While "The Mummy" is the official beginning of the Dark Universe, it is not Universal's first attempt to launch this monster franchise. On her shelves were a series of books that told the stories of movie monsters, specifically those under the Universal umbrella, with names like The Wolfman, Frankenstein, Dracula, and my personal favorite, The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
According to many critics and the most important reason why The Mummy is suffering to win the hearts of audience is that the Wonder Woman is sweeping the audience off their feet. I'm not entirely sure why we need the movie to start with a bit about crusaders except to start laying pipe for the insane shared universe they start building to later, but whatever.
Even though I had never seen the films themselves, I found the look and style of the characters to be fascinating and terrifying and lovely.
The Mummy is a frustrating movie not because it's objectively bad or anything but because it's so very boring. The crossovers came more than a decade after the first film and were, quite frankly, not almost as good as the standalone movies.
Universal couldn't think of anything else to do with the Mummy, so they sold him to a bunch of British people called Hammer, who made a movie called The Mummy.
Is The Mummy a great cinematic masterpiece? I film the Mummy of 1932 with Boris Karloff, it is a film that I saw growing up, that I saw when I was a teenager and for which I had a lot of admiration so I had a lot Of pressure before accepting this role.
It's hard to separate the relevancy of this story from The Mummy's relative failure. And sometimes it takes an epically bad movie to stop other bad movies. Luckily, someone stepped in to thwart her dastardly plans, but because she, apparently, made herself a special kind of immortal, she was buried in a secret tomb 1,000 miles from Egypt. She curses him, giving Nick a form of immortality that's tempered by psychic visions.
And honestly my only complaint is that it set me up for a Jake Johnson/Tom Cruise romance and then didn't deliver.
When archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) turns up at the site, Nick and Chris are forced to help her since Nick has stolen the map from her after a night of passion.
Obviously, this film is not breaking any new ground. "Hey that's not Brendan Fraser!" And I'm saying to you that you are always welcome. Inside is a Middle-Kingdom princess who underwent what longtime Mummy fans know of as "The Nameless Death".
Sometimes camp and amusing, other times dark and creepy and throwing Dr Jekyll (Russell Crowe) into the mess for good measure, "The Mummy's" tone is consistently erratic despite Cruise fighting the good fight against eye roll. Russell Crowe's decision to channel Ricky Gervais for both his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde may be the movie's most questionable choice. The sequence with the crashing airplane is wonderful and something I haven't seen before. In fact, he may very well end up back in this same role in future movies in Universal's Dark Universe franchise, as it looks like the movie's global box office will help salvage the numbers. We'll have to see where it goes from there.