What did you think of the movie?
Well, let's just say that something is off in the movie. I know its not the costumes or special effects, but definitely some parts just are not working. I think one of the weird things is the character NIck Morton played by Tom Cruise. I think having this actor play a kind of dumb tomb raider doesn't exactly work. I mean we know Tom Cruise as the Mission Impossible, Top Gun, kick ass kind of action roles. Somehow this role isn't a good fit. It came off like doing a Brendan Fraser light version of the Mummy triology back in the 1990s that just doesn't work. Those set of movies are really funny with cornball type of humor that Fraiser can pull off, but Cruise cannot. I'm not sure if its the acting not working or the wrong type cast used in the writing that doesn't work.
I think I liked the overall plot with some funny elements that are not expected like who Jenny Halsey works for being the infamous Dr. Jekyll, a mad scientist that turns into a beast if he doesn't keep medicated, played by Russell Crowe.
In the other series with Brendan as the tomb raider, we get a much more fun set of characters. You have the sheepish kind of brother Jonathan that is week, a bit cowardly, but well meaning guy. The fellow tomb raider Beni that betrays his friend initially for money and then becomes the servant of the Mummy. The bomb shell archelogical student Evelyn that is very book smart, but clumsy that we all love. The goofy American team that gets taken by the Mummy first. The awakening of the Mummy comes in stages that you feel differently.
In this version of the Mummy, the Mummy is powerful, yet is captured by Dr. Jekyll, that seems improbable. All the characters have evolution in their lives as well in the triology of Mummy movies. You don't feel there is any eveolution in these characters at all. Dr. Jekyll remains himself. The Mummy is a Mummy, but isn't exactly threatened by anything for most of the film. The Mummy doesn't try to seduce Nick, her victim that accidentally wakes her up. In essence, the characters just don't evolve much. I think the writing and directing are basically at fault here.
I think Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet did a fairly good job being the princess that is chosen as the successor until a son is born. Then she decides to kill them all to retain the succession, which isn't too far fetched considering how real Egyptian succession worked and other kingdoms dynasties worked as well. I liked the build of the villain and her lust for power. The only weakness is that the director doesn't get to why her lover would decide to sacrifice himself for Ahmanet and why she would give him immortality. Since there is no build in the love story there, the movie ends up falling flat. You really need to know why she is so passionate about her lover, otherwise being simply power hungry princess falls apart as the reincarnated Mummy. The fact she doesn't try to seduce Nick into being her annoited God on earth is really strange. Here is another weakness in the plot, not really the actresses fault.
Were there other holes in the story?
I think they too quickly skim through all the connections for how the Mummy comes alive, her tomb and Egyptian lettering, etc. In the earlier Mummy series, the tomb raiders are scouting out all parts of the pyramid, secret rooms, treasure, old books, etc. that really makes the Mummy come alive. In this movie, they just skim the surface of the hieroglyphics and the tomb. Additionally, there are no seasons associated with the Mummy becoming more powerful. I think this isn't a bad version of the Mummy, but the 1999 series just has better historical development of age of Egyptian exploration. Here we just stumble upon the grave by a bumbling tomb raider, it kind of falls flat. Of course, they do show briefly the reality of ISIS carving up and/or destroying ancient ruins in Syria and Iraq, which is a reality. Maybe they should have interwoven more of ISIS into the plot, showing Nick as a preserver of history (although he's a theif). Many of the plot devices seem trivial, which in a movie you should only be showing the absolute essential to carry the movie.