By far the best part of the new Mummy film is, well, the Mummy. She is a female bad ass who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get it. What do you do when you father wants to hand your kingdom over to some male baby??? Obviously make a pact with the God of Death, become a living goddess and kill everyone who stands in the way of you and your empire — than’s what. Ahmanet (portrayed by Sofia Boutella) uses a heady mix of sexy innocence, feminine wiles and raw power in the film. Her character literally steals the life out of the many men she kills, along the way. She is a force to be reckoned with.
As a female horror fan, it’s downright delightful that the role was given to a woman. Far too often in horror films, the female is the virginal last girl or perhaps the slut killed after making out in the bushes and showing her boobs. Not Ahmanet. She literally kills her entire family in her quest for power… and if that isn’t dark, I don’t know what is. For comparison, even Jason from the Friday the 13th franchise loves his mother. Seeing women playing evil characters is just as important as seeing them play the hero, such as in this summer’s mega hit, Wonder Woman.
As for the rest of the film, it was rather ho-hum for horror action. Despite what the trailers show, it wasn’t that big on visual effects. The writing was rather dry and boring during the first half of the film. I’m still a tad fuzzy on why Ahmanet chooses Nick (Tom Cruise). That is never made super clear. Jake Johnson, who plays Nick’s sidekick/comic relief, is funny at times, but he isn’t given that much to work with. In all fairness, I would have rather seen him play the lead character than an aging Tom Cruise.
Once Russell Crowe’s character pops on screen, though, the movie really picks up. I enjoyed the addition of his character and I do look forward to seeing Crowe in subsequent Universal monster films. The way his character is incorporated into the new Dark Universe was actually the best written part of the film. Annabelle Wallis plays Cruise’s love interest and she is really no more than a plot device. Her character was so dry and boring, I really didn’t care if she lived or died. I think the problem with this film lies in the fact that is it not seriously scary, nor is it seriously fun. It is stuck somewhere in the middle, leaving audiences just wanting… more. I realize that horror isn’t a genre that everyone loves, but if you are going to make a horror movie, then you should probably just go ahead and make a horror movie.
I really did enjoy the film, despite the problems. Lucky for Universal, Sofia Boutella really caries the movie. I think it’s very appropriate that currently there are two very feminist characters out in theaters… one who took a heroic path and one who took a darker one. If horror films and the new Dark Universe is something you are into, then by all means, this is a film you should see. I give The Mummy three out of five stars.
The Mummy is currently playing in theaters. Please check local listings.