Connect with us

Movie News

Movie Review: ‘The Mummy’ Shuffles and Stumbles with Monsters and Adventure

Published

on

The Mummy 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

[dropcap]U[/dropcap]niversal makes it very clear in their new CGI opening that The Mummy is the first picture in the Dark Universe, a franchise that will showcase all their classic movie monsters for the 21st century. Their first entry is perhaps the trickiest. How do you sell a mummy as a terrifying monster? Even when overlooking the cartoonish mutations of a bandaged corpse limping with its arms outstretched, it still seems like a rather bland villain. But in a Tom Cruise action movie by Alex Kurtzman, the monster will have to be more physical when dealing with a hero that can sprint long distances and survive the most dangerous of stunts. Lurking in the shadows is so 1930s.

The Mummy 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis star in the new Mummy remake.

The titular monster this time is the female Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), a once beautiful woman of ancient Egypt that made a deal with the god Set to attain more power. She was well on her way with a few blood sacrifices, but was stopped at the most crucial moment by guards and buried alive in a sarcophagus. Present day, her tomb is discovered, her restrictions released and she’s back on track for that old ultimate power. She’s more dirty now and thin as a corpse, but a little soul sucking of men will give her enough power to get back on her feet and make her nimble once more.

The discovery of Ahmanet is made by Nick, a dashing rogue played by Tom Cruise about as well as Tom Cruise is in any action role. He’s a soldier that specializes in swiping treasures from ancient relics to sell on the black market. He could just be a thief, but then there wouldn’t be much of an explanation as to why he’d be in Iraq, risking his life for treasure amid gun-toting terrorists.

The Mummy 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The new mummy, played by Sofia Boutella.

Once he stumbles onto a tomb, he explores it with archeologist Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), a woman who has such a traditional love-hate relationship with our hero that she quickly greets him with a slap. Romantic chemistry afoot? Depends if you consider the constant talk about sexual inadequacy to be real character development.

It’s implied that Nick has a long history with Jenny, but Ahmanet instills a quick and artificial attraction towards him after he releases her from her tomb. In order to become more powerful and attain eternal life, I assume, she needs a cursed male to stab with a magical dagger. Nick happens to be that male and she goes straight on the offensive to make this him a part of her plan. There could be a strange love triangle going on here, but it never goes anywhere past a silly scene where a shirtless Nick being straddled by Ahmanet has to explain to Jenny this isn’t what it looks like. Is it really that embarrassing that a mummy is trying to stab you in the chest with a magical dagger? Surely he’s been caught doing far worse.

The Mummy 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

That’s definitely not normal.

Scenes like that are supposed to be funny, but come off as uneven quips in between the movie’s horror elements, never finding a proper balance of scares and adventure. Nick has a traveling companion that is the first victim of the mummy and continues to haunt Nick, but he pops up more for artificial humor, commenting that a chase is intense and that Nick has stumbled into a female restroom. The mummy should be scary, which she can be in moments where gunfire does nothing and her skills in martial arts are solid, but most of her abilities seem too easy to overcome. She gains power by sucking the souls out of men through their mouths. After the 10th death by kiss, wouldn’t it make sense to cover your mouth with something?

Every body she rips a soul from turns into an undead zombie, but the most brittle of zombies that can easily be turned to dust with a mere shove. And, yet, they’re still able to kill everyone besides Cruise who dispatches them with ease. At least her army makes for easy clean up, as in a scene where they voluntarily turn to dust to leave Ahmanet. I’m surprised a vacuum cleaner never came in handy for these scenes.

Read more for the rest of the movie review of The Mummy:

PreviousNext
View Next


Movie News

Review: “Skyscraper” Lumbers With Thrills Pulsating and Passive

Published

on

Dwayne Johnson can work wonders on a lackluster script, but there’s only so much he can do in a Die Hard retread. There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking from such an iconic source and weave something thrilling out of that foundation. But when that irresistible Johnson charm can’t break through the towering theatrics, all we’re left with is a spectacle that is more big and loud than bright and exhilarating, never fully embracing the silliness of scaling a ludicrously built tower.

