By my counting, Mummy Mondays should’ve ended on June 1st. This is assuming that coronavirus didn’t upend just about everything, Movie Night was still meeting regularly, and that we wouldn’t’ve missed a week. But coronavirus did happen and it took me months before I decided to finish up this series by myself. It’s been a weird trip full of bad sequels and rare good moments, but with Mr. Tom Cruise’s 2017 The Mummy, we can finally put this monster back in its tomb.
Cruise plays Nick, a thief and womanizer with very few redeeming qualities. He and his friend, Vail, use military operations as a cover for stealing ancient relics to sell. Yeah, they’re trash. Some bad decisions lead them to accidentally find the tomb of Ahmanet, a woman mummified alive after making a deal with Set (who is NOT the god of the dead no matter how many times this movie says he is) to kill the members of her family standing in the way of her taking the throne. Her goal is to bring Set to life with a human vessel, and Nick becomes her cursed choice after he releases her. The curse manifests when he survives a devastating plane crash without a single mark on him. Well… he did die, but he got better and no, this whole “he apparently can’t die” element is never mentioned ever again. Teaming up with Jenny, an archeologist he slept with and stole from, they run from Ahmanet and encounter SHIELD. Err, I mean, Prodigium, a secret organization run by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Ahmanet gets captured, but escapes and kills Jenny. Nick completes Ahmanet’s goal and takes Set into his body, but somehow resists the will of a god. Ahmanet is killed, Jenny is resurrected, Nick and Vail–oh yeah, he died, was a ghost a la An American Werewolf in London, but Nick resurrected him too–ride off into the desert while Jekyll hints at a cinematic universe that never manifested.
So… this movie was a bit of a mess. It went the Justice League route of creating a cinematic universe where it tells the audience, “This is a shared, cinematic universe now!” and then punches itself in the dick with a film that underperforms. In contrast, the MCU built up to it, using post-credit scenes and actually good movies–or at least movies good enough that Thor: The Dark World is the worst, and that movie’s… fine. It’s fine.
But then there’s Nick himself. Was he supposed to have a change of character or something? He started off a thief and an asshole, and in the end saved the day by… being a thief and a bit of an asshole. Sure, he had feelings for Jenny that he didn’t at the beginning, but how did that help him resist having his body taken over by Set, a literal god? It feels like the ending of Fantasy Island where a single bit of exposition along the lines of, “If he allows himself to become possessed for selfless reasons, he may be able to resist Set’s power,” would clear up so much. But no, it has a confusing climax and sours the whole thing. So goodbye, Dark Universe. I’m glad that The Invisible Man was made as a stand-alone film.
MUMMY FUN FACT! I didn’t think I’d actually have something worthwhile to put here, but turns out this movie had a cute Easter egg! When Jenny is fighting with a guy who I don’t think was ever actually named (played by Marwan Kenzari, AKA Joe from The Old Guard), she ends the scuffle by hitting him in the face with a book. Turns out that book is the Book of the Amun-Ra from 1999’s The Mummy! Not the Book of the Dead that Evy reads from that resurrects Imhotep, but the one at the climax that Jonathan stumbles through. I certainly wasn’t expecting that!
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