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The Mummy (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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The Mummy - Movie Review

3 starsAs the undead do, Universal’s stable of legendary monsters rises from the cloak of darkness in the form of The Mummy, which is to be the first chapter in what the studio is calling the Dark Universe, its very own version of a cinematic franchise. Hey, Disney, Warner, and others have their own, so why not Universal?

In the upcoming series of crossover films, Johnny Depp is slated to appear as The Invisible Man, while Javier Bardem will become Frankenstein’s monster, with Angelina rumored to be the titular character in The Bride of Frankenstein which is set to follow up The Mummy with a 2019 release.

Though it is not known how quick Universal will be to pull the plug on the franchise should The Mummy completely unravel at the weekend box office – or if it will plow forward regardless, it should be known that the first out of the can makes for an exciting summer night at the movies with plenty of white-knuckle action, ghoulishly orchestrated scares, and some wildly imaginative set pieces we guarantee you’ve never seen before. Splurge on that bucket of soda and giant box of Goobers, but most importantly, enjoy your popcorn with The Mummy.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on about Tom Cruise, it’s that he never mails in a performance. Though his character in The Mummy feels somewhat underwritten, the actor dives in with that signature Cruise charm and unrelenting gusto. He is soldier of fortune/tomb raider Nick Morton, who along with partner-in-crime Chris Vail (Joshua Johnson), accidentally unleashes the cursed Queen Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) from her burial chamber beneath the sands of ancient Mesopotamia (now modern day-Iraq).

We learn that Ahmanet was once first in line to the throne of Egypt, but became angered after her father took another wife and bore a son who supersedes Ahmanet’s ascension to head of the Egyptian empire. Banished to the tomb for centuries, Ahmanet’s curse is unleashed upon the modern world when Nick and Chris, along with renowned Egyptologist Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), unearth the dark queen’s sarcophagus and take it to England for study. It’s in modern day London that the immortal Queen Ahmanet’s body is freed to unleash an unholy hell upon the city.

The first thing of note about The Mummy is that despite his top-billing, Cruise isn’t actually the main character, nor do we really get to know that much about him. The story is centered on its primary female characters. As the recently released Queen, Boutella is very good in the role. Though her character mostly serves as a narrative device and never really gets to become her own thing, Boutella slips seamlessly into character and unleashes her own special kind of wrath upon her unknowing victims. From her disturbing herky-jerky movements as she first emerges from her thousand-year slumber, to her “undead kiss,” she’s both sexy and downright frightening as hell at the same time. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that we feel a certain amount of sympathy to her plight. We both love and fear her at the same time. Unfortunately, Wallis is mostly one note and hardly ever emotes, but occasionally hits on flourishes of chemistry with Cruise.

The Mummy really begins to gain momentum as it approaches its third act. We learn of The Prodigium, a secret monster-studying organization that is the home of Dr. Henry Jekyll (an excellent Russell Crowe) and which will serve as the nerve center and connective tissue for all future installments. There’s also a captivating underwater sequence that features a gaggle of swimming corpses, that will have you struggling to hold your breath as it plays out.

The Mummy’s script, from writers David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie, does an excellent job of injecting the story with plenty of nightmarish scares and tons of self-aware enjoyment. And it’s pretty darn funny too. Admittedly, it could use a bit more heart and soul, and a higher level science fiction relevance. But as it is, it’s clear that Koepp and McQuarrie know what they have here and manage to embalm their ghoulish story in the putrid brew of classic Universal horror, while keeping it fresh with one severed foot in the modern age. Thankfully, The Mummy never takes itself too seriously, and neither should you.

Beware you mere mortals, The Dark Universe is underway. And for my money, I couldn’t ask for a better way to unearth the cinematic souls of yesteryear.

The Mummy - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Alex Kurtzman
Writer:
David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie
Cast:
Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters
Memorable Movie Quote: "This isn’t a tomb, it’s a prison."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Studios
Official Site: http://www.themummy.com/
Release Date:
June 9, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Thought safely entombed deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (SOFIA BOUTELLA of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

The Mummy - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray - September 12, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH; French, Spanish
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Spanish: DTS 5.1; French (Canada): DTS 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy; BD-Live
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The Dark Universe is in good hands with the brilliant blues and blacks of The Mummy’s Blu-ray debut. With a fine texture and responsive details, Universal’s 1080p transfer is gloriously ripe with a realistic image that can only be provided by FILM. That’s right, The Mummy was shot on film and not digital and this means that we get more texture to the many wild events of the film as we travel from the Middle East to London and then to the underground itself. Everything is crisp and colorful and the throwback to film makes this release one of the best viewings of the year. The impactful Dolby Atmos soundtrack is a great addition to the crisp and detailed image Universal provides. Ears will be ringing and houses will be filled with haunted noises!

Supplements:

Commentary:

Director/Producer Alex Kurtzman might have lost control of the movie and its many, many grand directions as it sets out to establish the new Dark Universe but he’s in firm control of the proceedings here. Cast Members Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, and Jake Johnson join him as they discuss the movie.

Special Features:

With this release we get over an hour of interesting supplemental features to dig into. From four deleted scenes (quickies, really) to an almost half hour conversation about the movie from Cruise and Kurtzman, this release is loaded with information for fans of the movie. This is followed by looks at the characters. We get detailed looks at the locations used and the many, many stunts of this wild adventure. A digital and DVD copy is also provided.

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (5 min)
  • Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation (22 min)
  • Rooted in Reality (7 min)
  • Life In Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash (8 min)
  • Meet Ahmanet (8 min)
  • Cruise in Action (6 min)
  • Becoming Jekyll and Hyde (7 min)
  • Choreographed Chaos (7 min)
  • Nick Morton: In Search of a Soul (6 min)
  • Ahmanet Reborn Animated Graphic Novel (4 min)

The Mummy - Movie Review

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