Johnson plays Will Sawyer with a unique backstory but little personality. He was once an FBI agent that lost his leg in a hideous hostage situation. Now he has taken a safer job as a safety inspector for China’s most massive towers due to open upper residential floors, bringing along his family for a working vacation. Johnson’s brighter smile and warm presence don’t come through as well this time, due in part to his character having a darker past and a tougher time getting around with an artificial leg. Fair enough, but when the tower is set aflame by gun-toting terrorists, I really wished that giddier Dwayne could come out and play, past some pleasing pulsations of his muscles jumping great distances and fighting the bad guys.

The setup to the grand showpiece of Dwayne clinging to windows and narrowly escaping explosions is fairly pedestrian, casually concocting all the elements and never harping on them too long, lest we be drowned in cliches. Chin Han plays the wealthy builder of the structure, concealing a secret and a MacGuffin that the villain want so badly they’ll cause a public scene to get it. The lead terrorist is played by Roland Møller with a sinister look and a Scandinavian accent, so blandly conceived it’s no wonder he works for someone higher up. Even more bland is his female cohort (Hannah Quinlivan), kicked to the curb of the tower excitement with her tight black outfit and sexy looking hair dangling off the side of her face. There’s also a cowardly English investor (Noah Taylor) and a long-time pal of Will played by Pablo Schreiber to fill out the twist fodder.

This is a film that really does require your brain to be shut off given how much lost potential and generic action-movie-isms crowd the screen. The first act is the biggest slog, holding the hand of the audience for everything that will follow. Will stresses to his wife that the easiest way to fix a smartphone is to turn it off and on again. I fully expected this to play a role in the climax but hoped Neve Campbell wouldn’t literally say those words. Chris Han shows off his holographic room that is little more than a hall of mirrors; seems like a good place for a disorienting shootout. As Hannah Quinlivan watches a hired hacker sabotage the tower’s fire suppression systems, the hacker states boastfully that only he can shut it down from that point forward. Take a wild guess what Quinlivan will do next when she hears this information.

Okay, but that’s all the plotty stuff and, let’s be honest, nobody is watching this picture for a stirring thriller about criminal bank accounts and tracking software. They want to Dwayne do stunts, and he delivers plenty, from jumping off a crane to swinging like Tarzan to escape a blaze. That’s all well and good, but we know Johnson is capable of these impressive theatrics, including some brutal fights that lead to much smashing. We also know he can be charming and has a great personality. So why is he strangely silent during these sequences? He seems to only talk when he has some forgettable one-liner to sling, making commentary on fixability with duct tape and telling himself he’s crazy for crawling along windows. This role feels as though it would be better suited for a beefy actor with more muscle than speech; not someone who can exude enthusiasm with more than enough wit to match his strength.

Neve Campbell surprisingly gets to do quite a bit more than cowering in corners with the kids. She takes charge in scenes where’s she’ll stab terrorists, smack them with car doors, and get in some good kicks and punches. While it’s fun watching Campbell take charge, I questioned where she learned all these stellar fighting skills for having previously been a surgeon. Perhaps Johnson inducted her in his action hero training program, coming standard with their marriage.

Skyscraper is sufficient as mindless summer entertainment but it does little more than that when I know it could do more. Johnson has the smarts to be a more charming hero than a mindless brute that can hoist himself across a building or literally hold up a crumbling bridge with little more than his buff arms. A massive tower with thousands of technological features could lead to an array of astonishing action sequences, but the most we see is a gripping dash through a burning wildlife enclosure. If there only a few more fun bits of dialogue, more outlandish stunts, and a braver embrace of the dumb, this big blockbuster could have been more audacious than obligatory.


