by Lash

This reboot of The Mummy is a stark contrast to the familiar Brendan Fraser trilogy. Released 85 years after the original Mummy, and as part of the “Dark Universe” to stand against the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Justice League from DC, this Tom Cruise Mummy is a whole new beast.

With the magnificent Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet, an ambitious ancient princess turned vicious mummy thirsty for vengeance and power, this updated Mummy takes us on a wild ride from the sweeping sand dunes of the Middle East to the vast network of underground tunnels in present-day London.  

Cruise plays Nick Morton, an army sergeant tasked to do Long Range Reconnaissance for the U.S. Army in Iraq. By chance, he and his partner discover an ancient tomb that holds the mummified body of Princess Ahmanet, and calls on the expertise of Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), an archaeologist, to investigate the tomb. While transporting Ahmanet’s coffin to London, all hell breaks loose on the plane, resulting in a hide-and-seek game between Ahmanet and Morton. It turns out that Ahmanet has her heart set on Morton to be the vessel to resurrect Set, the God of violence and destruction, so that the duo can rule the world. To spice things up, we are introduced to Russell Crowe’s Henry Jekyll (of Jekyll and Hyde), the leader of a secret society who, along with his team that includes Halsey, hunt down supernatural threats. What ensues is a feast of special effects that shows Princes Ahmanet leaving behind a path of destruction as she hunts down Morton in order to claim the world.

"Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters," the film’s tagline, signifies a new age of the familiar monsters we’re used to. With Dr Jekyll appearing in The Mummy, it’s interesting to see how the other Dark Universe monsters interact with one another. It was also rumoured that The Mummy and Van Helsing will have a shared universe, which might make things very interesting in the future.

Before Crowe was cast as Dr Jekyll, Javier Bardem, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy were all considered for the role. As the good vs evil character, Crowe has enough depth and range in his acting to flesh out the characteristics of Jekyll and Hyde brilliantly, with almost a feral quality to his Hyde, even with limited screen time.

As with any other Cruise film, stunts are a pretty big deal, and this is the same with The Mummy. One of the most challenging scenes is the zero-gravity scene in the plane, dubbed the “vomit-comet”. It took the crew and cast 64 takes over a two-day period in an actual falling plane, with most of them vomiting after filming, except for Cruise and Wallis, who were surprisingly unaffected. Speaking of which, if you find Wallis an unfamiliar face, that’s because she is. A British actress known more for TV work such as The Tudors, the short-lived Pam Am series and Peaky Blinders, Wallis’ biggest movie before The Mummy was the horror movie Annabelle. A huge fan of Peaky Blinders, Cruise personally requested for her to audition for The Mummy.

Boutella’s Ahmanet is a menacing, unsettling modern day Mummy that sends chills down your spine. To achieve her raggedy, exotic, updated Mummy look, the makeup artists sought inspiration from studying mummies in museums, and dig into her backstory in the script. Boutella had to spend around three and a half hours daily in the makeup chair to transform into the iconic horror character. Unlike the Mummy in the previous trilogy, Boutella’s version is a welcoming one. As she regains her form from skull and bones by feeding on humans, she evolves into this stunning but intimidating force to be reckoned with.

Overall, as the first movie to enter the Dark Universe, this Cruise-led vehicle is a simmering entry, not quite boiling, but just bubbling enough to hint that there’s more to come.

Watch 《The Mummy》 from now till 15th October 2017 for a chance to win exclusive movie premium pack.