Tom Cruise has been an action hero for decades, but as of late, his star power has taken a dive. To be clear, the A-lister is no slouch, still drawing in huge audiences both internationally and in North America, but there’s no contesting that Cruise has lost some of his lustre.
The Mummy, Cruise’s latest venture, stars the age-defying actor as Nick Morton, a man who plunders ancient sites for mystical artifacts and sells them to rich, interested parties. An incident takes place in the Middle East somewhere, and long-dead Egyptian princess Ahmanet is accidentally unearthed, unleashing chaos on London. Of course, only one man can stop her: Cruise.
Oh, and the archaeologist love interest, Jenny (Annabelle Wallis, 22 years younger than Cruise) — she’s there too.
So far, The Mummy‘s reviews have been abysmal; it ranks a very poor 18 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes and critics have been panning the movie as nonsensical and pointless. Here’s what some top outlets have to say about Cruise’s Mummy.
From the New York Times:
“When a caper goes wrong, [the characters] call in an airstrike on an Iraqi village — I guess that’s something people are doing for kicks nowadays — and a mysterious tomb is unearthed. Luckily, an archaeologist, Dr. Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), is on hand to explain what it’s all about and also to affirm Nick’s heterosexuality.
The Mummy gestures — or flails — in a number of directions but settles into the dreary 21st-century action-blockbuster template. There’s chasing and fighting, punctuated by bouts of breathless explaining and a few one-liners that an archaeologist of the future might tentatively decode as jokes.”
“[It] turns out to be a lot less fun than the stupid zappy Mummy movies of the ’00s. It’s not as if this one is all that smart, what with a plot that somehow squashes together the First Dynasty of Egypt, the Crusades, and the looting of Iraqi antiquities … The problem at its heart is that the reality of what the movie is — a Tom Cruise vehicle — is at war with the material. The actor, at 54, is still playing that old Cruise trope, the selfish cocky semi-scoundrel who has to grow up.”
From The Hollywood Reporter:
“Weirdly out of place here, Cruise brings little daring and less charm to the film, though to be fair to the actor, his character’s a stiff … what made it to the screen is a watered-down version of ‘irresistible rogue’ with all the irresistibility trimmed away.”
“The Mummy, directed (if that’s what you want to call it; I honestly think the better term here is ‘ostensibly overseen on behalf of the studio executives’) by Alex Kurtzman has plenty to get irritated about. I got sand in my synapses during an early scene in which Tom Cruise, as a looter named Nick Morton (oh, ‘Mort,’ I get it now), and his sidekick, played by Jake Johnson, casually slaughter a bunch of ‘Iraqi insurgents’ trying to track down a mysterious treasure. Oh, sure, filmmakers, by all means use a tragic and unnecessary war that’s still yielding horrific consequences for the world as the backdrop for your stupid horror movie plot machinations, no problem here.
And, of course, there’s the movie’s very old-school sexism. The Mummy has two female characters: One is corrupt albeit not unattractive ancient Egyptian royal Ahmanet, who, once freed from her tomb in the present day, is the incarnation of all evil and stuff. The other is faux-archeologist/genuine anti-evil secret agent Jenny, who’s mainly around to be rescued by Nick, and whose surface venality suggests that his business card describes him as a ‘lovable rogue.'”
From Slash Film:
“Cruise, for all his action prowess, stumbles hard when it comes to portraying Nick’s roguish nature with women, from an early joke about his stamina in bed to a late invocation of the old standby ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ Watching him fight off a CGI mummy is believable enough; flirtatious banter is something else. Though the way the script handles its female characters is equally rough, especially coming on the heels of the delightful Wonder Woman. It doesn’t help that Wallis is saddled with dialogue like ‘You know how I work with a group of archaeologists, right?'”
‘The Mummy’ is now playing in theatres across Canada.