Continue Reading

Box Office

Incredibles 2 Blast Box Office Records of Animated Film

Published

on

It may have been 14 years since the first Incredibles movie, but its impression has remained. The appeal was strong enough to make its sequel not only the #1 movie of the weekend but one of the most profitable animated film on its debut. For its premiere weekend, Incredibles 2 ranked in an astounding $180 million. This makes it one of Pixar’s best openings, easily dwarfing the previous film’s opening take of $70 million. With a considerable lack of family films in the next few weeks, expect Incredibles 2 to linger for quite some time for boasting such a powerful opening.

The rest of the debut films were left in the dust. Tag, an ensemble comedy based on a never-ending game of tag, only made $14 million, coming in at #3. The modern remake of blaxploitation classic Superfly premiered to a low $6 million debut. And falling outside the top 10 at #12 is Gotti, the based on true events drama starring John Travolta that made headlines for ridiculously low critic scores.

The drops for the weekend were somewhat predictable, with the superhero epic Avengers: Infinity War descending the least with a 26% drop. It’s also sitting at a total domestic gross of $664 million, edging closer to toppling Black Panther’s immense numbers of $699 million. It’s going to come down to the last few days in theaters to see if Black Panther will finally reach $700 million, considering its home video release and quickly-descending theater count. And, unfortunately, Hotel Artemis is pretty much a dud, descending 70% to place it well out of the top 10.

View the full top 10 below:

Incredibles 2 ($180,000,000)
Ocean’s 8 ($19,555,000)
Tag ($14,600,000)
Solo: A Star Wars Story ($9,081,000)
Deadpool 2 ($8,800,000)
Hereditary ($7,026,000)
Superfly ($6,300,000)
Avengers: Infinity War ($5,296,000)
Adrift ($2,100,000)
Book Club ($1,850,000)

Next weekend will find superheroes battling dinosaurs as Incredibles 2 weathers the storm of the upcoming summer blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The sequel to Jurassic World, starring Chris Pratt and Jeff Goldblum, will be premiering in the same amount of theaters as Incredibles 2. And considering how insanely profitable Jurassic World ended up being, it’ll be interesting to see who takes the weekend and by how much.


Continue Reading

Movie News

Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is Lost in its World

Published

on

The tagline for Fallen Kingdom revises the previous film’s tagline of “the park is open” to “the park is gone.” Okay, now what? With the global public now fearful of dinosaurs after the massacre at the park, it’s a whole new world of possibilities. Some activists want to preserve dino life, tycoons who want to buy them for military purposes, and governments that shrug in confusion at what to do next. All these aspects give the movie plenty to do with its prehistoric showcase; so much that it forgets to put a little heart and brain in with its dinosaur romp.

There’s an even greater distance from the human characters this time, lost in their doubling plot arcs and love of dinosaurs. Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return from the last film but are now on a break in their relationship. Why they split up is briefly addressed, and their inevitable rekindling is even more rushed as they race towards the action. Clearly, Owen’s more defined relationship is with the raptor Blue, this time given even more background and tenderness. There’s rarely a moment of romantic tension between Pratt and Howard but place Pratt next to a wounded raptor, and you have some emotion fit for a blockbuster too tedious for tears.

In the battle between good dino doctors versus bad dino doctors, and eventually good dinos versus bad dinos, there are supporting characters that provide little support past quips and kills. There’s an intern duo of the meek screamer Franklin (Justice Smith) and the wise and snarky Doctor Zia (Daniella Pineda). They’re not quite young enough to fill that Amblin brand requirement, so there’s an English orphan of an aged, sage, and wealthy businessman (James Cromwell). There’s the cold Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) that is trying to build an empire off dinosaurs. You can probably guess his fate. And you certainly don’t need a crystal ball to see things are not going to work out for the violent poacher (Ted Levine) who can’t resist pulling the teeth out of captured dinosaurs.

