If this was a trailer for any other major summer blockbuster, maybe I'd be excited. The initial plane crash sequence is pretty stunning, and any movie that stars Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe is certainly worth a look. But I must admit- while I watched this trailer during Sunday Night Football, I repeatedly uttered "Oh no." This is not the kick-off that I wanted for the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe, and quite frankly, it's not the Mummy movie that I wanted either. I don't want my old-school monster movies to look like Mission: Impossible or the Avengers. Look, there are two ways to do a Mummy movie- you can do a campy adventure movie (like the Brendan Fraser series) or you can do a straight horror film. I was really hoping that Universal would go with the latter, doing more of a creepy riff on Alien set in Ancient Egypt. Instead, The Mummy just looks like every other blockbuster made in Hollywood these days. Going into this, I was pretty excited for the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe, most likely because I had a strange, possibly naive idea of what it would be. Now, I could truly care less. Sure, it'll be a serviceable action thriller, but do we really need more of those? I just don't feel like watching a Mummy movie where cities get destroyed and Tom Cruise runs around and helicopters shoot at stuff, with no recognition of the campy nature of the concept or the horror elements.
The Mummy will make money because of brand recognition and Tom Cruise, and maybe the Universal Monsters franchise will have success going forward because of this film. But if they truly want to match Marvel and do something interesting with this series, it's going to take more than this.
The Mummy opens on June 9, 2017.
Image courtesy of Universal