By Jack Beddows
The movie is somewhat enjoyable but highly problematic, pulling viewers out of the world of the story with needless deviations into unsure territories of genre blending. It starts as a more ‘believable’ and standard horror/action film. It is well produced and the main actresses, one heroine one villain, playing opposite Tom Cruise are both very good – the villain in particular is well done and creepy. The movie would have been bearable and even decent if it stayed on that track.
Then it begins to borrow elements from An American Werewolf in London, which seem slightly out of place for the genre. At first this seems slightly quirky but this was actually a plus, something interesting a new twist. But then the genre blending goes too far as a new character is introduced (played by Russel Crowe) who’s very existence suddenly switches the film to something more kitschy/tongue in cheek, a la’ League of Extraordinary Gentleman or some made for TV fantasy series like Once.
Again, this change is almost enjoyable but at the same time, it is very problematic in terms of undermining the whole premise of the film as believable horror. Suddenly it is unclear what sort of film it really wants to be. It could have kept the Werewolf in London elements but the Russel Crowe with his traditional fiction persona is too much. Also the end is a bit Deus es Machina, everything is suddenly groovy, and then the film totally devolves into an epilogue that is just embarrassing. I can’t say I hate the experimentation, as at least it isn’t the same standard formula, but at the same time, it would be foolish to not admit it doesn’t really work.
Sgt. Vail: Oh, no, no, no! We don’t even know what’s down there.
Nick Morton: Treasure, that’s what’s down there. Come on, Vail. Where’s your sense of adventure?
[to Vail, after they accidentally find the Mummy burial ground]
Nick Morton: See, what did I tell you?
Jenny Halsey: Whatever’s in there has been safely hidden for two thousand years. This isn’t a tomb, it’s a prison.
Jenny Halsey: The hieroglyph said she was named Ahmanet, chosen to be Egypt’s next queen. But her thirst for power led her down a darker path, one that had to be stopped.
[referring to the flock of birds heading towards their plane]
Nick Morton: What the hell?