Before I start this review, I should probably that that The Mummy (1999) with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, is one of my all-time favourite movies. So this 2017 reboot has a lot of baggage to get past - not least in that it stars Tom Cruise, who isn't exactly everyone's favourite actor.
If you haven't seen the 1999 version, I think you'd probably really enjoy this. I tried to watch with unbiased eyes, and the movie had some really interesting things going on; updating the male protagonist to an amoral American soldier treasure hunting in Iraq was a nice touch and Algerian actress Sofia Boutella gives a haunting performance as Princess Ahmenet.
The problem is that I HAVE seen the 1999 version. And it was wonderful, full of amazing special effects, brilliant one-liners, chemistry off the charts between the two leads
and fabulous secondary performances from Oded Fehr, John Hannah and Arnold Vosloo.
The special effects in this reboot are no better than the movie nearly 20 years ago. There are one or two amusing moments, no real chemistry between the two leads, and the most memorable moment from a secondary character was Russell Crowe doing an East End accent when his Dr Jekyll makes the inevitable transformation into Mr Hyde.
Yes, the Jekyll and Hyde story is shoehorned in here as well. Utterly bemused as to why, I did some investigating afterwards and discovered that this is apparently the first in a 'Dark Universe' series from Universal, which will include Johnny Depp playing the Invisible Man and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's monster in later movies. The common thread is the Prodigium corporation, which Dr Jekyll heads up.
Universal have an interesting project going on here, and they're certainly pouring the money into getting the big names to helm it. I'm interested to see where they take it. As a first installment, The Mummy (2017) isn't bad at all, even though it doesn't have the pure magic which has helped the original stand the test of time. I'm giving it four stars.