Universal Pictures 2017, Dark Universe Series
After watching the film, The Mummy, I am strangely drawn to my computer to type out this critique. I have not read any other thoughts on the film so I don’t know how it was received by the film community or the audience really. I do know that it didn’t perform well at the Box Office. However, America was in the midst of Wonder Woman fever and there was no stopping us. (I, myself, saw that film twice in the theatre which is a rare event for my pocketbook.) This may have done a lot for the lack of interest in the film. I feel there was other factor though.
It seems that Tom Cruise’s personal beliefs, and status may be too much for the American public at this time. Our society has entered a time where we are becoming very polarized to who is what, how they believe, who they believe, and what their beliefs not only mean to them, but what value it gives them in American society. Mr. Cruise has been loyal part of a religious group that many, both conservatives and liberals alike, find questionable. This seems to have begun to effect how moviegoers choose what movies to go see now. For me, I find this a shame. Looking at his performance as an actor, while there were weak spots in that performance, I enjoyed the blend of humor and pathos he brought to his role. There was even a bit of the swashbuckling adventurer (trust your gut, grab your hat, hope for the best, and jump!) that was seen in so many of the early Hollywood films. As the Dark Universe films are set to bring back more of these classic Hollywood types, characters and elements, I think he helped the series get off to a good start. There were also two great surprise performances in the film for me; one expected and one unexpected. Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll was just stellar. He has a sneak peek in store for those fans who are anticipating the Dark Universe’s treatment of the Jekyll & Hyde story. I am very glad I got to see it and cannot wait to see him in the role again. Relative newcomer, Sofia Boutella, had a few surprises up her, well scraps of muslin. For the incarnation of pure evil on earth, we saw some levels of emotion at times. Whether those emotions were genuine or not, you will have to watch the film but I was impressed.
The film had other bright spots, Tom Cruise’s character, Nick, had a sidekick, Chris Vail who performed the character type exceptionally well. I thought that the effects were good, but not over the top which could most definitely have happened. Though the film also had it’s dark spots like editing, at times, and a story that was sacrificed in service of the Mummy legend and where it may be leading in the Dark Universe pantheon.
This leads me to the idea of the Dark Universe reboot. Why? You might say. It is the idea of the Dark Universe that I find really intriguing. With the films in their announcement: “The Mummy”, “The Bride of Frankenstein”, “The Invisible Man”, and “Jekyll & Hyde” along with the possible additions of “Creature of the Black Lagoon”, “Phantom of the Opera” and the “Wolfman”, there are some really great story potential as well as actor vehicles. There has been some speculation since “The Mummy” didn’t show well in the States the idea may be in jeopardy. However, Universal seems to be thinking global with this franchise so I believe we will see more. I find that exciting. I did have a sense of the old Hollywood horror films as I watched “The Mummy”. It made my nostalgic for those Saturday afternoons with my Mom in front of the TV. I cannot wait to see how they treat the other stories. The studio seems open to exploring horror genre type such as gothic romance for Bride of Frankenstein so we may be in store for some happy surprises or scares as it were. I’ll stay tuned. Maybe you should too.