Gonna try something new. Well, new to me. It's called Getting To The Point. Let's see if I write reviews that don't take ninety minutes to read.
Let's start with the latest rehash of The Mummy, out now on Bluray and DVD.
So, basically, the pitch for this was something like: We'll take the Indiana Jonesy feel of the Brendan Fraser Mummy films and add back the good-natured horror of the original Universal horrors.
Not the worst idea ever. Add in the still-likeable-despite-all-that-Scientology-twaddlle Tom Cruise and you've got a bankable movie idea. After all, with 2013's Oblivion and 2014's Live, Die, Repeat (!) behind him, he's got form in off-the-wall SF, why not give off-the-wall horror a whirl?
Yes, this film is supposed to launch the Dark Universe universe ... Cos every studio has to have its own universe now, thanks to the success of Marvel. Maybe that’s why the story becomes so convoluted. That, and the fact that no fewer than six people are credited with writing it (which means that far more were likely involved).
Basically, Cruise plays a mercenary type out in Iraq, who calls in an airstrike and unearths the tomb of Ahmanet. She (for, surprisingly, this mummy is a she) isn’t as dead as several millennia underground would suggest, and curses Cruise. He dies, but that doesn’t stop him causing all kinds of trouble for her. He is recruited by The Prodigium, a group of ghost busters overseen by Dr. Jekyll (yes, that one) - here played by Russell Crowe.
|No, Tom, we don't know what the hell's going on, either.|
No-matter how crazy things get, Cruise is never less than 100% committed and deadly serious; while Crowe is clearly having a ball taking the mick out of himself and the whole silly affair.
Despite being American through-and-through, this film has a very English feel, and reminds me more of Hammer horrors than the Universal films it's following on from. There's also a splash of American Werewolf (1981) and a dash of Lifeforce (1985). Yeah, I know.
Tommy gets to do some running too (I think he has that written into his contracts), Russell Crowe gets to flounce around as a camp Henry Jekyll and then chew the furniture as evil Eddie Hyde, and London fills up with the medieval dead. Also, to her credit, Sofia Boutella makes much more of her role as Ahmanet than Cara Delevingne or Oscar Isaac got to do with their versions of, essentially, the same villain in last year’s Suicide Squad and X-Men Apocalypse.
There are creepy moments, chucklesome moments, great stunty moments and, to keep the gamers happy, running zombie moments.
It's big and it's daft and I have not the first clue what they thought they were doing. But it's fun watching them find out. The Mummy is a proper old-fashioned popcorn movie. Put your brain in neutral and enjoy the ride.