By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
After looking at the second The Mummy trailer multiple times in the past few weeks since its release, I still can not shake the feeling I have seen this story before. I’m not as excited as the first trailer has led me to believe.
While I plan to see how this reboot helmed by director Alex Kurtzman and written by Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie pans out, I am setting the bar low because of what I have seen in past and present products about bringing dead Egyptians back to life. King Tut must be rolling in his grave; A film about his haunted tomb sounds like a better idea than where the creators are going with this film. At the same time, I’m left wondering if all the studio producers wanted is to take the best from what Stephen Sommers created from his trilogy and make simple creative changes to make this reboot seem original. After reading the fourth issue of Hammer Comic’s The Mummy, I’m finding I’m liking their story better. At least cults and hungry devourers from the afterlife are involved than a secret agenda which Dr Jekyll (played by Russell Crowe) no doubt harbours.
Much like Rick O’Connell, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is a soldier fighting in a war, and after a building gets blown up, he stumbles across a tomb (actually, a prison) which he makes the mistake of disturbing. He may also have a past that connects him to the Mummy (Sofia Boutella). Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) is just as smart as Evie and has knowledge of Ancient Egypt’s lines of pharaonic successors. As revealed in the first trailer, birds come crashing upon the transport plane carrying the sarcophagus, and as for whether the corpse was awake to summon them, that’s a detail not revealed. Maybe someone has read from a book to awaken The Mummy and to cause the carrier to crash. Everyone should be dead, except for Morton, and Jenny provides all the back story that’s needed to get people interested in this film up to speed.
Before becoming an undead creature, Ahmanet was to be the next Queen of Egypt, but her thirst for power (to be like Hatshepsut perhaps) had the king’s guards take her away to embalm and mummify while still alive. If only her creation was different, but sadly, I know this tale already. Because she was denied a proper burial and should the tomb be found, the lich will awaken and have ungodly powers. This detail and a later shot is a direct rip-off from Sommers film, where the face of the undead priestess appears as the face of a desert storm. Who knows, but perhaps Dr Jekyll is part of a secret order of Medjai meant to prevent this tomb from being discovered! If this detail is exact, I’ll be rolling in the aisles with laughter.
Some folks may argue imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but if Universal is going to make a monster-verse to compete with all the crossover movie sagas going on, I wish the producers can come up with better ideas! Instead of basing this film on a previous product, why not take a page from The Ring and really make it a proper scary tale. The only good scene was when Morton, Jenny and Ahmanet are trapped in the sewer, and you want to cover your eyes!