Remember 2014’s Dracula Untold? That Luke Evans starrer was originally supposed to be the first movie in Universal’s Dark Universe imprint till they did a ‘Green Lantern‘ and changed their minds.
Though based on reviews coming in for Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy reboot they might have been better served by going with their original plan.
Indiewire’s David Ehrlich calls The Mummy, “…the worse movie Tom Cruise has ever made–it stands out like a flat note on a grand piano.”
Robert Abele, writing for The Wrap says that “(The Mummy)…is an out-of-the-gate stumble that doesn’t even have the sense to sport its own so-bad-it’s-fun personality. It’s the same loud, excessive strain of blockbuster that’s cursing multiplexes, barely qualifying as horror, adventure, fantasy, thriller or even Tom Cruise vehicle.”
Which isn’t to imply that all reviewers disliked the new take on a classic horror character.
Jeff Grantz of Heroic Hollywood says that “Overall, I really enjoyed The Mummy. I think that this was an excellent start to the “Dark Universe…”
Mixed reviews are nothing new, though what’s problematic for The Mummy is that the negative review are extremely negative, while the positive ones appear filled with caveats; so expect The Mummy–despite the presence to A-list actors like Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe–to slowly sink beneath the desert sands.
This is a manifestation of the issue I discussed on Screenphiles, namely that Universal, with Dark Universal, is trying to make stories that are bigger, grander and more epic than they have any reason for being.