FlixChatter Review – The Mummy (2017)

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Hoping to start their shared universe of monster films, Universal decided to reboot one of their earlier successful franchises with The Mummy. With Disney and Warner Bros. ranking in big dollars at the box office with their superhero flicks, Universal is hoping this so called Dark Universe will bring in big money for them as well. Unfortunately, they should’ve spent more time fleshing out better script and ideas because this latest incarnation of The Mummy is a mess.

In Iraq, military men Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are working outside their duty, hoping to find antiquities or treasures and sell them to the black market for large sum of money. On one of their trips to a small village, they accidentally unearth a burial site beneath the sand. The men discover the remains of Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an Egyptian princes from thousands of years ago who wants power and live forever, so she made a deal with the god of death and murdered her family. She was eventually captured and was mummified. Now in present day, Morton who was driven by his own greed, decided to open the tomb and released an evil force that could destroy the entire world. In terms of plot, there’s not much going on, after Ahmanet is set free, she chases our hero around London and then gets captured by Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe) and his team. Then Dr. Jekyll proceeded to tell Morton and the audience of what’s really going on. Even though it’s advertised as a non-stop action/adventure, there weren’t a lot action in the film.

Six screenwriters were credited and I don’t think none of them knew what kind of film this is supposed to be. It tried to be horror then comedy then action then back to horror. The comedy was flat, the scares were non-existent and the action was scarce. Maybe had the film been directed by a more experienced director, it could’ve been a decent action/horror. But Alex Kurtzman is not that director, with the exception of a very cool airplane clash sequence; he couldn’t put together exciting action sequences or coherent story. I hate to use the terms “plot holes” but this film was full of them. There’s a prologue at the very beginning of the film that didn’t need to be shown and motivations of the characters just didn’t make a lick of sense to me.

Performance wise, Cruise was basically playing an older version of Maverick from Top Gun and he seemed to be having a good time in the first 30-40 minutes of the film. Then you can tell he lost interest and pretty much in cruise control mode with his performance for the rest of the film. Jake Johnson is pretty much wasted here as the thankless side kick/comic relief role. Annabelle Wallis who played Cruise’s love interest, is pretty lackluster in her performance. She’s the typical damsel in distress character. Sofia Boutella is The Mummy and she’s a one note villain, she wants to destroy the world and live forever. The only interesting character to me is Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll. Maybe the film would’ve much more entertaining had they made him the lead as Crowe seemed to have a good time playing the character.

It appears Universal’s Dark Universe is over before it began, they have no one to blame but themselves. I was never a big fan of 1999’s The Mummy but it has its fun moments and didn’t try to be anything than an action film. This latest version tried to be too many things and it failed miserably.

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So have you seen The Mummy reboot? Well, what did you think?

Five for the Fifth: MAY 2016 Edition

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Welcome to FlixChatter’s primary blog series! As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here.

1. Happy Cinco de Mayo! Well, per tradition on the Fifth of May, I always feature a Mexican actor/actress (or actors of Mexican descent). I’ve been a fan of Michael Peña for some time and I think he’s a terrific actor. I can’t tell you where I first saw him, it might have been Crash, as his scene is no doubt one of the most memorable out of that overrated film.

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He’s the kind of actors who’s memorable even in small supporting roles. He was such a hoot in American Hustle and recently, Antman and The Martian. My friend Nostra made this awesome ‘many faces’ post on the actor, which you should check out here. I look forward to seeing him in CHiPs which I think will be a hoot because he’s in it!

So what’s your favorite role of Michael Peña?

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2. I was going to post this trio of trailers last week but I had to change it to a tribute to Prince instead 😦 Well these three movies couldn’t be more different from each other and that’s kind of the point.

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The Girl on the Train

The first two trailers here feature an actress I haven’t heard before, Haley Bennett. Boy she seems to have come out of nowhere and getting some really high-profile roles. But the main draw for me here is Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson, and the premise sounds intriguing as well. The fact that it’s based on a mystery/thriller novel by a woman (Paula Hawkins) with female-driven characters automatically made me think of Gone Girl, but director Tate Taylor (The Help, Get On Up) ain’t no David Fincher so we’ll see how this one fares.

The Magnificent Seven

I totally forgot this film was even in development. I’m not a big Western fan but with THIS cast, it certainly piqued my interest. The story still centers on seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves. The new remake stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, and Peter Sarsgaard. Well it’s certainly a pretty diverse cast! Heck, if Brit Sam Riley can play a German-speaking American cowboy in The Dark Valley, who’s to say you can’t cast a Korean actor as a cowboy? Confession: I haven’t seen the original yet. Yes I probably should get on that before this one comes out.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Now I didn’t watch the British tv show regularly, but of the episodes I saw they were hilarious!! Jennifer Saunders & Joanna Lumley as BFFs Edina (Eddy) & Patsy respectively are a pair of hard-drinking socialites and this time they’re thrown into a media firestorm when they accidentally kill Kate Moss. The trailer looks like a hoot and it’s got a great supporting cast too, not to mention a slew of celeb cameos. I adore The Vicar of Dibley and Dawn French, so I’m excited to see her in a cameo as well.

Any of these trailers strike your fancy?

3.  One of the movies I re-watched this past weekend was The Mummy. I still enjoyed it immensely as it was one of my fave movies from the late 90s. But man, I couldn’t help but think about Brendan Fraser’s career trajectory. You might’ve read articles why Hollywood won’t cast him anymore and it’s just sad. I mean, I’m not a huge fan of his or anything but he was likable and some of his earlier movies were pretty fun.

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In any case, The Mummy reboot is well underway with the still-as-hot-as-he-was-in-the-80s Tom Cruise as the star. As with anything with Cruise in it, projects always get made… and fast! The new release date is June 9, 2017 and as of today, there’s reports per Variety that Russell Crowe is joining the cast! WOW!

Thoughts about Brendan Fraser and/or’The Mummy’ reboot? 
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4. This question is inspired by my recent viewings of films with open-ended endings. I’ve watched quite a few of ’em in the past surely, but I haven’t really brought up this topic before on this blog. I mentioned in my review of A Copy of My Mind, which happens to be from my home country Indonesia, how the ending frustrated me even though overall it was a good film. Then a week later I saw The Lobster which also had an ending that’s very open to interpretation.

I don’t expect (or want) every film to be wrapped neatly with a pretty red bow, but I often wonder if certain films have open endings because the filmmakers simply don’t know how to end it. Of course that’s not always the case, and some open-ended films can be really thought-provoking and more profound the more you think about it. There are also seemingly ambiguous ones perhaps aren’t that ambiguous after all, but that’s for another discussion.

So what do you think of films with an open-ended ending & what are some of your favorites?

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is Jordan from Epileptic Moondancer blog! Well, as we both have been watching quite a few indie foreign films (that is films set in a language other than English), we’re curious what some of your faves are.

In Jordan’s own words:

My favourite foreign film of this year was Son of Saul, which was an incredibly confronting holocaust drama from Hungary, a first-time effort from Laszlo Nemes.

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The un-subtitled German orders and unique camera-work makes it an immersive and almost horrifying experience about a group of men in Auschwitz who had a particularly horrifying duty.

What’s YOUR favorite foreign film(s) from the past few years?


Well, that’s it for the MAY edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 😀