Tom Cruise plays the cocky adventurous Nick Morton, who awakens a mummy from her dirt nap in “The Mummy.”
While encountering a barrage of bullets in an Iraqi village, Nick and his partner in crime, Chris (Jake Johnson), are saved by an airstrike from Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance). Greenway commands the duo to search a sinkhole that appeared in the middle of the village because of the Egyptian statue. How Egyptian artifacts ended up under Iraq, I’ll never know. Nick and Chris hope they find something valuable so they can sell it on the black market.
The duo are accompanied by Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), an expert archeologist, who claims Nick stole a map from her after their one-night-stand. While Jenny and Chris scour the sinkhole turned cavern, they notice a pulley system that leads to a pool of mercury. Nick decides to shoot his pistol at a rope that activates the pulley. A sarcophagus is raised from the pool and some “poisonous” camel spiders from the hollows.
The sarcophagus contains the Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who was the most beautiful woman in Egypt long ago. When she discovered that her rightful place as ruler would be taken by her baby brother (damn siblings!), she turned to dark magic and killed her family. She was mummified and buried alive. Thanks to Nick, she was released.
“The Mummy” has some similarities to its 1999 predecessor starring Brendan Fraser. Imhotep was awakened by greedy archeologists looking for gold. Didn’t their mothers ever teach them to never dig up mummies and priceless artifacts without asking permission? There’s also the coincidence of Ahmanet sucking the life out of mortals to regain her true form. The twist is that she kisses her victims and they become her minions.
There are distinct differences with this Cruise-version. First, the mummy is a female. She wants Cruise to be her immortal lover since he woke her up. Basically, a lovesick mummy who scours all of London to find her king. Romantic and a bit creepy. The flashbacks are great because we see how beautiful Boutella was before the mummification. Plus it’s funny to watch her pummel Cruise each time he tries to attack her. The movie should be called something like, “The Egyptian Princess” or simply, “Egyptian Princess Beats Up Adventurer.”
The flashbacks and the powerful queen searching for her king is also a rehash of “Queen of the Damned.” Vampire Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) sought out Lestat (Stuart Townsend), who revealed all of the vampires’ secrets through rock-n-roll songs. She was fascinated with him and wanted him to rule by her side. I like Akasha and Ahmanet because, like male rulers, they’re fierce and ruthless. They’ll kill whoever’s in their way to get what they want and they’re played by incredible actors.
“The Mummy,” is actually an action-comedy. Cruise gets the funnybones shakin’ with his quick one-liners and gestures including repeatedly shooting a man on a plane and getting under Jenny’s skin. Plus, when you think you have the ending all figured out, there’s a twist.
This version has similarities to the 90s classic, but Cruise and Boutella’s stellar acting takes this “Mummy” to a different level and keeps you entranced to the end.
Studio: Universal Studios (1 hr. 50 mins)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Story: An adventurer digs up an ancient Egyptian tomb, releasing a mummy and a curse.
Final Score: A+