Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * *
Cast: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari.
There are times in which as a fan of the realm of the macabre and chilling, that you can actually find yourself missing the world of Hammer House of Horror, not through any type of morbid curiosity, but because it would have been perhaps more interesting to see how such creatures of British literature might have fared with a more diverse treatment rather than being arguably hung out to dry in the race to take on Marvel and D.C. in a world of heroes, villains, gods and monsters that Universal Pictures seems hell bent on creating.
The Dark Universe, a place in which creatures of the shadows and the mysterious seem to inhabit with gruesome fingers and often over the top acting, is now up and running and in The Mummy it has to be seen as one that has a faltering start in what could be a long marathon.
Whilst there is a lot to commend and like about The Mummy, it is also a film tinged with the knowledge that the reason for its making is one of desire to compete and not out of love, it is the love that is missing, the action is there, the dialogue not unlikeable and yet you imagine in how it would feel it to kiss a corpse for money; you take the pounds but you have a sense of morbid distaste in the mouth for years to come.
The trouble with this particular version of The Mummy is that it will invariably draw comparisons from the Rachel Weisz/Brendan Fraser version two decades ago and whilst comparison is not always just, it is inevitable. If the Tom Cruise/Russell Crowe/Annabelle Wallis version lacks love, then in comparison to the 1999 adaptation it is so cold and aloof that it lacks absolute passion and humour, for in that humour, the scare, the terror is more palpable, more believable and the heart beat thanks you for it.
It is a shame to see such a great idea come to naught or worse, average, but if the Dark Universe is meant to be Universal’s pitch to match the comic book giants’ sense of the heroic, it sadly falls incredibly short.
The Mummy arguably should have been kept under wraps, a missed opportunity.
Ian D. Hall