Sunday, April 2, 2017

Intense new trailer for Tom Cruise's 'The Mummy' mixes blockbuster action and classic horror

Out of all the upcoming summer blockbusters, my skepticism levels are probably the highest for Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy. Sure, I'm worried about films like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and even Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 to a certain extent, but The Mummy surprisingly has a lot riding on it. Universal is setting it up as the film that will kickstart the Classic Monsters Cinematic Universe, a way for the studio to unite characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Dr. Jekyll (who is being played by Russell Crowe). They tried this a few years ago with Dracula Untold, but despite decent foreign returns, we all know that it didn't turn out quite like Universal was expecting. They're hoping that a more familiar brand, a big movie star, and a prime summer release date will convince audiences to jump on board for a new series of films. But even with all of those appealing elements, the film also features an untested director, uneasy buzz (Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere indicated that test screenings haven't been going all that well), and an initial trailer that displayed a surprising lack of scares. The stakes are high, and today's trailer is incredibly important. Earlier this morning, Universal released a longer, more action-packed look at the film. Check it out below!

I guess I'm more excited now? I don't know, as a brainless action movie, The Mummy looks fine enough. As a start to a new world of Universal Monsters? Not so much. Kurtzman in the director's chair doesn't inspire much confidence, and neither does the weird tonal clash that is constantly on display in this trailer. The Mummy looks like a bizarre mix of swashbuckling, Indiana Jones-style adventure, macabre horror, and Mission: Impossible-like action, but the common thread is that none of it looks particularly fun. The technical aspects are proficient and strong, and yet I just don't know if I'll care about another movie where a monster tries to destroy the world. As we've learned from the DC Extended Universe, grim and dark isn't necessarily better. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you can never count Tom Cruise out, as he consistently manages to turn mediocre concepts into spectacular movies. And I'll be honest, the appearance of Jake Johnson is giving me some serious Jurassic World flashbacks. But at this pace, The Mummy is going to be one of the more forgettable movies of the summer. I'll hope for the best, but I'm going to be very skeptical up until the end.

The Mummy storms into theaters on June 9.

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

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