Director: Alex Kurtzman
Quick Hit: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension. – IMDB
THE GOOD: TOM CRUISE BEING TOM CRUISE
Maybe you are new to movies… or maybe you are just new to Tom Cruise movies. Whatever your excuse may be, understand something… at 54 years old, Tom Cruise IS the white Jackie Chan. In fact, I think Tom Cruise volunteers for some stunts that would leave Jackie in his prime going…
His dedication to bringing you all his cinematic suicide attempt is really quite remarkable. In this film alone, he is tossed from a moving vehicle, rides a collapsing building’s roof to the ground, and (in a scene that took over 90 takes in ACTUAL 0 G FREE FALL TO COMPOSITE) saved someone’s life while falling to the Earth. When this movie is giving us psycho, jumping on Oprah’s couch Tom Cruise it is a spectacle to behold.
THE BAD: HUMOR/CHEMISTRY
These. Jokes. Did. Not. Land! I’m not 100% sure what the problem was. I feel like the cast was given actual funny things to say and were put in funny “action adventure romp” situations, but something in the delivery was just off for me.
Add to that, the Cruise/Wallis budding love relationship was the definition of forced. Tome Cruise’s Nick Morton is a shit of an individual. He did not deserve love and barely deserved any level of redemption. The film did not SHOW me his character growing and changing so much as they told me that it had happened. That’s just not how movies should work…
But that all i can really say without spoilers… ready?
THE GOOD: THE DARK UNIVERSE SETUP
I am SO interested in how the rest of the Dark Universe unfurls. I want to see more of Russell Crowe capturing beasts and ghouls. I want more of his internal and physical conflict, resolving the Jekyll/Hyde situation. How does that come into play as he runs into Invisible Man, and Dracula, and the Wolf Man?! The talent they are eyeing and that has signed n already is impressive. The fact that the likes of Depp, Bardem, Jolie, Theron, Hardy, etc could all be in one giant Avengers-esque “Monster Mash” is amazing!
THE BAD: OH. SO. MUCH!
- Jake Johnson becomes a zombie… then a zombie ghost with higher brain function… THEN A WALKING EX MACHINA WHO WONT FUCKING GO AWAY! Character exists to push the story forward when things slow down… nothing more…
- Tone as all over the damn place. Movie didn’t know if it wanted to be a cheesy horror movie, an action adventure romp, a Tom Cruise action flick.. whatever… it would be so much better off setting all of these up as straight up horror films, but that’s just me… as long as they just picked ONE THING and stuck to it, it would have been so much better.
- TELEGRAPHED JUMP SCARES!
- And saving the best for last… there are no stakes!
Seriously… you gave your protagonist the a highly questionable control over the ultimate evil, thus giving him control over life and death itself. In the last 5mins he defeats The Mummy (and seemingly didn’t ACTUALLY KILL HER) and brings his love interest back to life AND the STUPID BEST FRIEND THAT’S BEEN DEAD THE LAST 90MINS!!! It’s almost as if nothing that happens in the Dark Universe REALLY matters because Tom Cruise can show up and undo the wrong and make the world all rainbows and sunshine again.
OVERALL: SHOCKINGLY STILL ON BOARD
I have way more grips about this film than I anticipated. I really wanted it to be something that excites me about all the future projects. Instead I got an exercise in finding your tone… but it doesn’t totally turn me off. Look, I probably won’t be re-watching this movie anytime soon for the sheer shits and giggles, but the concepts and possibilities they laid out ARE entertaining. Just… Do… Better! Bring the reigns in, don’t let your stars have total creative control, and just make 1 good movie at a time. I like this movie like I enjoy Taco Bell… it has its charm, but there is SO MUCH BETTER out there in the world. Which bring us to the first ever grade of: