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Film Review: The Mummy

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-06-2017 Udita Jhunjhunwala

Why? Why did they resurrect this fantasy adventure and then strip it of any humour or mischief? Why did Tom Cruise select this, what might just be, the worst movie of his robust film career? And why has Russell Crowe, an Academy Award-winning actor, been reduced to playing a forgettable Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde character?

After the third of the Brendan Fraser-starrers, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, released in 2008, this franchise should have been left bandaged and buried. But like the dead in the films, it too has risen.

Director Alex Kurtzman reboots The Mummy with a clumsy script, an all-new cast and visual effects that actually look poorer than its predecessors, unusual in this day and age of technological developments.

An artefact bounty hunter, Nick (Cruise) and his sidekick Vail (Jake Johnson) are in modern-day Mesopotamia (Iraq), trying to scavenge a part of history, which they can sell. They chance upon a sarcophagus which encases a mummy and houses the story of a princess trying to let loose an evil curse.

An archaeologist named Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) butts in and takes over the ancient coffin. While Nick, Vail, Jenny and the sarcophagus are being transported to London, all hell breaks loose because the mummy comes alive to seek retribution.

If at all there was a semblance of a plot till now, it goes haywire from here on. Things come to life and die without reason. Zombies walk through London, the mummified princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) sucks the life out of living beings and regains her form, and also spreads her curse to Nick. The curse is that he must be killed in order to unleash some dark lord. While Nick can’t figure out if he is alive or dead, if he’s hallucinating, whether he’s a good man or a bad man, a suspicious doctor Jekyll sagely tells Nick that chicken soup and a good night’s sleep are not going to cure him of this curse.

Jenny fills in the pieces of the ancient story of Ahmanet and Nick’s role in all the grisly deaths and zombie attacks taking place in London.

By now even the chap, with who Nick was chummy, walks around like a dummy. If the story of The Mummy sounds crummy wait for this: one of the ways the curse can be released, is by stabbing the hero in the tummy.

What Cruise and Crowe are doing in this film is a million dollar question. Or perhaps the answer was millions of dollars. There is not much acting required from the many-times nominated stars struggling to stay relevant in the modern age. But an open-ended conclusion suggests that The Mummy will live on. And Cruise might have just landed himself a monstrous new franchise.

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