Back in 1999, a little girl went to the movies and proceeded to be terrified by an action adventure film called THE MUMMY. There were sword fights with men in cloaks, dark magic, man-eating scarab beetles, walking corpses, and…laughs? For a film that had so much violence and frights, there was a surprising amount of humor and camp. Though it scared her at first, this little girl would go on to love this movie and its sequel. This movie helped give her an appreciation for films that were “scary but fun”. This appreciation grew into a love of the horror genre as a whole, and that little girl grew into a woman that would spend a sizable portion of her professional career writing and analyzing horror films. That’s right, that little girl was none other than your resident Horror Chickk, and I attributes much of my love of the genre to that film that came out 17 years ago. So when I heard they were rebooting it, I was a little defensive. This was a series that I loved, so I was eager to be critical of what seemed to me to be a studio cash grab. However, I decided to wait until a trailer was released before I passed any judgement on the project. Well, that day has come and I no longer have to wait! Here is the trailer for the upcoming reboot of THE MUMMY!
Before we talk about what this trailer means in a broader context, mainly for what this means for Universal, let’s talk about how the trailer itself is put together. Taking this as a standalone film, not a reboot or the beginning of the series of other films, this is a pretty fantastic trailer. It shows you a spectacular action scene of Tom Cruise’s character saving someone at the cost of his own life as a plane is brought down by supernatural forces. Then he is mysteriously resurrected and we get a chilling voice over from Russell Crowe’s character talking about the otherworldly force that has been unleashed. This trailer tells you just enough about the film, its monster, and its hero without giving away the intricacies of the story. The long and short of this is that this trailer does exactly what a good trailer is supposed to do: give a basic feel of the tone, the characters, and the plot without giving away the entire story. Well done, trailer!
Now let’s talk about context a little bit. As this is a reboot, it’s easy for the knee-jerk reaction to this to be negative. After all, given what we’ve seen from this trailer, this new film looks nothing like the feel of the old films, which were always meant to be campy and fun. At first glance, this trailer looks to take an overly seriously tone, with a grey filter over everything to convey a grittiness that the previous films did not possess. However, this may not necessarily be the case. Upon closer inspection, we get snippets of action sequences that are pretty larger than life, which is in keeping with the fun of the earlier films. Another difference is the monster itself, with Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) replacing the High Priest Imhotep as the antagonist. This is a change I’m actually quite happy with, as movie monsters are typically a very male dominated gig in the horror genre, it’s nice to see more female monsters as the antagonists, especially for a studio that is all about its “iconic” monsters. It’s nice to see Universal branch out and give the part of an iconic character that is traditionally played by a male actor to a woman. As far as being a remake goes, I feel like this movie is doing enough differently to stand on its own.
However, this movie isn’t just a remake, it’s also the first film in a series of Universal Monster film remakes, ultimately culminating in an Avengers-style crossover. The first sign of this can be seen with the casting, as Russell Crowe’s character is actually Dr. Henry Jekyll, though they do not refer to him by name in the trailer. It’s difficult to tell from this initial trailer if this movie will be allowed to stand on its own for the most part, or if it’s going to take notes from BATMAN V. SUPERMAN and try too hard to rush to set things up for the team up film. Though I’ve brought this up before, I’m still not sure if the upcoming monster mash will feature the iconic characters as heroes, villains, or antiheroes. Or maybe this crossover is just an excuse to see them all fight in a free-for-all style brawl like in FREDDY VS. JASON or ALIEN VS. PREDATOR, both films in which the plot comes second to the action. Jekyll’s inclusion in this film is enough to get me excited for the team up, but also gives me concern about how much this film will be allowed to be its own story. Only time will tell.
THE MUMMY is set to be released on June 9, 2017.
What did you think of the trailer? Are you excited for this new take on an old monster, or do you think they should have left this franchise buried? Be sure to let us know @TheMovieChickk!
Can’t wait for the new film? Check out the trilogy our Horror Chickk first fell in love with on Amazon.com!