CAST: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Russell Crowe
DIRECTION: Alex Kurtzman
DURATION: 1 hour 50 minutes
If you are a beautiful Egyptian princess buried alive, you are going to wake up scores of years later, And the first thing you will do is to look upon the face of a handsome stranger, and your hardened heart will melt. Sofia Boutella plays the part of the New Mummy Rising with a permanent snarl-cum-wistfulness, tattoos running down her face. Because she is female, she has to be jealous of another woman who is vying for the attention of her man. Lesson: hell hath no fury like a mummy scorned.
Said handsome stranger played by Tom Cruise, a top gun in his mid-50s is the portrait of a star in search of a persona. What do you do, once you’ve done and dusted several mission impossible-s? Why, become a looking-for-a-main-chance-adventurer making eyes at a modern day archeologist, and a mummy with a sexy body whom he calls a ‘chick’. Did we say this was a sexist flick?
The impact of Bollywood is getting stronger, even if it shows up for a flash: the Egyptian princess walks on ancient sandy dunes just the way a series of Bollywood beauties have whenever they are transported to a desert for a song-and-dance— acres of flowing robes streaming behind, metal bustiers to the fore, background music swelling. Who says schmaltzy Bollywood has no legs?
Taking that point further, who says you need a plot when you have such a svelte-looking mummy, a blonde scientist, and a good-looking if weathered rogue larking about in Iraq and London, falling out of planes, and shooting people underground in London? Only problem, though, is that the moment all the frantic action stops, the film grinds to a halt.
You don’t even need a Russell Crowe to do his thing – swallow the screen – when you are a kick-starting a monster franchise. This must be the only film in which Crowe, after spouting some high-falutin’ rubbish about good and evil, just disappears into the scenery. What we are left with is our hero kicking up a lot of sound and fury, and sand, of course, with the promise of much more of the same to come. Not actively awful, but not a barrel of silly fun either.