Today, Universal released their one-sheet for The Mummy, the upcoming Universe-building action/adventure (and decidedly void of horror) starring Tom Cruise. And it’s just about as soul-crushingly mediocre as the teasers and trailers we’ve seen to this point.
Here’s the poster:
So, yeah, mediocrity of the highest order. If that’s even possible. Because this new poster doesn’t look terrible, and it’s certainly not great. But this poster exudes the same air as many fans have picked up from the trailers: it’s an empty summer movie vessel.
This is shaping up to be another X:Men Apocalypse, just a run-of-the-mill spare summer blockbuster with a story told primarily against green screen and all sorts of destruction porn and Tom Cruise Running. It has the feel of these soulless, cynical assembly line formula pictures that come and go during the hot months and everyone just sorta moves on. Not promising for what is supposed to be the UNIVERSAL MONSTERS SHARED UNIVERSE!
Sorry for yelling, but the original films shaped the earliest days of my film consciousness. Like so many people my age and older (and hopefully younger), the Universal Monsters told horror fans what horror was. It was a gateway of mysticism and creativity, and it birthed some legendary characters on the silver screen. It was also primarily concerned with horror.
These new ones never wanted to be horror films. That was apparent when the studio hired Fast and Furious dudebro Alex Kurtzman to direct this and serve as a creative director of sorts, a la Zack Snyder at the DCEU. But I held out hope that perhaps some horror elements will sneak in and overwhelm any sort of globetrotting empty-headed action. There are a few clips of Sofia Butella’s Mummy doing some mildly scary shit, but who can remember them all with all that Tom Cruise Running. Plus, London blows up! Have you guys ever seen anything like that before?! Oh… yeah a few times.
Perhaps Tom Cruise and co-write Christopher McQuarrie can save this thing. I am all for Tom Cruise action and plenty of that Running, and McQuarrie is a solid writer. On the flip side, maybe they just hopped on board the train for the payday and nobody can blame them for that.
I just wish they would have worked to give these new movies some sort of discernible personality. Maybe it does, but that hasn’t shown in the trailers. Even if it turned out to be bad and campy and ridiculous, that’s at least something. And I doubt it will be great, so where does that leave us? Yeah, The Mummy will probably end up doing one thing well this summer, and that’s have A/C in its theaters.