By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
Buy The Mummy on Bluray/DVD here or rent/buy it on Instant Video here.
WHAT’S THE MUMMY ABOUT?
A soldier-of-fortune unearths a cursed mummy, unleashing evil and drawing the attention of an agency that fights monsters.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: C+)
Expectation is everything. By the time I saw The Mummy it was sitting ugly at 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. I expected a train wreck, and while the film is a mess, it’s an entertaining mess. To be transparent about my biases, I’m a fan of Tom Cruise, female characters in strong roles, and Universal Studios monsters, so I was probably destined to enjoy this one. Cruise is reliably dedicated (even if his character is underwritten), Sofia Boutella is equal parts glamorous and grotesque in the title role (it works somehow), and the creature effects are genuinely thrilling.
Despite its modern trappings, the film has the visual sensibilities of a classic horror film. The stunts and action are exciting. There’s a surprisingly solid moral message at the end. The humor is about 50% successful. Russell Crowe shows promise in his role, even though his presence smells of world-building and one too many cooks in the kitchen. The plot is convoluted, the dialogue leans towards the melodramatic, and the love interest is too “damsel-in-distress” for a modern film. Still, for those with certain tastes there’s much to enjoy here, at least enough to look forward to the next film in Universal’s “Dark Universe.”
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
The Mummy is a strong PG-13 with more horror elements than the trailer suggests. It is not for children. An evil Egyptian princess kills a baby offscreen and stabs a man and woman in bed (we don’t see the stabbing, but there is blood splatter). She strips nude to make a pact with the god Anubis (who is later described to be the same being as Satan in Judeo-Christian beliefs), her breasts and buttocks barely obscured. We briefly see her obscured rear end. A man wakes up naked in a body bag; we see him from the front, standing with his hands over his privates. A man has visions of the mummy in her beautiful human form, kissing him and speaking with him in bed (no sex or nudity). There’s some innuendo about a one-night-stand. There are a handful of moderate profanities. There is plentiful horror/action violence, with monster attacks and fighting. Persons are dried up by the mummy’s kiss as she sucks away their life force and turns them into mummies. Persons are covered by rats, spiders, and insects. If you go, go with teens and up.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Evil can only be overcome when people use their free will to choose good.
For a far superior Universal monster movie, check out Bride of Frankenstein, which sits at a whopping 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Rent or buy it here.