Well, here I am swimming upstream – having seen Universal’s The Mummy and actually liking it. How do you defend a movie that’s hard to save due to the outpouring of negativity against it? Hey, I was there to defend last year’s heavily panned Suicide Squad. I can give The Mummy a shot.
Simply put: I liked The Mummy because it entertained me. Not for reasons hinting at cynicism towards illogical elements in the writing, but for its fun action and Tom Cruise’s charismatic approach to the classic “thieving rouge” character type. By that definition, The Mummy is exactly how a summer blockbuster should be – escapism that intrigues the PG-13 audience through larger-than-life adventures.
The screenplay (written by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman) is a traffic jam of different drafts, and director Alex Kurtzman (People Like Us) struggles to explain the hole-ridden story while also slipping with the film’s continuity. However, when Cruise is on screen fighting the undead (who strangely resemble fast-moving zombies), or having to survive deep water depths when he’s not facing a zero-gravity free fall, or when Sofia Boutella (as the title mummy) is collecting souls to thrive on while building her own gnarly army, The Mummy was a thrill ride.
The movie gets ahead of itself by using this opportunity to flesh out the blossoming Dark Universe franchise and by revealing Russell Crowe’s character in a way that will only produce eye-rolls. But, if you’re looking for mindless entertainment this season, take The Mummy at face value and you’ll walk away pleased.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie