söndag 25 juni 2017

The Mummy

Since my childhood, i have always been interested in Egyptian history. I used to read books about Egyptian king and queens, also about the Egyptian gods. There was always especially one of them i was curious about, and his name was Ra. It is said that he was the most important god of ancient Egypt. I have not been to Egypt yet, but i plan to go at some point. Would be nice to see some ancient Egyptian historical places. Let´s talk about films for a moment, where Egyptian history is attached. Let´s focus on one specific historical detail, mummies. Most of you have probably seen one film, with mummies coming to life. One of the most classic mummy films has to be The Mummy from 1932 with legendary actor Boris Karloff. This film is a perfect example of a classic horror film, that have entertained many generations of people worldwide. I did see the film, i believe it was about 15 years ago on tv, and i do remember some of the classic scenes still today. There are plenty of classic mummy films to choose between, so let´s bring out another cult film. The Mummy from 1959 with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. You might think this is a remake, of the 1932 film because of the title. But the fact is that it is not, instead this 1959 film have a completely different plot included. I actually have The Mummy ( 1959 ) on dvd and blu ray ( in a combo pack release ), and since it was produced by the legendary company Hammer Films, it did deliver some nice treats. Of course, thanks to the performances of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, the film does bring some nostalgic moments. If we move on into the 90´s, one of my personal favourite films was released about Egyptian mythology. Roland Emerich´s wonderful science fiction action film Stargate, turned out to be an epic adventure, with really good special effects and also really good performances. Stargate is one of those 90´s classics that will always be worth watching again, because they managed to capture the Egyptian look so well, and combined this with modern technology. Then in 1999 we got The Mummy with Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and Arnold Vosloo. This film was a fun ride, almost like an Indiana Jones version of the classic story, but with mummies instead. The sequel The Mummy Returns was ok, but did not charm me as much as the first film. When i heard last year that legendary actor Tom Cruise was going to be in a remake of The Mummy, i was surprised. I did not expect to see him to do a role like this. Of course i had to take a look at this film in a theatre, just to see if a remake would work. With a great cast, and a classic concept, is The Mummy one of the highlights of this summer in cinemas, or is this film worse than we expected ?

In 1127 A.D., a group of English crusader knights capture a large ruby from ancient Egypt and bury it within the tomb with one of their number. Present-day London, a Crossrail construction crew discover the knights tomb. A mysterious man is authorized to investigate the uncovered findings on location. The hieroglyphics written on a circular mural in the tomb ( that took place during the New Kingdom era ), tells the story of the ruthless Princess Ahmanet ( Sofia Boutella ). She thinks she will take over the thrown from her father Pharaoh Menehptre ( Selva Rasalingam ), but when his second wife gives birth to a son, her chance to take over the thrown is gone. Princess Ahmanet is determined to take the thrown anyway, so she sell her soul to the Egyptian god Set, who gives her a special dagger to transfer his spirit into a corporeal form. Ahmanet murder her family, and attempted to kill her lover to give Set physical form. But her father´s priests stop her, as well as slaying her lover. Ahmnet is mummified, and buried alive for eternity. In present-day Iraq, U.S. Military officer Nick Morton ( Tom Cruise ) and his partner Sergeant Chris Vail ( Jake Johnson ) discover the tomb of Princess Ahmnet. Archaeologist Jenny Halsey ( Annabelle Wallis ) arrives at the tomb to investigate. She can tell that this tomb was made to be like a prison, to make sure Ahmanet would not wake up again. The sarcophagus with the body of Ahmnet, is going to be flied over to England. On their way to England, the plane crashes, but both Jenny and Nick have survived. However, Nick have been possessed by Princess Ahmanet, as he wakes up in the morgue, and is still alive so Princess Ahmanet can use his body as a replacement vessel for Set. Ahmanet is now awake from her tomb, and no one will stop her this time, from making Set coming back to life.

One of the things i always remember from The Mummy films with Brendan Fraser, is that those are the only films i have actually enjoyed his performances in. His other films are in some ways....very forgettable. This is why Tom Cruise is a much more professional actor, and he is a good choice to be in a film like this. He have a lot of great performances with him from the past, and even in a horror film, he knows how to deliver. You might think that this would not be his cup of tea, being chased by mummies? Well, i think he does a pretty good job. He knows how to do action scenes, and with his great physical condition, you will have some fun. I did notice that this film is much darker than the Mummy films with Brendan Fraser. And i do like that, because we did not need another action comedy. The horror influences are more clear here, and i think this was the right way to go. Princess Ahmanet, played by actor Sofia Boutella, is clearly the highlight of this film. Her screen time is especially what makes The Mummy a fun watch. Once she get started attacking London, you actually cheer for her. Annabelle Wallis as the archeologist Jennifer, is not the strong female character you would have wished for. She is not completely terrible, but i think she should have had a more rough personality. Nice to see Russel Crowe here as Dr Henry Jekyll. I understand he is supposed to be Mr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I do like the idea, but his transformation scenes looks a bit silly. The CGI is not as good as it could have been. The best part about this The Mummy remake is that there is a lot of action. And for a film that is supposed to show a battle between good and evil, you need plenty of action to make it a fun popcorn film. Director Alex Kurtzman have worked as a screen writer and producer on many films, such as The Island, Transformers, Watchmen and Star Trek. He did direct his first full feature debut film in 2012 called People Like Us, a drama film with a good cast, but not many saw the film in theatres. Since this Mummy remake is his second film as an director, i think he does manage to make a horror film that suits the genre well. Does this film have flaws ? Yes, there are a couple of things that could have been improved. Still, i did have fun watching The Mummy, because it is supposed to be a popcorn film, and not an Oscar Academy Award winner. Got nothing better to do in the rain this summer ? Go and watch The Mummy, just unhook your brain cells and just have fun instead. Besides, we always hoped to see Tom Cruise kick some mummy ass at some point in his career, right ?

Rating: DDD

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