Universal Reboots its Signature Monsters
First things first: many thanks to Erin for giving me a couple of weeks to focus on moving into a new home and hosting family for Thanksgiving in the new place. It was a slice. And here’s hoping everyone had a splendid Thanksgiving and is at least OK with hearing Christmas carols every time you walk in a department store until December 26th; the same four or five songs that have been rebooted 343,545,654,654,645 times plus Baby, it’s Cold Outside. Nothing prepares one for the holidays like the vague insinuation of date rape.
Since I’ve been away, I’ve learned of the reboot Universal plans to give its classic movie monster series from the 1930s and 1940s, beginning with The Mummy. This is not to be confused as a revisit of the Brendan Fraser films (which I personally liked and is closer plot-wise to the original 1932 film) but takes a more serious tone with Tom Cruise as its leading man. The titular mummy appears to be the objective of some military-backed mission that brings it to London via plane crash: a crash that Cruise’s character seems to not so much survive but return from the dead in a Highlander sort of way. So he’s either immortal, or superhuman, or under some spell from the mummy. The mummy is also reimagined in a way reminiscent of the Enchantress character from Suicide Squad. So the bandages are gone and she sports four irises and face tattoos.
At first, the trailer looks as if it is giving away too much of the movie, but the editing of scene choices and dialogue is so confusing that I’m at a loss to guess what the mummy’s deal is or how Cruise factors into it. He seems to have some preternatural understanding of it, given his reaction at the beginning, but it’s not clear how. Overall, this clearly has a more Marvel sensibility, with plane crashes, explosions, and grandiose showdowns with the mummy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the road Universal is taking to keep up with the other studios’ offerings of gods and monsters of the comic book variety. Seems a shame, really. A little elegance went a long way in the classic monster movies, but I guess the Apple generation needs its bells and whistles.
The Mummy is scheduled to come out June 9, 2017