"The Mummy" and "It Comes at Night" top this week's new releases

Friday, 23 Jun, 2017

That commitment is once again on display in The Mummy, an endlessly entertaining film that kicks off Universal Pictures' attempt to join the franchise business with a callback to their monster-movie roots. Javier Bardem is set to play Frankenstein's monster in Bride, Johnny Depp has signed on to play the Invisible Man, and The Mummy stars two of the biggest A-listers in the industry right now - Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe. A new musical theme for the "Dark Universe", composed by Danny Elfman, will debut in theaters ahead of "The Mummy". There were a number of problems with the movie, but the most glaring was a lack of identity. Or something else entirely? And like Disney's (DIS) Marvel films, the universe already has its own logo and theme, which will play before "The Mummy".

One bright spot is Jake Johnson, who plays Nick's zombified friend, except that it nearly feels like he's in a different movie, such is the comic relief he brings to this weirdly apocalyptic movie. Wallis does a fine job but I'm not really sure she and Cruise have all that much chemistry.

While the Brendan Fraser films were more campy and featured a lot of comedy, this film is a true monster movie. There, Jekyll (Russell Crowe) loses control and turns into Mr. Hyde.

Very long story short: awakened-evil-ancient-princess mummy (Sofia Boutella) wants to give human form to god of death; curses Cruise; wreaks havoc. An action-adventure shared cinematic universe sounds interesting, but this first entry is so tone-deaf that one wonders if audiences will even care about future films.

It's not a strong start to the Dark Universe franchise.

Universal's Dark Universe - a series of movies that features the studio's classic monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man - is not getting off the ground smoothly with its first title.

For a hard-core Tom cruise fan this movie was a tear jerker!

How do you think The Mummy will fare at the box office?

Kurtzman, who is best known for his credits as a screenwriter ("Transformers", "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", "Star Trek", "Star Trek: Into Darkness") and producer ("Now You See Me", TV shows "Scorpion" and "Hawaii Five-0"), said he doesn't read reviews. He forces his sidekick (Jake Johnson) into insanely unsafe situations (a firefight in Iraq laced with bickering-buddy comedy), beds a woman (Annabelle Wallis' ancient-Egypt expert Jenny Halsey) only to sneak off with her buried-treasure intel, and generally insists that he's conspicuously "masculine".

Don't tell Tom Cruise to slow down - the action movie star says making movies is better than taking a vacation.