With only a matter of days to go before Universal’s The Mummy is released, early reviews are looking scary indeed for the Tom Cruise led horror/action title. As the first film in Universal’s Dark Universe, much is riding on whether or not the film can not only successfully reboot the classic Mummy tale, but also generate sufficient interest in Universal’s upcoming slate of monster films like The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Invisible Man, among others.
Unfortunately for Universal, it appears that the more reviews that come in, the worse off the film’s future looks. Despite Tom Cruise’s commercial appeal and some tremendous stunts – including one action sequence shot entirely in zero gravity – critics do not appear to be feeling the intended summer blockbuster. Troubling news, to say the least, for a cinematic universe that is attempting to get things going with the kind of box office bang that only Tom Cruise can offer.
As of this writing, The Mummy sits at a paltry 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and with not much time at all before the film is released worldwide, the reviews continue to pour in. You can read Screen Rant’s review of the film here and below we’ve compiled a selection of early SPOILER FREE reviews for the film.
Entertainment Weekly – Christ Nashawaty
Cruise turns out to be the film’s secret weapon. He may not be totally comfortable selling some of the film’s jokier moments, but at 54, he’s a seasoned pro at selling narrative silliness with a straight face, a clenched jaw, and a superhuman sense of commitment. 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. B–
THR – John DeFore
So much of the action takes place in monotonous half-light; so little of it displays even the ambition to show audiences something new — unless we count the Mummy’s eyes, which have two irises each, for no apparent reason other than somebody thought that would look cool on a movie poster.
Variety – Owen Gleiberman
As Universal’s new “Dark Universe” (of which “The Mummy” is the first installment) unfolds, I wouldn’t hold my breath over which side is going to win, or how many more films it will take to play that out. It’s not just that there isn’t enough at stake (though there isn’t). It’s that the movie doesn’t seem to know how little at stake there is.
ScreenCrush – Matt Singer
At least The Mummy gave us the great scene with the plane, where the characters bang around in zero gravity in a long take captured in real-time on a real diving plane. As Cruise flopped in circles around the cargo hold, it occurred to me that this is his version of Fred Astaire dancing around the room in Royal Wedding, defying gravity in this ecstatic, magical moment of pure cinema. But even Tom Cruise cannot outrun this movie’s problems.
The Wrap – Robert Abele
If Dark Universe is going to conjure a new, interconnected world of evil, it’s going to have to lose the feeling that we’re being sold something, and invent new forms of weird and woolly. In the meantime, this “Mummy” is rags that produce no riches.
Empire – Dan Jolin
An odd but frothily entertaining genre cocktail, which coasts on the charisma of its two biggest names and keeps things just fun enough to forgive its considerable lapses in narrative.
Bearing these reviews in mind, it’s always difficult to get an exact feel for a film from critics alone. Pirates of the Caribbean 5, for example currently sits at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes but is still managing decent numbers at the box office. And while The Mummy may not be everyone’s idea of the perfect start to the Dark Universe, that in no way means there aren’t still fascinating things on their way from the other monster movie titles Universal has lined up. It’s also worth remembering that the film has already set an opening day record for its release in South Korea, hinting at a strong foreign box office performance.
Of course there’s always the fear that if Tom Cruise – arguably one of the greatest action film stars of all time can’t make The Mummy soar, then it’s hard to imagine any future Dark Universe films pulling it off. However, one can bet that Universal is taking the time to learn from this release, meaning future Dark Universe films will continue to build on the successes (and failures) of their predecessors.
Source: Various (see links)
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