Some Mummies are hard to read, and not all of them experience an easy transition to their afterlife. According to Ancient Egyptian beliefs, their souls first need to get judged and those whose heart is pure get to live on in the Field of Reeds (or the Duat). But for archaeologists looking for evidence of what kind of life they once led, the body they leave behind doesn’t always show if they’re resting in peace.
Here, Thut (Joe Thomas) lost his confidence after a racing mishap and Princess Nefer (Eleanor Tomlinson) isn’t content with her life. She’s almost like Cleopatra (in Space) because she’s fiercely independent and this version didn’t take her life. We meet her as royalty in the undead kingdom, and what’s amusing about how the two are birds of the feather.
Regarding the former, he may be this universe’s version of King Tut. Once upon a time, scholars believed he died in a chariot accident and this film didn’t make it clear if Thut’s accident led to his death. All that historical reverence doesn’t matter and I was disappointed. I was hoping Mummies would bring that joy of discovery that I had when I was young, learning about this world for the first time.
One detail not expounded upon is in the fact the Egyptian soul is composed of five parts and each aspect allows that person to traverse worlds and interact with the living. Sadly, the lack of not fully incorporating religious beliefs makes for an inaccurate film about a world long gone. I’ve used everything I learned in my study of this world and Christian Jacq’s Ramses book series as references regarding what life might be like.
What’s presented is more of a love story than a look at life hereafter. Here, Princess Nefer is required to marry and she doesn’t like Thut. Pharaoh (Sean Bean) is doing everything to ensure that happens, including entrusting a scared ring to the husband-to-be. This macguffin helps the tale move forward, and when it’s stolen by Lord Carnaby (Hugh Bonneville) that’s when the fun begins! This villain isn’t based on the real life Lord Carnarvon, but I certainly recognised the curious homage. In contrast to the historical Earl, this version threatens to reveal the underworld!
Meanwhile, the two walking dead have to figure out what matters more. To save their world or find happiness. In what we see is a fairly standard fish out of water story where they discover that they need each other in order to survive the mortal world. It’s an okay concept while they search for the ring, but I had to wonder why even call this film Mummies at all?
Sadly, there’s very little exposition to say why the Duat continues to exist to modern day. While Thut and Nefer visit the living realm, all they can find is that although the public still loves antiquity, what’s presented is very stereotyped. Director Juan Jesús García Galocha (Tad the Explorer) could have done more to cull a new love, and perhaps get more young viewers to take up study in history.
As a result, the film presents outdated humour to an otherwise average story of soon-to-be-lovers. I didn’t mind the younger brother who tries to get the two adults together, or the cute baby crocodile to add to the comic relief, but to overstuff this movie with the usual jokes is not what I wanted. I’m sure audiences are tired of “Walk Like an Egyptian.”
Despite this film’s flaws, maybe in the future we’ll see a genuine love letter without the stereotypes.
3 Stars out of 5