Tom Cruise's "The Mummy" might not actually suck
Writer: Casey Chong
A scene from "The Mummy".
Come 8 June is the release of Universal's first monster movie of their interconnected "Dark Universe" series titled "The Mummy".
1. Tom Cruise
Classic monster movies have been one of the legendary studio's key successes during the early era since Karl Freund's 1932 classic "The Mummy" starring Boris Karloff. Since then, "The Mummy" movies has spawned numerous incarnations ranging from "The Mummy's Hand" (1940) to "Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy" (1955).
Then came the high-profile remake of "The Mummy" in 1999 directed by Stephen Sommers which featured Brendan Fraser in the lead role. The action-oriented horror blockbuster was a huge hit at the worldwide box office, which paved way for a more financially successful sequel two years later via "The Mummy Returns". However, the Brendan Fraser-led "Mummy" franchise was heavily criticised when "The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor" was released in 2008.
With a new "Mummy" resurrected again by Universal, how will the movie fare against the previous cinematic incarnations? Although the pre-release social media responses have been mixed so far, we still think the new "Mummy" movie directed by Alex Kurtzman (best known for co-writing numerous Hollywood blockbusters like "Mission: Impossible III", "Transformers" and "Star Trek") is going to be one hell of a ride.
Without further ado, here are our thoughts on the upcoming Tom Cruise starrer and why it might actually not suck...
Tom Cruise leads the movie as Nick Morton in "The Mummy".
Let's face it, one of the biggest selling points of this big-budget "Mummy" movie is Tom Cruise himself. The 54-year-old-actor needs no introduction, having starred in one of the biggest Hollywood franchises of all-time via the "Mission: Impossible" series that has grossed over US$2 billion so far. Besides being a fascinating choice for headlining an action-adventure/horror movie, Tom Cruise's character, Nick Morton, is somewhat different than his usual action-hero persona. Sure, you still see him running and jumping, but the most interesting aspect of his character, as evidently seen in the trailer, is where he comes back to life after waking up from a body bag inside a morgue. Is his role actually an immortal being that allows him to battle against the villainous Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella)? Or is he someone special? We all just have to find out when the movie opens.
2. A fascinating shared universe
(L-R) Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Sofia Boutella make
up the characters of Universal's "Dark Universe" interconnected monster movies.
Thanks to the success of a "shared universe" concept popularised by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems that every studio these days wants to replicate the same formula as well. Universal Pictures, which produced and distributed the new "Mummy" movie, have now introduced their own shared universe by updating their classic monsters movie catalog beginning with "Dracula Untold" three years ago. Unfortunately, the Luke Evans-starred horror fantasy failed to impress both critics and audiences, even though it did make money at the worldwide box office. Now, with "The Mummy", Universal's renewed hope to make their own interconnected universe - officially known as "Dark Universe" - involving various classic monsters seems interesting enough. Apart from securing Tom Cruise in "The Mummy", the movie will also introduce another classic monster in the form of Dr. Jekyll, played by Russell Crowe. But that's not all, as Universal has already planned ahead with more star-studded monster movies including Javier Bardem in the upcoming Bill Condon-directed "Bride Of Frankenstein" (scheduled for February 2019 release) and Johnny Depp for "The Invisible Man".
3. Two Hollywood heavyweights collide
Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe act together for the first time in "The Mummy".
As mentioned earlier, "The Mummy" features Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe. They might be the most famous stars in Hollywood, but you'll be surprised that they've never acted together before prior to this movie. Not only do you get to see them both in the same movie for the first time ever, there will also a scene involving Tom Cruise engaging in a fight scene with Russell Crowe's Dr. Jekyll.
4. A mix of action and horror with spectacular stunts
The spectacular zero-gravity scene in "The Mummy".
As we all know, "The Mummy" is first and foremost a horror movie, but director Alex Kurtzman clearly wanted to aim for more than just your average horror flick, which is why you will also get to see elements of an action film, such as the highly publicised plane crash sequence seen in the trailer. What's more interesting is the level of commitment given by Tom Cruise himself during the aforementioned sequence. Believe it or not, he actually did 64 takes in zero gravity just for that scene! Think "Mission: Impossible" in the vein of an action-adventure/horror trope.
5. The introduction of a female Mummy
Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet in "The Mummy".
From Boris Karloff to Christopher Lee and to Arnold Vosloo, the Mummy in the past "Mummy" movies had been traditionally played by male actors, but in the new "Mummy" movie, a female one is introduced instead as the main antagonist. The gender switch is no doubt a refreshing change of pace, while having Sofia Boutella ("Kingsman: The Secret Service", "Star Trek Beyond") playing the antagonist role makes it even better.
Cinema Online, 04 June 2017
"The Mummy" opens in cinemas nationwide on 8 June 2017.