2017 Summer Movie Review: The Mummy

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Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) unveils something evil in the reboot of The Mummy. (Source: IMDb_

The Mummy has been around for a long time. Boris Karloff played the titular character in 1932, and became one of the most memorable horror movie villains. In 1999, it rebooted as a straight-up action-fantasy-thriller starring Brendan Fraser as the cocky hero embarking on a journey to rid the curse of an Egyptian tomb, while two sequels followed after that. Today, The Mummy is rebooted again as the first installment of a new cinematic universe featuring the Universal monsters. The “Dark Universe” is going to feature the Bride of Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man, Van Helsing and Dracula, and the Wolf Man.

In the latest reimagining, The Mummy is a female instead of male. With Tom Cruise doing what he does best, he cannot save this shallow dud of a movie.

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is a soldier-of-fortune looking for ancient artifacts to sell at a black market. In Iraq, he and his friend Chris Vail (Jake Johnson, who plays one of the most annoying characters in cinema) discovers a tomb of an Egyptian princess. Her name is Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who is betrayed by the Pharaoh and is buried alive. Thousands of years later, her spirit returns with a vengeance. After surviving from a plane crash (don’t ask), Nick wakes up in a London morgue, and learns that he is cursed by the princess (again, don’t ask). Along with archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis, Annabelle), Nick must “outwit” Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe), and rid Ahmanet’s curse once and for all.

Cruise has starred in some bland movies. However, this is the first movie of his I genuinely hate. Along with director Alex Kurtzman and screenwriters David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie, the movie is fascinating within the first thirty minutes explaining the backstory of Ahmanet (which makes the audience ask more questions). Then, it all goes downhill with Cruise and the gang wrapped in (no pun intended) a ridiculous script with plot holes big enough to ride a bus through. None of the characters have any charisma whatsoever; making it damn near impossible to care on what’s going to happen next. While the humor feels forced and the movie takes itself so seriously, it does have its fair share of unintentionally goofy moments. For instance, whenever Nick and the Mummy go head-to-head, she would smack him upside the head and send him flying. And also, Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll (horribly miscast, by the way) must have been added in the movie as a build-up to a possible standalone film in the franchise. This is not a good start for the Dark Universe. I highly doubt it will get better in the future.

1/4

2016 Summer Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

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Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew enter a new world in Star Trek Beyond

In 2009, J.J. Abrams rebooted a franchise that made Trekkies and newcomers “boldly go where no one has gone before”. Without watching the original series, it didn’t matter with Star Trek. Learning the backstories of James T. Kirk and Spock in a futuristic world. As well as being blown away by the visuals and the performances by a gifted cast. It resulted in being one of 2009’s best movies. Despite its flaws, Star Trek into Darkness is a worthy sequel with Benedict Cumberbatch in a menacing portrayal as one of the most menacing villains in the franchise. In Star Trek Beyond, Justin Lin takes out the lens flare and having the movie follow more closely to the show, which Trekkies will likely appreciate.

Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), Chekov (Anton Yelchin, who died in a car accident last month at the age of 27), Sulu (John Cho), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and the rest of the Enterprise crew are three years into their five-year expedition through space. They are thinking of what they want to do with their lives afterwards. For instance, Kirk wants to be a Vice Admiral of Yorktown while naming Spock as the new captain of the Enterprise. All of a sudden, Krall (Idris Elba) and his crew attack the starship. He’s looking for an artifact that would cost the lives of many. The ship crash lands on an uncharted planet called Altamid. They must find their way off the planet.

As the writer, Simon Pegg (who also plays Scotty) allows Star Trek Beyond to take enough time to build before discovering the planet. The chemistry between Bones and Spock is the biggest focus. While on the Enterprise, Spock has a conflict between his human and Vulcan qualities. Unlike Bones, he cannot express his human emotions well. It’s always a joy to watch them bond. They provide some of the funniest and most poignant moments.

As character-driven as the sequel is, it has the action-fueled energy one would expect from Star Trek or the director. It also features the humor and heart of the adventure. Jaylah (played to perfection by Sofia Boutella) is a great addition to the universe. After voicing Shere Khan in the remake of The Jungle Book, Idris Elba hits out of the park once again as the villain.

Live long and prosper, Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin.

3.5/4