The Mummy Review

Another day, another failed attempt to create a cinematic universe.

But for this one we’re going to have to go a little bit further back than usual because this is not just a film, it’s the beginning of the Dark Universe! Assuming of course that Warner Brothers doesn’t sue them into oblivion regarding the name “Dark Universe,” which is the working title for an upcoming DECU movie based on the Justice League Dark comic book series.

But back with The Mummy, and we discover that according to an interview on Screen Rant that the original films- ranging from the ‘20’s to the ‘50’s are still considered cannon!  Quote “There is, however, some very cool news for fans of the original films. We asked Kurtzman if there’s any chance that the original films might be considered canon. “You know what?” said Kurtzman, initially hesitant about the answer, “I will say, absolutely. Those movies exist in continuity.”

This blessing does not extend to the Brendan Frasier films (2 of which I really like), 2004’s Van Helsing (which I enjoy) nor does it include Dracula Untold which was supposed to start off the DARK UNIVERSE, but that has now been declared an unfilm meaning that we are getting another Dracula re-boot at some point in the future. As well as a threatened DARK UNIVERSE film every year whether we want it or not.

The joy.

Mind you, I seriously doubt  we are getting a sequel out of this mess because whilst this isn’t as unwatchable as say King Arthur: Legend of the Bored, it’s still a mess. And just like with Legend of the Bored, I have a list of questions that I hope will addressed in the unmade sequel.

I’ll start with the easy ones.

Does Russel Crowe want a pay check or to chew the scenery? When did Maximus Decimus Meridius develop such a dad bod? Who decided to call their secret organisation  Prodigium instead of ‘Not SHIELD’? How can they seemingly have a small army yet need to be saved by some random bloke off the street? Why is it lead by someone that they should clearly have dealt  with? And why did they clearly show Hyde instead of hinting as to his existence? Watching Jekyll become corrupted over several films would have made for a great solo film where Hyde, armed with all of ‘not SHIELDS’ knowledge and resources becomes an evil influence? How is ‘not SHIELD’ funded? Who decided the best place to base ‘not SHIELD’ was in the Natural History Museum and when did the NHM move next to the Houses of Parliament instead of being 15 minutes away in South Kensington?

How and why did this film get a 15 rating in the UK? A film like this needs to be 12a and to my eye was edited accordingly.

Why does this film have VFX that look identical to a film that came out 20 years ago? Why is it so dull? How can a film with 125 million dollar budget look so cheap? How can a film world with almost eighty years of backstory feel as flat as a pancake in every regard? Why do Cruise and erm… Girl act like star crossed lovers when they no chemistry?

Yeah, Cruise is playing basically the same character he has been for twenty years so I’ll call his Mummy character Bethan Bunt since I can’t be bothered to click over to IMDB to find out what it is. In my defence, the filmmakers didn’t seem to care so I don’t see why I should. He’s brought back from the dead after a plane crash that should have turned him into a puddle and not only is it not explained why he suffered not even a scratch but it’s never explained if he’s now turned into Captain Scarlett or if he’s still just human who got a use once ‘get out of death free pass’. He can certainly take punishment that I’m certain would have killed anyone not made of rubber.

As to his love interest, Jenny, I’m at a loss for words. Early Bond girls had more character and development  than her! She doesn’t really advance the plot in any way shape or form. And yet she and Bunt act like star crossed lovers? No. nononononono. No. No.

Onto the villain, (played by the far too good for this kind of thing Sofia Boutella) who’s end goal is…. Erm actually I have no idea. I’ll say global destruction with  a side order of bringing an evil god into our world but I’m not entirely sure on that point. Neither does the film. Either on that or what exactly are her powers which seem to involve mind control (on people and bugs), sand, and erm… really rocking the rag look. The film doesn’t seem to care about her as she takes away from all the exposition that’s dumped on the audience head every other scene.

The special effects look no better than they did in the 1999 version, in which the characters were better, as was the story, and the level of enjoyment, the baddies powers were defined and stuck to, I laughed more and cared more, and it didn’t feel like a bloated advert for a film series I don’t remember asking for…..

You know what, a plague on this films house! Just go and watch another version or go and see Wonder Woman again.

As for this film?

My Score- Skip It.

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Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) Poster

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise Tom Cruise
Jeremy Renner Jeremy Renner
Simon Pegg Simon Pegg
Rebecca Ferguson Rebecca Ferguson
Ving Rhames Ving Rhames
Sean Harris Sean Harris
Solomon Lane

Plot- Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Review- Good evening film-lovers, your mission should you choose to accept it is to go and watch Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Gather a team of friends and go immediately to the cinema to watch this in the largest screen you can find.

