Cert 15 110mins Stars 1
This big budget action adventure lumbers into cinemas and begs to be put out of its torment. Long before it ended, so did I.
Though the world is threatened when an ancient terror is unleashed, a directorial dead hand can’t muster a sense of fun, danger, mystery or suspense.
It’s only brought to a semblance of life by the spark of Brit actress Annabelle Wallis and the dogged determination of Tom Cruise.
He stars as Nick Morton, an impish US soldier and blackmarketeer who is cursed when he opens a tomb in the Iraqi desert.
To save himself he must reunite a ceremonial dagger with a jewel discovered in a London grave.
He’s accompanied by a shouty, face slapping Egyptologist called Jenny, played by Wallis.
They stagger through a script which exhumes the dead bits of better movies and wraps them up in murky CGI.
Aeroplane and underwater stunts are airlifted in from Cruise’s last Mission Impossible film. And scenes from An American Werewolf in London are humourlessly reanimated.
Meanwhile a resurrected Egyptian mummy wants the knife to rule the world, or something.
Algerian dancer Sofia Boutella spends her time either chained in rags or parading across the desert in the style of a 1980’s Turkish Delight advert.
This stumbling mess is intended to be a franchise starter for Universal Studio’s Dark Universe. It’s a series of connected films rebooting classic movie monsters such as the Wolfman.
So our heroes also encounter Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll, lurking in a lair of Bond villain extravagance.
Years of good living hang heavy on the 53 year old Crowe and he makes the 54 year old Cruise seem even more remarkably well preserved.
Next year we’ll have a new version of The Bride of Frankenstein and Johnny Depp has been announced as the Invisible Man.
After this dull horror show, that’s a truly terrifying prospect.