So unless you’ve been buried in a tomb for over 500 years ( see what i did there) you would likely have heard of the new take on The Mummy coming out in cinemas in a few short days. Now there’s been no small amount of reluctance from some of my generation and quite a lot of the previous generation towards this film and personally I find that slightly unfair. Yes we’ve had two notable classic Mummy films released that have quite the fan base, Brendan Frasier’s Rick O’Connell in the 1999 remake and of course Boris Karloff as the Mummy in the 1932 classic, both which are great examples of how to make a Mummy movie, no doubt.
The point I put across is simple, the reason that filmmakers come up with new takes on the mythology is because of their love for what came before and because they want to give today’s audience a Mummy of their own to fear and I think that is intriguing, not least because of the fact that they want a connected monster movie universe for the modern age much like the classic monster-verse. The idea itself of bringing those iconic monsters up to date is exciting because we’ve never seen them interact with the modern world in live action, it’s arguably a different, darker more cynical world we live in than it was in the 1930s but much like the 1930s we still crave escapism due to some horrible things going on in the world at this moment. So here are my reasons for wanting this to succeed:
It’s no secret that the 1999 Mummy is more tilted towards action adventure than the horror genre than it’s predecessor. That tone really works for it and makes it a fun swashbuckling adventure full of laughs, scares and scrapes with devilish villains it’s just a very fun adventure film in general. The idea however of bringing this new take of the Mummy back to the intensity and darkness of the original or perhaps even darker is very appealing. Particularly this is evident in the cinematography, the lighting, the locations and the performance of the Mummy. A shot in the latest trailer depicts Amhanet not yet fully formed almost writhing and crawling in rags across London’s cobbles toward Cruise’s Nick. The jump in age rating from the 1999’s 12 to this versions 15 rating over here could also allow for more horror elements and more scares which would be great.
“Welcome to Prodigium”
The most intriguing concept behind this film is the introduction of Russell Crowe’s Dr Henry Jekyll and his shadowy monster combating organisation. What exactly their methods or reasoning is for their work is something the movie will no doubt elaborate on but the idea of this underground organisation hunting down evil across this monster universe is exciting. There is a mystery element to what they are doing and why and there is also an interesting more unpredictable element in the film especially because, as any self respecting classic monster fan will tell you Doctor Jekyll has a very dark side of himself that he hides.
A female Mummy:
This is interesting because it has never been done before, i’ve seen lots of people dismiss this as some kind of diversity thing but I don’t think that’s the case at all. There’s something I think quite, scary, haunting and seductive in a female villain that you don’t quite get with a male one, especially with the Mummy you can already tell from Sofia Boutella’s performance in the trailer there’s a wicked glee to her version but also in her vulnerability you can tell there is pain behind her evil and that makes her an interesting character. A male Mummy I don’t find particularly scary as great as Imhotep was, but this sort of decayed, vicious, slick haired villainess that Boutella seems to be playing quite frankly looks terrifying.
Tom Cruise; Stuntman, Producer, Actor extraordinaire:
Okay this is going to be pretty divisive I reckon. Full disclosure I know Cruise has a very bizarre personal life but I don’t let that affect when I think of him as an actor or as a filmmaker. So to the reason then, Cruise is brilliant at staging incredible action and incredible stunt-work and by all accounts brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and drive to every film he’s in. Personally I admire his commitment and his energy, and you hear the same from the stars who work with him. Just hearing him talk about this project and how passionate he is about the classic monster movies you can tell he actually cares about this story. Looking at the plane stunt that they filmed on an actual plane in zero gravity to add to the realism further shows how creative his approach to producing and acting in a Mummy film is.
Brian Tyler’s Score:
Brian Tyler is a composer you’re unlikely to have heard of in great detail but he’s scored tons of recent films, most notably a few of the Marvel offerings, not all of them successes but the man has talent. Itunes recently posted some samples of his work on The Mummy and it sounds pretty incredible and dare I say like classic orchestration along the lines of the lovechild of Jerry Goldsmith, Alan Silvestri and Danny Elfman. His “Amhanet Suite” both utilizes the ancient Egyptian cadence some deeply unsettling higher notes and some hugely imposing choral power which all I think will add that further darker atmosphere to the film.
So those are my thoughts on why I’m excited to see the Mummy it comes out June 8th but I’ll be seeing it on the 9th so I guess we’ll know by the end of Friday whether it lives up to expectations, I do hope it succeeds though because the possibilities of this monster-verse are really exciting.