FILM REVIEW: The Mummy is a bewildering disappointment

PUBLISHED: 09:31 03 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:32 03 August 2017

Tom Cruise stars in The Mummy, which is in cinemas now. Picture: CHIABELLA JAMES/UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Tom Cruise stars in The Mummy, which is in cinemas now. Picture: CHIABELLA JAMES/UNIVERSAL PICTURES

© Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures’ attempt to create their own shared universe begins with The Mummy - a film which, if the plan succeeds, will eventually tie into other creatures based on their monster properties such as Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman and form what is being called The Dark Universe.

It’s an interesting idea, but this film is not the best of starts.

The initial set-up sees Tom Cruise’s treasure hunter Nick Moreton discover an ancient tomb in Iraq and unwittingly unleash the titular Mummy, an evil Egyptian queen, buried alive for her crimes, who then puts a curse on Moreton and sets about trying to convert him to her cause.

Cruise is miscast here. He puts in his usual reliable performance, but his action star persona does not fit and he is never believable as the character.

Jake Johnson appears as Cruise’s sidekick in a role intended to add some comic relief, but the result is one of the most irritating characters you’ll see in the cinema this year.

Also making an appearance is Russell Crowe, who plays a version of Doctor Henry Jekyll, but it’s fair to say this is not his best work.

With so many good actors turning in such average performances, the blame must lie with the the director Alex Kurtzman as well as the script which appears to have been written by a committee.

The film is made up of loud CGI action scenes which carry no weight, along with scenes where characters stand around explaining the plot to each other.

Despite the amount of exposition here, the damning fact is that most viewers will be left confused by the plot - particularly the finale.

On the plus side, Sophia Boutella excels in her role as the Mummy queen and the undead hordes under her control are visually striking and quite disturbing.

However, on the whole, this is a bewildering muddle of a film which leaves Universal Studios with an uphill struggle to salvage their Dark Universe.

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