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The Mummy 2017 movie, directed by Alex Kurtzman from a script by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman, has plenty to get irritated about.
I got sand in my synapses during an early scene of a looter Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his sidekick kill a bunch of “Iraqi insurgents” while they are trying to track down a mysterious treasure. Filmaker, by all means, use a tragic and unnecessary war yielding horrific consequences for the world as backdrop for their stupid horror movie plot machinations. What’s a shame.
And of course, there’s the very old-school sexism in the movie. The Mummy has two female characters: one is a corrupted princes of ancient Egyptian Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) who’s freed from her tomb in the present day and become incarnation of all evils, the other is faux-archeologist/genuine anti-evil secret agent Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) whose main role is to be rescued by Nick.
I have to be honest that I found something almost admirable about The Mummy film’s cheek. It’s amazingly relentless in its naked borrowing from better horror and sci-fi movies that I was able to keep occupied making a checklist of the movies referenced.
Its opening is taken from Five Million Miles to Earth with a scene of remnants of a past civilization discovered while workmen are tunneling underground for a new subway route. As we have noted, it’s American Werewolf in London time when a wisecracking undead sidekick warning Nick about how he’s going to be cursed by incarnation-of-evil Ahmanet.
What else? From the wacky space-vampire movie of Lifeforce, we the kind of scene that a woman drains the life force out of others by kissing them. The, we have a brain-draining insect in the ear from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. Also, there is an underwater fights with the undead is taken from Zombie or maybe from Plans with the precise intonation Sir Ralph Richardson used in Tales from the Crypt. There are more but I can’t keep listing down anymore, but that’s life, and that movie literally is truly universal property.
There have been a lot of crocodile tears already shed about the fact that Tom Cruise has allowed himself to be used in such dreck in The Mummy 2017, and also that Russell Crowe has been compelled to continue to sink into a form of self-parody by appearing as the head of Jenny’s anti-evil agency, a character named Dr. Henry Jekyll. As it happens, Dr. Jekyll was never one of the Universal Studios monsters, but the character is in the public domain, so I guess the corporate overlords of the Dark Universe figured “what-you-know-what”.