The Mummy review round-up: Critics slam 'messy plot' of Tom Cruise starrer
Tom Cruise is back on the silver screen with The Mummy reboot. Cruise plays Nick Morton, a bad guy in the Iraqi warzone who goes around in a TE Lawrence headdress stealing antiquities to sell. Critics have called out the "messy plot" saying that the film is a mish-mash of jumbled ideas that have made it the worst film of Tom Cruise's career. A round-up of early reviews.
The Guardian gave 2 stars in The Mummy Review: "This has some nice moments but is basically a mess, with various borrowings, including some mummified bits from An American Werewolf in London. The plot sags like an aeon-old decaying limb: a jumble of ideas and scenes from what look like different screenplay drafts. There are two separate ancient “tomb-sites” which have to be busted open: one in London and one in Iraq. (The London one, on the site of the Crossrail excavation, contains the remains of medieval knights identified as “crusaders” who have in their dead Brit mitts various strategically important jewels they have taken from Egyptians: who were subsequently buried in what is now Iraq. Erm, Egyptians in Iraq? Go figure. Perhaps it’s because they are evil and had to be taken out of the country, like CIA rendition of terror suspects.)"
The Variety Review asks - "How, exactly, do you reboot empty-calorie creature-feature superficiality?"
"It will grab ideas, motifs, and effects from almost any genre and jam them together, palming off its grab-bag quality as “originality.” Scene for scene, “The Mummy” has been competently staged by director Alex Kurtzman, who has one previous feature to his credit (the minor 2012 Chris Pine heart-tugger “People Like Us”) and has never made a special-effects film before. He knows how to visualize a spectacular plane crash, or how to play up the Dagger of Set — a mystical weapon of death that needs a giant ruby to complete it — so that it doesn’t seem as chintzy as something out of a “National Treasure” movie (which is basically what it is). Yet competence isn’t the same thing as style or vision. “The Mummy” is a literal-minded, bumptious monster mash of a movie. It keeps throwing things at you, and the more you learn about the ersatz intricacy of its “universe,” the less compelling it becomes."
"Russell Crowe, cultivating an air of pompous malevolence, shows up in the opening scene, but it isn’t until later that we learn he’s playing Dr. Henry Jekyll — yes, that Henry Jekyll. Jekyll, it turns out, has to keep injecting his damaged hand with a regimen of drugs to avoid turning into Mr. Hyde, but watching all this the audience may be thinking: Whose bright idea was it to mix “The Mummy” with an entirely different formative horror story, as if the two could be cross-bred like some Famous Monsters of Filmland version of the Justice League?"
NYT Review: ‘The Mummy,’ With Tom Cruise, Deserves a Quick Burial
"It sounds like fun. The “Mummy” reboot from 1999, directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, was kind of fun. Monster movies frequently are. This one, directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise, is an unholy mess. Mr. Cruise plays Nick Morton, a jaunty military daredevil with a sideline in antiquities theft and a nutty sidekick (Jake Johnson). When a caper goes wrong, the two call in an airstrike on an Iraqi village — I guess that’s something people are doing for kicks nowadays — and a mysterious tomb is unearthed. Luckily, an archaeologist, Dr. Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), is on hand to explain what it’s all about and also to affirm Nick’s heterosexuality."