THE Mummy looks like Tom Cruise’s mid-life crisis film.
After dabbling in against-type roles Hollywood blockbusters War of the Worlds and Edge of Tomorrow, the 55-year-old has resorted to his loveable, invulnerable hero persona – except this one has come a few years too late.
It is something that appears to have been concocted as a vehicle to solidify the box office pull of Chris Pine, Hemsworth or Evans; something Cruise would have done in his heyday 20 years ago.
While engaging in gunplay in Iraq (complete with comedic one-liners), army men Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) accidentally uncover the tomb of a particularly nasty and power-hungry ancient Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella).
She spots Nick and wishes to complete the task she began thousands of years ago before being caught, which is to channel evil into the body of a man.
Cue the swarms of rats, sandstorms and hordes of walking corpses.
Cruise runs, leaps and fights as per usual. As a showcase for his athleticism, The Mummy is impressive; he is like the Energizer bunny.
But this exercise in horror/action/comedy is ultimately dull, despite the heavy use of CGI and frequent jolts from extra loud sound effects.
The inclusion of Crowe’s Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde is an attempt at world building, inspired by Marvel and DC, but it is unlikely this will have the same impact if it takes off beyond this instalment.
Even harder to swallow, post Wonder Woman, is the underused “brains”, archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), who Nick hooked up with, because of course he did.
Halsey keeps up with Cruise with the running, but you lose count how many times she is saved by him.
He even manages to save her while simultaneously driving an ambulance through perilous terrain and fighting off mummy-zombies.
When xXx: Return of Xander Cage is the more progressive action film this year, you know you are in trouble with The Mummy.
The Mummy (M)
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe
Two and a half stars
Review by: Julian Wright
In cinemas now