The Mummy reviews round-up: Universal's Dark Universe gets off to a miserable start

The film is supposedly meant to kick off Universal's Dark Universe, collecting together its library of classic monsters

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The Independent Culture

There's nothing more tragic in Hollywood than overconfidence. 

Universal's pulled out all the stops with its announced Dark Universe, reviving the studio's library of classic monsters in an attempt to play competitor to the likes of Marvel and DC.

There are seven future projects already announced, with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and Charlize Theron on Universal's dream list of stars.

All supposedly kicked off by the Tom Cruise-starring The Mummy, whose rogue adventurer Nick Morton must face off against a vengeful ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) awoken from her prison-like tomb.

And now for a revelation that's bound to send Universal into a cold sweat: The Mummy isn't being well-received by critics, not at all, with the action-spectacle largely being labelled as a derivative mess, sending many yearning back to the 1999 version with Brendan Fraser. 

You can check out some of the reviews below. 

The Independent - Geoffrey Macnab - 2/5

The stunts are by far the best element here. Whether it’s planes being torn apart, Cruise and Wallis driving through the woods with the Mummy in pursuit or the very spectacular finale, the visual effects are first rate. Whenever the action stops, though, the film becomes derivative and empty headed. Strip away the bandages and there really isn’t very much here at all.

The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw - 2/5

It brings in the usual element of sub-Spielberg gung-ho capers, but essentially sees The Mummy as a superhero origin movie; or possibly supervillain; or Batmanishly both. The supporting characters are clearly there to be brought back as superhero-repertory characters for any putative Mummy franchise, including one who may well be inspired by Two-Face from The Dark Knight.

A.V. Club - A.A. Dowd - C

But The Mummy is crippled by a failure of imagination. It unleashes an evil as old as the pyramids, only to spend a solid chunk of its middle act with the monster behind glass, imprisoned in the kind of nondescript, high-tech compound where the Avengers tend to convene during the slower stretches of a Marvel movie. 

The Village Voice - Bilge Ebiri 

The Mummy turns out to be a drab, nonsensical affair that squanders its potential for humor, atmosphere, and sweep — qualities that the much-maligned, Fraser-starring 1999 Mummy had in droves. 

The Hollywood Reporter - John DeFore

Weirdly out of place here, Cruise brings little daring and less charm to the film, though to be fair to the actor, his character's a stiff: Nick Morton, an Army sergeant who secretly loots antiquities from Iraqi war zones, might have been a charismatic antihero in Drafts One or Five of a script credited to David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman (with story by Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet). But what made it to the screen is a watered-down version of "irresistible rogue" with all the irresistibility trimmed away.

IndieWire - David Ehrlich

All of this is to say that not only is “The Mummy” the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made, it’s also obviously the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made — it stands out like a flat note on a grand piano. 

It’s not that it’s bad, it’s that it never could have been good. It’s an irredeemable disaster from start to finish, an adventure that entertains only via glimpses of the adventure it should have been. It’s the kind of movie that Tom Cruise became a household name by avoiding at all costs.

Rolling Stone - Peter Travers - 1/5

How meh is The Mummy? Let me count the ways. For all the huffing and puffing and digital desperation from overworked computers, this reboot lands onscreen with a resounding thud. Tom Cruise should have played the Mummy – that way his face would be swathed in bandages and his fans wouldn't have to see him sweat so hard to get this lumbering loser off the ground.