The first reviews for Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy are in, and it’s not looking good for the Tom Cruise-starrer.
The film, which is a reboot of the Brendan Fraser-starring Mummy films and the 1932 Karl Freund-directed one before that, stars Cruise as Nick Morton, an Army sergeant and secret antiquities looter who accidentally stumbles upon and awakens a mummy. This version of the titular villain is Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who brings with her millennia-old malevolence and modern-day destruction.
The pic — the first in a planned Universal monster film series dubbed the Dark Universe — currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 28 percent, compared with Cruise’s last two films Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, which have scores of 37 percent and 93 percent, respectively.
According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s John DeFore, the entry as a whole is a lackluster start to the Dark Universe. “It’s hard to muster anything like desire for another Dark Universe flick after seeing this limp, thrill-free debut,” he writes.
DeFore, who calls Cruise “weirdly out of place here,” also takes issue with one of the film’s other central components — its action. Explaining that it’s not surprising that this Mummy has more in common with the Brendan Fraser version, he writes, “What is surprising is that this film’s action makes one slightly nostalgic for the 1999 incarnation, or at least prompts one to ask if it wasn’t maybe more fun than we gave it credit for.”
He explains: “It’s not that it’s bad, it’s that it never could have been good. It’s an irredeemable disaster from start to finish, an adventure that entertains only via glimpses of the adventure it should have been.”
However, it’s not all bad news for the mummy flick. In a three-out-of-four-star review, USA Today‘s Brian Truitt disagrees with Ehrlich and DeFore’s qualms about Cruise, saying, “He wears the mantle well as a sexually self-obsessed, greedy jerk.”
Ultimately, Truitt finds that the film “is a tomb full of action-packed guilty pleasure that owns its horror, humor and rampant silliness equally.”
Entertainment Weekly‘s Chris Nashawaty also enjoyed Cruise’s and Boutella’s performances, but felt the storyline was a little bloated, saying, “It all feels a little derivative and unnecessary and like it was written by committee (which a quick scan of its lengthy script credits confirms).”
However, calling Cruise “the film’s secret weapon,” Nashawaty says the star sells the film’s sillier moments. He concludes: “I’m not sure that this aimless, lukewarm, but occasionally rollicking take on The Mummy is how the studio dreamed that its Dark Universe would kick off. But it’s just good enough to keep you curious about what comes next.”
The Mummy opens in theaters Friday.