The Mummy, with Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Russell Crowe. Directed by Alex Kurtzman.
WITH the Brendan Fraser movies the freshest in mind, The Mummy as a horror genre was due for another spin.
Tom Cruise does a good job as the hero, soldier-of-fortune Nick Morton, in this more serious take on the cursed villain of Egyptian legend.
And this time The Mummy is not a man but an Egyptian princess, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who summoned dark powers and murdered her own father and half-brother in her quest to be sole heir to the throne. As punishment for her crime, she was embalmed and buried alive, far from Egypt.
The Crusaders are also brought into the storyline, as we see a group of knights burying one of their own with a mysterious large ruby.
In the present day, contractors digging a new tube tunnel in England uncover the Crusader tomb. A mysterious man arrives with a group and claims authority over the site.
[pullquote]Despite being a much darker take on The Mummy than the Brendan Fraser films, it does have its humorous moments[/pullquote]
Meanwhile in Iraq, Morton convinces his reluctant partner Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) to enter a small village under the control of insurgents, in the hope of finding historical artefacts to sell on the black market.
Abusing military resources for their own ends, they call in an air strike which uncovers an incongruous Egyptian tomb in the Iraq desert. The army catches up with them and so does angry archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), from whom Morton had stolen a map.
Halsey notes that the tomb seems more like a prison to contain an evil spirit, with the sarcophagus buried in a pool of mercury. Of course, someone has to be the foolhardy one and release The Mummy, and Morton’s impulsive action sets off a chain of events.
He starts having visions of a beautiful woman in the desert, and crows appear, a flock of which bring down the transport plane carrying the sarcophagus to England.
As he saves Halsey with the last parachute, Morton seems certain to perish. But he miraculously awakens in a morgue to figure out he has been cursed. He has been chosen as the human receptacle for the god Set, a partner for Ahmanet, who herself recovers body mass and vigour by sucking the life out of everyone she encounters.
And these in turn become her army of the undead.
So it becomes a battle for the fate of humanity, with Morton and Halsey finding an unlikely ally in another character from literary fiction who has been thrown into the story.
Despite being a much darker take on The Mummy than the Brendan Fraser films, it does have its humorous moments, as when Cruise rebuffs the evil mummy urging him to give in to her, saying: “It’s not me, it’s you.”