If that seems like too many humans in a film about dinosaur action, worry not. Director J. A. Bayona crowds the screen with many species romping, stomping and chomping about. Too many that there’s a scene of prehistoric creatures crammed into a tight space, fighting for screen time. When they’re not caught in stampedes, there are a few impressive moments of adventure and terror. Easily my favorite sequence features the human heroes fleeing from a hungry dinosaur that corners them in a room flooding with lava, a shimmering wall of red and orange separating the two species. Another stellar shot is one where a newly bred hybrid dino slowly extends its claws to a girl cowering in her bed, horror movie style.

Part of what made the first Jurassic World so engaging was the simplicity of its adventure. A park full of dinosaurs goes awry, and there’s a mad dash for the exits, with some military involvement and cloning controversy peppered into the run. Fallen Kingdom has far too much going on that none it resonates enough to make Pratt’s tender touch during raptor surgery stick. There’s commentary on everything from government silence to environmentalism to war-hungry investors to cloning gone too far. But it’s all so rushed that several of these twists come crashing in at the last minute and struggle to strike with shock and excitement. The movie doesn’t have time to slow down for everything, leaving the secret villain of Doctor Wu (B.D. Wong) and the experienced Doctor Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the dust.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has its moments of thrills that resonate enough to be pleasing popcorn entertainment, as with Chris Pratt narrowly avoiding a volcanic flood and a rich snob that gets a deserving munch by two dinosaurs. Sadly, it’s all so muddled and forced into theatrics that even Pratt’s reliable charm can barely make a dent in a script too dense with set pieces and cliches. I remember I enjoyed Jurassic World for being a pleasing throwback to Jurassic Park, returning that same wonder I had as a child. Fallen Kingdom replicates the familiar disappointing sensation of Park’s sequel The Lost World. It’s a mistake that I’m sure Doctor Malcolm would criticize for the producers who were so preoccupied with making a blockbuster sequel to the profitable Jurassic World, asking if they could rather than if they should.


Continue Reading

Find Us On Facebook

More

Movie News6 days ago

Review: “Skyscraper” Lumbers With Thrills Pulsating and Passive

Dwayne Johnson can work wonders on a lackluster script, but there’s only so much he can do in a Die...

Box Office1 week ago

Incredibles 2 Blast Box Office Records of Animated Film

It may have been 14 years since the first Incredibles movie, but its impression has remained. The appeal was strong...

Movie News1 week ago

Review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is Lost in its World

The tagline for Fallen Kingdom revises the previous film’s tagline of “the park is open” to “the park is gone.”...

Box Office1 week ago

Jurassic World Roars Back Into The Box Office, Incredibles Weathers Storm

2015’s Jurassic World proved to be the most successful summer blockbuster of that year, and it’s no surprise that Universal...

Movie News1 week ago

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is a Sullen Sequel, Hope So Separately

The world of Sicario is a dark and depressing one, placing a grimace of realism on an unwinnable war on...

Box Office1 week ago

Ant-Man and the Wasp Towers Over Box Office, Purge Plunders

4th of July weekend brought with it two new movies that performed rather well over the holiday, despite not being...

Movie News1 week ago

Jurassic World Squashes Sicario and Uncle Drew, Incredibes Stays Strong

With no massive tentpole titles to stand its way, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues to dominate the box office without...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “Incredibles 2” is a Fantastic and Fresh Return to Form

Oh, how we waited so long for that sequel to Pixar’s The Incredibles, arguably their most exciting, inventive, and dynamic...

Box Office1 month ago

Ocean’s 8 Snatches Box Office Top Slot

Box Office Report June 8-10, 2018 Ocean’s 8, the all-female remake of the heist picture Ocean’s 8, made a strong...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: An All-Star Cast Makes “Hotel Artemis” Worth Checking In

We don’t know too much about the chaotic future of Los Angeles in Hotel Artemis. We know there is a...

Trending