Chad Reviews "The Mummy"
As I was becoming aware of film as an entertainment medium, I cut my teeth on all things horror at a very young age, starting with the 1933 version of “King Kong”. As a kid in the ‘70s, I was delighted to learn that a remake was on its way, hoping to eclipse “Jaws” as the reigning “King” of the box office. Although that honor would go to a certain fictional Philadelphia boxer, it only fed the fire for my love monster movies. I ended up latching onto the Universal Studios Classic Monsters series featuring Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney with the TV matinees of the likes of “Dracula”, “The Wolf Man”, “Frankenstein”, and “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Karloff seemed to rule the roost with his iconic portrayal of the promethean character created by the mad Dr. Frankenstein, so he was quickly given another iconic character to portray in Imhotep, the cursed Egyptian priest known more popularly as The Mummy, resulting in another runaway success. The character saw a resurgence in popularity in 1999, when the franchise was resurrected with Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and Arnold Vosloo in the title role. Now, proving that you can’t keep a great character down for long, “The Mummy” rises again; but not at all how you have come to expect.
Five thousand ago, an overly ambitious Egyptian princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) has her eyes on her father’s throne, but her plans are uprooted when her father sires a son. Consumed by her lust for power, she sells her soul to Set, God of the Underworld, to claim her birthright as she butchers her family. Before she can complete her fiendish ritual to bring Set to rule by her side in human form, she is seized and buried alive. As luck would have it, modern day treasure hunters and soldiers of fortune Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), along with young archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), unwittingly awaken the entombed Ahmanet, unleashing her wrath and full fury, with her primary goal to complete her diabolical ritual she started so long ago, with Nick now as her chosen vessel.
As much as I’m surprised to admit this, I really got a kick out of this film. When the franchise began to dwindle in popularity back in the mid-2000s, I had very little hope for the success of this reboot. It seemed like such a schlocky way to cash in on an established property, providing a relatively shaky anchor for the new “Dark Universe” franchise that Universal hopes to launch with their library of legendary monster films from the early 20th century, hoping to compete with current blockbuster franchises the likes of Marvel and “Star Wars”. Though it ventured into the realm of predictable tropes that films like these tend to fall into, it was much more fun than I expected it to be. It doesn’t necessarily bring anything brand new to the table outside of the title character being a woman, but it still delivered as a typical summer action film. I hope when the rest of the rogue’s gallery begin to show up over the course of the next several years, that they are up to the task, as they have some “monstrous” shoes to fill.