Mummy: Tom Cruise’s Reboot, Artistic Failure and Commercial Flop?

Tom Cruise cannot even do what a lesser star, Brendan Fraser, did two decades ago: carry this expensive but cheesy film on his shoulders.

Our grade is D+ (* out of ***** stars)

This resurrection of one of Universal’s most cherished monsters is a messy, muddled, at once overstuffed and underdeveloped.  In one word, it’s a cheesy mishmash of a picture in which there are no characters, just plot devices.

Even the special effects, which occupy at least one third of the movie, are not thrilling to watch, considering that there are at least four chases/escapes in the movie, none of which makes any chance.

Add Cruise’s reboot, The Mummy, to the list of epic commercial flops this summer, headed by King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Alien: Covenant, and Baywatch.

The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is also disappointing in the US, leaning heavily on good overseas grosses.

What was intended to launch an entire “Dark Universe” for Universal could be left stumbling if the film scores in the anticipated domestic range of $35 million in its opening weekend.

Most of us critics have panned the picture on any number of levels.  Right now, The Mummy has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 20% (which means that 4 out of 5 critics have dismissed it) and only 9% among top critics (which means that 9 out of 10 critics have disliked it).

Overseas grosses should fare better–the movie is launching in 63 international markets this weekend and already saw a record opening in Korea on Monday, but with a reported $125 million production budget, this might be the mark of yet another franchise that should have been laid to rest.

Warner and DC Comics’ Wonder Woman should reclaim the top spot in the U.S., which it won last weekend with a $103 million opening.  Even if Patty Jenkins’ global blockbuster sees a steep 60% drop during week two, it should burry The Mummy.

The Mummy

Alex Kurtzman directed The Mummy, a revival of the franchise spawned by Universal’s 1932 original and re-popularized by Stephen Sommers’ 1999 picture starring Brendan Fraser, and the three other Mummy films that followed.

In the 2017 update, Cruise plays a freelance treasure hunter who resurrects a princess (Sofia Boutella).

Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, and Russell Crowe are also in the mix.

Initially, The Mummy was meant to kick-off  a “Dark Universe” of Universal monster movies.  The studio that was built on classics including “Dracula,” “The Wolf Man,” and “Frankenstein” has already slated a “Bride of Frankenstein” movie for 2019 with half a dozen or so others in the works.

Cruise Track Record

Cruise recently opened Jack Reacher: Never Go Back to a $22.9 million domestic opening, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to $55.5 million, and “Edge of Tomorrow” to $28.9 million.

Cruise will reunite with “Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for Universal’s “American Made.” The studio showed the trailer for the crime-action biopic on Monday, to get audiences excited about its movie.