produce a CG monster as I expected. Though instead of sitting him down in a make-up chair, I do believe the mild alterations of him turning Hyde were animated. I thought they’d go Ruffalo Hulk with the character but they didn’t. Crowe monologues the backstory of this secret order to control evil. It’s also revealed that Military Archeologist Jenny is actually a member of this group as well.
Jekyll and Jenny show Zombie Tom Cruise that Sexy Iraqi Mummy Princess is now chained up in a provocative pose while they pump mercury through her veins to subdue her. Of course this doesn’t last and the Mummy gets mind control over a simpleton man who ends up setting her free. As you know all women use sex to control men and guys are simpletons who do whatever women say. The Mummy breaks loose and so does the movie into the all-out final action sequence. Sexy Iraqi Mummy Princess sucks enough face to restore herself to her fully fleshed, scantily clad glory. I’m sorry but haven’t we moved beyond this in mainstream Hollywood? Who does the sexy for sexy’s sake actresses appeal to? Are teenage boys who can find anything on the internet really still following movies just because a half-naked actress is in it? Regardless she goes on a mission to find the ancient dagger of power that turned her into the immortal she is. Cruise and Wallis go on a mission to stop her. I don’t know why the secret team let Cruise continue chasing the Mummy when he’s obviously been cursed as her chosen one.
A few poorly CG Knight of the Templar zombies later and the Mummy drowns Jenny. Hero Cruise wasn’t able to save her. He tries to fight off the mummies advances but she slaps him around like a little bitch. He’s thrown into enough stuff to have broken every bone in his body. Tom Cruise acts hurt well but the level of CG trauma he receives, far exceeds what a regular human can endure. Oh yeah, I forgot he’s a zombie at this point. Zombie Cruise ends up stabbing himself with the ancient dagger of power in order to become a Mummy himself and bring Jenny back to life. I suppose he’s in love with his one night stand to go to such great lengths to bring her back? He also almost let her to die previously but he did save her once as well? Newly mummied Cruise is far more powerful than the girl Mummy. Even though she’s been a Mummy a lot longer and knows the ins and outs of mummisms she’s still an inferior female. That’s extreme condescension for anyone reading. Mummy Cruise makes out with Sexy Iraqi Mummy Princess, sucking the life out of her and making her a dried up, not so sexy mummy again. Cruise seemingly receives her powers and brings Jenny back to life making her technically a zombie now too. He also revives his ghost frat boy brother Chris Vail making him a zombie. The film ends with some of the corniest dialogue, delivered by Jekyll and Hyde philosopher Russell Crowe as Tom Cruise literally rides off on a horse into the sun.
Besides an enjoyable but stereotypical character of Colonel Greenway and Tom Cruise calling it in for the first 20 minutes of the film, the acting was fine. The effects weren’t bad enough to ruin the movie. As with any studio film the cinematography and score were fine as well. None of it stood out as exceptional but nothing was horrible. The plot was that of a big budget, action, mummy movie. While not my personal preference, it wasn’t riddled with any more plot holes than you’d expect of a film like that. Where the movie lost me was my general lack of caring for any of the characters in such a surface level, studio film. I didn’t care if Tom Cruise or his one night stand died. I didn’t care if the Mummy took over and ruled the entire world. I just didn’t care. There was no heart in this movie. It is by every definition of the term a studio film in the worst way. The eye of the mummy in the movie has a dual iris. The reason they did this is because they could. A wonderful synonym for the reason the film was made. It seemed like a Syfy original with a better budget.
I can only recommend The Mummy to the fans of monster movies you’ll find on the Syfy channel. Even then if you only like the extremely ridiculous ones, The Mummy takes itself too seriously for that audience. Big budget blockbuster moviegoers may also find enjoyment in the film. If you don’t need your movie to be deeper than a Michael Bay blockbuster then you might like The Mummy. I do recommend if you’re going to see it to do so in theaters. There’s lot of action. For those of you who hate the type of films I’m describing, The Mummy is everything it appears to be in the worst way possible.
1 out of 5 Headless Critics