The Mummy: A Tom Cruise Film?

The much anticipated GOT Season 7 is finally here, with the most revered series kicking off on Monday of this week. I hear some of y’all have been saving up their download data since the beginning of the year, so as not to miss any of the action. Good for you! I think moi is going to wait until after the series finale before watching. I can literally hear some people scream “Seriously?” Lol! Just kidding. We’re definitely going to have a talk about the episode’s premiere on next week’s Just Gist Tuesday. Please feel free to send in your take before then.

Moving on to today’s business. I heard a rumour that Tom Cruise tanked the reboot of a favourite series of mine The Mummy franchise. The reboot titled “The Mummy” is the first instalment in the Dark Universe film series (a series of films reviving the studio’s long-running Universal Monsters films). The film was directed by Alex Kurtzman , written by David KoeppChristopher McQuarrie, and  Dylan Kussman, with a story by Kurtzman, Jon Spaihts, and Jenny Lumet. It also stars Annabelle WallisSofia BoutellaJake JohnsonCourtney B. Vance, and Russell Crowe.

In “The Mummy” remake, Cruise plays a soldier turned antiquities theft, who mistakenly awakens an ancient force in form of an Egyptian princess. The film premiered at the State Theatre in SydneyAustralia on May 22, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 9, 2017, but was labelled a box office disappointment with a worldwide total of $390.1 million, against a combined production and advertising budget of around $345 million.

This saddens me greatly because I was really looking forward to the reboot, being a diehard Mummy film fan. I loved the installment with Brendan Frasier and Rachel Weisz (the word play and cast chemistry was on spot). I remember watching their The Mummy series over and over again. But somehow, I’m not surprised at the turn of events with Cruise, because I had my reservations from the start when I heard that he had been picked as the lead.

Not that I don’t consider him a great actor. I mean he’s done some great films like Jerry McGuire, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, The Last Samurai  and the Mission: Impossible film series. Apart from his fanatic membership with the Church of Scientology, my grouse with Cruise started with him “hopping on a couch” at Oprah Winfrey Show, all giddy with true love for some girl, breaking my beloved Nicole Kidman’s heart in the process. I pretty much considered him selfish and immature after that. Traits that show in his movies and of which critics have accused him of using to sink this Mummy reboot.

Reports have it that Cruise had a clause i in his contract that gave him final approval over the screenplay. This he used to write some of his musings into the film (Strange. I didn’t know he was also a screenwriter.)  A wrong move on his part it would seem with critics describing the final work as “a convoluted, incomprehensible mess with dialogue that appears written in hieroglyphics.” Whoa! Lol!

Owen Gleiberman of Variety was more vocal in blaming Cruise for the whole mess with his review which went thus “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. … The trouble is that Cruise, at least in a high-powered potboiler like this one, is so devoted to maintaining his image as a clear and wholesome hero that his flirtation with the dark side is almost entirely theoretical.

Harsh words but Jollyhood has to agree; The Mummy seemed like another Mission Impossible or Jack Reacher film but with Cruise as Nick Morton running away from danger as opposed to him running towards it as Hunt or Reacher. Just another Tom Cruise film.

But there were periodic spurts of humour and moments when it seemed like the film would overcome a confused plot and finally make sense. Scratch out Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and Hyde part from those moments. Whatever did the producers hope to achieve by including that in the script? (Super lost look). Only Boutella shone like a much needed light in the dark of the film. A pity though, that the sadly lacking plot overshadowed her convincing performance as a demented, possessed Egyptian princess.

Dan Jolin of Empire film magazine had a positive review though, awarding the film three stars. He wrote “It’s running and jumping grin-flashing business as usual for Cruise, once more on safe character territory as an Ethan Hunt-esque action protagonist who couples up with a much younger woman, while another woman chases after him. And if the next installment-teasing conclusion is anything to go by, Cruise seemed to have enough fun making this that he may just return for more.”

I wouldn’t be too sure about that. It might work if Cruise keeps his hands off the script this time. Something to seriously consider seeing how  well it worked this time. This is where I sign off today, guys. Get set GOT fans for our review next week. Happy weekend! Cheerios!


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