I do not understand why people thought this film would be good. After seeing all of the trailers I only thought that this film could potentially be fun and enjoyable. However, this film is not that. It has some moments and good ideas, but the execution is poorly done.
A New World of Gods and Monsters
This film legitimately has some interesting ideas. For example, I like the backstory with Ahmanet becoming “The Mummy”. I would have liked to see a bit more of it, but there was enough in the film to hold my attention. I also like how the film establishes her connection with Tom Cruise’s Nick. There were some scenes that used that connection to clever results. The scene where Nick drives back directly to Ahmanet sticks out because of this.
The action itself is also pretty good. I enjoyed the set pieces quite a bit. Another major plus to the film is the inclusion of Russell Crowe. I liked him as both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I have heard of some people who thought his Mr. Hyde was too over the top, but I personally thought it was fitting. Now there is the rest of the film, which is pretty bad. The worst part of this film is probably a combination of the writing and the direction. Why the direction? This film is tonally all over the place. One second it is a comedy, the next it wants to be taken seriously. Also, this film takes some good actors and makes them pretty bad. Tom Cruise was not that good in this film. This is mostly because his role seems to be written for someone who is about half his age. None of the comedy he did in this film worked, which is a shame because I know he can handle comedy very well. Jake Johnson is cast as his friend Chris and he just may be the most annoying part of this film. He frequently pops up and either offers exposition or tries to make you laugh (spoilers: he does not succeed). Again, it is a shame because I think Jake Johnson is hilarious. The problem here is that the actors had a bad script and a bad director to work with.
It Takes a Monster to Defeat a Monster
As a standalone Mummy film, this is not very good. Yes, it has some interesting takes on “The Mummy” character, but almost everything else falls flat. This film is not only a Mummy film, but it seeks to start Universal’s Dark Universe.
It fares a bit better in that regard, but not by much. There is some intrigue in the little hints that the film offers at an expanded universe of monsters, but not as much as they would hope. Prodigium is this film’s gateway to this expanded universe, but all the easter eggs are a bit too on the nose. There is a vampire skull in one of their glass cases that the cinematographer could not avoid zooming in on. I would have preferred if this aspect of the film was more shrouded in mystery, rather than being a blatant set-up for the upcoming films. The ending itself is almost like the film is begging you to come back for the next adventure in Universal’s Dark Universe.
Reviews for this film have been awful, but I do not think the film is quite so bad. Do not mistake me, it is not a good film, but it has potential. Unfortunately, whatever good the film does it is tarnished by sloppy direction and poor writing.