There are moments that come off rather jarring as when Nick survives being killed in a plane crash for being cursed, ending up naked in the morgue. Once Jenny and the doctors discover him, they seem more shocked that they can see his penis than the fact that he’s alive. This morgue must be used to mistaking dead bodies.
Tom Cruise puts on his action best for some solid action scenes where he is smacked around by Ahmanet, bounces around in a toppling car and rolls around a plane that spins out of control to the ground. He’s also in marathon mode for plenty of scenes where he dashes away from sandstorms, gunfire, zombies and an exploding building. His stunts are always neat to watch, but they’re a little hard to enjoy in a picture with so many computer graphics that have to be buried in dark night scenes to hide how lacking they are. This also leads to the confusion of what is a practical stunt by Tom Cruise and what is a CGI Tom Cruise. And why would you want to obscure an actor willing to take beatings and hold his breath for extended periods of time?
I perked up a little when the Dark Universe revealed its connecting feature, a secret society of a monster prison. Russell Crowe plays the leader of this group, the famous Dr. Henry Jekyll, with a level of both camp and interest. Having discovered a cure for his Hyde personality, Jekyll has founded an organization that believes it can quell any monster. Jekyll’s dark side of Hyde will make an appearance and attempt to bargain with Nick for a pact of evil. This premise shows plenty of promise, but it’s only present for the second act and shelved for other monster movies.
The Mummy has bits and pieces that could work, but they’re so small and distant from each other that it’s hard to enjoy the picture as a whole. It never really hits that balance of horror, humor, action, adventure and setting up a monster movie universe, which appears to be more akin to superheroes than horror. All these ideas feel randomly cobbled together by committee as a lumbering blockbuster of a mummy movie. And you can only run such a concept on the Tom Cruise thrill treadmill for so long before it crumbles to dust.