Because it’s awesome. Director Christopher McQuarrie’s previous film was the slightly above average Jack Reacher which apparently impressed Mr. Cruise enough that he’s been brought in to direct the best installment of this franchise.

In a nutshell the plot is very simple. Ethan Hunt must take down “The Syndicate” an evil organisation that I think wants to bring about global chaos. For backup, he can call upon Benji (played by Simon Pegg) ever dependable Luther (Ving Rhames) Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and possibly the mysterious Isla Faust (Rebecca Ferguson – absolutely magnificent.) To  make matters more difficult the CIA (lead by Alec Baldwin) is hot on his trail. With the Impossible Mission Force gone, this may be a mission too impossible even for Hunt…

But this film is not about Ethan Hunt. He’s in it and does the insane stunts that we’ve come to expect from Mission Impossible most of which were done for real (thank Zeus) and not all of which were spoiled in the trailer. But the film seems finally to have realized that Ethan Hunt is less interesting than my desk and has made the film all about Femme Fatale  Isla Faust. Which is the best call that it can make, as she plays someone desperately trying to survive in a maze of grey where there is no loyalty or trust and survival is as much luck as skill.

The soundtrack is a masterpiece of subtlety. During one tense sense there’s no music at all, just the revving of engines. In another, merely the sound of a heartbeat as the oxygen ticks away. I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but it adds to the enjoyment and tension.

It’s just a shame that the villain is rubbish, he’s supposed to be this chess player who’s possibly superior to Hunt, but he spends most of his time staring at laptops, talking to people and sounding like he’s on the verge of losing his voice. I wanted someone with  a bit of an edge who projected a sense of menace, instead we get another person who’s personality rivals my desk.

The film does drag a little in the second act, and the globetrotting does seem to be a little excessive with us barely having time to focus on one location before we whiz off to the next, and the tone might be a little too light for the threat that The Syndicate allegedly poses.

But in the end, this is a thrill ride from start to finish, a twisting plot, incredible stunts an amazing female lead who I desperately want to get her spin off film. It could do with having about ten minutes cut but aside from that, I rate this film as…

See It Now

As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, this blog will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This review will self destruct in 5 seconds.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) Poster

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise Tom Cruise
Jeremy Renner Jeremy Renner
Simon Pegg Simon Pegg
Rebecca Ferguson Rebecca Ferguson
Ving Rhames Ving Rhames
Sean Harris Sean Harris
Lane

Plot- Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Review– Good evening film-lovers, your mission should you choose to accept it is to go and watch Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Gather a team of friends and go immediately to the cinema to watch this in the largest screen you can find.

Because it’s awesome. Director Christopher McQuarrie’s previous film was the slightly above average Jack Reacher which apparently impressed Mr. Cruise enough that he’s been brought in to direct the best installment of this franchise.

In a nutshell the plot is very simple. Ethan Hunt must take down “The Syndicate” an evil organisation that I think wants to bring about global chaos. For backup, he can call upon Benji (played by Simon Pegg) ever dependable Luther (Ving Rhames) Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and possibly the mysterious Isla Faust (Rebecca Ferguson – absolutely magnificent.) To make matters more difficult the CIA (lead by Alec Baldwin) is hot on his trail. With the Impossible Mission Force gone, this may be a mission too impossible even for Hunt…

But this film is not about Ethan Hunt. He’s in it and does the insane stunts that we’ve come to expect from Mission Impossible most of which were done for real (thank Zeus) and not all of which were spoiled in the trailer. But the film seems finally to have realized that Ethan Hunt is less interesting than my desk and has made the film all about Femme Fatale Isla Faust. And I think that this is the best call that it can make, as she plays someone desperately trying to survive in a maze of grey where there is no loyalty or trust and survival is as much luck as skill.

The soundtrack is a masterpiece of subtlety. During one tense sense there’s no music at all, just the revving of engines. In another, merely the sound of a heartbeat as the oxygen ticks away. I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but it adds to the enjoyment and tension.

It’s just a shame that the villain is rubbish, he’s supposed to be this chess player who’s possibly superior to Hunt, but he spends most of his time staring at laptops, talking to people and sounding like he’s on the verge of losing his voice. I wanted someone with a bit of an edge who projected a sense of menace. Instead we get another person who’s personality rivals my desk.

The film does drag a little in the second act, and the globetrotting does seem to be a little excessive with us barely having time to focus on one location before we whiz off to the next, and the tone might be a little too light for the threat that The Syndicate allegedly poses.

But in the end, this is a thrill ride from start to finish, a twisting plot, incredible stunts an amazing female lead who I desperately want to get her own spin off film. It could do with having about ten minutes cut but aside from that, I rate this film as…

See It Now

As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, this blog will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This review will self destruct in 5 seconds.