Director: Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella
Release Date: September 12, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Tom Cruise stars in this spectacular version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy. Thought safely entombed deep beneath the desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day. Her malevolence has grown over millennia and with it come terrors that defy human comprehension. From the sands of the Middle East through modern-day London, The Mummy balances wonder, thrills, and imagination.
This new reinvention of the classic monster movie tale ‘The Mummy’ follows Nick Morton (Cruise) who along with his associate and fellow treasure seeker (Johnson) accidentally awaken the spirit of a mummified priestess (Boutella) and unintentionally transport her to modern day London. After a spectacular and destructive arrival, the monstrous force begins to unleash her wrath of terrors on the unsuspecting city and those Nick cares for most. Now he must consider joining forces with a unique organization that just might be his only chance of stopping her, not to mention terminating the disturbing connection that he now seems to share with her.
Directed by Alex Kurtzman (People Like Us) from a screenplay by David Koepp (Panic Room), Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) and Dylan Kussman (TV’s The Steps) which was itself based upon a screen story by Kurtzman and a couple of others, Kurtzman does a solid job at the helm of ‘The Mummy’ guiding this modern, action-focused tale along smoothly and with style. The film also owes a good chunk of credit to the notable cast which features some talented individuals and includes Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle), Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (Terminator Genisys) and Russell Crowe (The Nice Guys) along with more, nearly all offering quite capable performances in each of their respective roles.
This new, modern take on the classic Universal monster feature ‘The Mummy’ drastically revamps the familiar concept into something quite unlike its origins and brings viewers a modern take on the mummified terror that is more action film than horror and while some fans of the original may be disappointed by that factor alone, it works surprisingly well if you’re able to approach it primarily as its own beast. It delivers no shortage of visually spectacular action sequences that are never afraid to take things to new levels while keeping things consistently intense and exciting and still offering some beautifully crafted calmer moments that look quite eerie and can’t help but elicit a grin. While ‘The Mummy’ certainly isn’t going to make most best of the year lists, it’s not nearly as disappointing as many would have you believe and at the absolute least it manages to offer a thoroughly enjoyable and visually gorgeous ride that rarely allows things to get dull. With the numerous little nods at other classic Universal monsters in addition to a clear setup for at least one additional film within, it does a fantastic job of beginning to establish Universal’s intended ‘Dark Universe’ by somewhat intertwining these stories from the onset. Director Alex Kurtzman does a great job guiding this intense and gorgeous ride along its course and his capable guidance is further complimented by a talented and well selected cast that includes Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe and more. I would strongly urge anyone that was ever somewhat intrigued by the film to begin with to make a point of giving ‘The Mummy’ a shot when you have the opportunity to do so in order to decide for yourself. It occasionally falters, but never too drastically and odds are it will have no trouble proving itself worth your time if nothing else, although anyone not overly interested to begin with probably won’t need to rush out and immediately get their hands on a copy.
Overall, ‘The Mummy’ is a visually gorgeous, action-packed and thoroughly entertaining ride that revamps the classic Monster property and also takes numerous small steps toward setting up a much larger universe and grander scale within. It’s capably guided around each fun and spectacular turn by director Alex Kurtzman and further boosted by a plethora of impressive effects and a more than capable cast led by Tom Cruise. ‘The Mummy’ definitely earns my recommendation, especially for anyone already the slightest bit interested in the movie, along with hardcore fans of Cruise’s work. For anyone who fits that bill it will likely prove worthy of your time and the cost of a rental if nothing else. Albeit imperfect, it’s still quite the solid overall film and never fails to deliver plenty of tense, visually stunning action in addition to a great kicking off point for Universal’s intended ‘Dark Universe’ franchise.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Mummy’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and gorgeous presentation from start to finish that suffers no noticeable faults along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation from Universal that should easily satisfy the fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds marvelous and provides a wonderful compliment to the film. It delivers an aggressive, yet equally clean audio presentation throughout that never falters. It constantly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer in the action, sending creepy noises along with explosions, debris, plane activity and more whipping throughout the various speakers when appropriate, and never allowing any dialogue or other simultaneously occurring auditory elements to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a magnificent Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes plenty of extra fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Mummy’ includes a pretty decent collection of bonus content that fans of the film should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Producer Alex Kurtzman and Cast Member’s Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson’, in addition to a few ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 5 minutes in length combined) and a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into various aspects of bringing the film to life, featuring behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and a crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Cruise and Kurtzman: A Conversation’ (running approximately 21 minutes), ‘Rooted in Reality’ (approximately 7 minutes), ‘Life in Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash’ (8 minutes), ‘Meet Ahmanet’ (8 minutes), ‘Cruise in Action’ (6 minutes), ‘Becoming Jekyll and Hyde’ (7 minutes), ‘Choreographed Chaos’ (7 minutes) and ‘Nick Morton: In Search of A Soul’ (6 minutes). An “Ahmanet Reborn” Animated Graphic Novel (approximately 4 minutes) is also included.