Yes. Yes it is.
………But I think its worth watching anyway, as a lesson in how not to make a horror movie, if nothing else. Studio horror rightfully gets a lot of shit, and The Mummy might just be the perfect example of a production studio that doesn’t have a fucking clue what horror fans want. But what this disaster-piece really does is show how little faith studios have in horror at all. Despite films like The Conjuring grossing over $300 Million dollars, film producers still don’t believe horror has the drawing power that more traditional Blockbuster and action films do.
So rather than anything close to a horror movie, The Mummy is instead a big budget Tom Cruise action film, the start of a cinematic universe no less (on a related note, has anyone outside of Marvel even come close to a halfway watchable cinematic universe?) Never mind the fact that the mummy is a monster with literally thousands of years of history, it’s the short alien worshiping weirdo who hasn’t had a halfway decent film that wasn’t called Mission Impossible or Edge of Tomorrow in over a decade, or at least since that debacle on Oprah’s Couch.
A whole lot more disturbing than anything you’ll find in The Mummy
But as a cinematic travesty, The Mummy goes beyond bland. There’s half a dozen bland Blockbusters shat out of studios every year (I’m not sure anyone not wearing a backwards hat and sunglasses in doors gave more than half a shit about xXx: Return of Xander Cage), but to be memorably awful, something in your film has to go incredibly wrong. And make no mistake, The Mummy is as rotten as a two thousand year old corpse.
The two largest nails in the films casket are serious tonal issues and more exposition than your average college lecture. The Mummy has been a far bigger hit in foreign markets, which at least explains why so much of the film is spelled out; it’s easier for non-English speakers to understand. But all that talking makes for a boring ass movie, with scenes shown over and over again; the evil Princess Amanhet kills her dad no less than three times before the film is through, once in the very beginning and twice more in the middle, in case you forgot what happened, like, 30 minutes ago.
Tonally everything is even more of a mess; The Mummy never picks a genre and sticks with it. In one scene it’s straight horror, with zombies moving through the dark and munching on cops. In another its an action flick with Tom Cruise dodging Taliban bullets. In a third its a…screwball comedy(?) with Cruise getting tossed around the woods like a midget, oddly plastic looking rag doll. None of these are done well, but it’s the comedy that’s most dead on arrival. I know Mummy’s have their brains scooped out of their noses, but viewers would have to as well to laugh at these jokes.
If The Mummy had more faith in its horror roots would it have worked? Truth be told, probably not, at least with this script. I didn’t exactly have high hopes for the “Dark Universe” going in, and now I have even less. Dracula Untold was mediocre, but The Mummy is dead on arrival. If this is what Universal has planned for the future of their famous monsters, they can keep them.