Mumms the Word (The Mummy, 2017)
Everybody wants a shared Universe these days. Granted, this is not an entirely new concept. And Universal used to cross over their monsters all the time. Dracula Untold was supposed to kick off the “Dark Universe” and then got “removed from Canon” and this latest incarnation of the Mummy was the new starting point.
Nick Morton and Chris Vail are fortune hunting soldiers. They stumble on a bizarre discovery in Iraq…the tomb of the Egyptian princess Ahmanet. They search the tomb with archeologist Jenny Halsey, ultimately taking the coffin of Ahmanet. Nick finds himself selected to be the cursed Princess’s beloved, and also the host for the god Set. After an event that results in the death of Chris and Nick, Nick awakens in the morgue. He now finds himself haunted by Chris (think Griffin Dunne in An American Werewolf in London) and hunted by Ahmanet. After she is captured by a mysterious organization headed by Henry Jekyll, Nick is filled in on the history of the monster hunting organization and the plans for Nick.
The film largely is about Nick trying to escape from his unwanted destiny. There is an ill-fitted romance between Nick and Jenny. The design sense of the film is kind of pedestrian, except for the mummy herself. The look seems to be inspired by the Enchantress from last year’s Suicide Squad.
Clearly, a lot went into the mythology of this mummy, but the film itself seems unsure of its identity. Are they trying to be scary? It just is never chilling. Is it an adventure? It is certainly a dour one if it really is one at all. This film lacks both the dark bite of earlier films and the gleeful fun of the 1999 predecessor.