by João Pedro Martins Pinheiro
In 2012, Universal Studios announced that they were working on a third reboot of The Mummy franchise. No one rejoiced. If four years ago moviegoers were already feeling that Hollywood was rebooting/remaking too many films (e.g., Planet of the Apes, 2001; The Invasion, 2007; Halloween, 2007; A Nightmare on Elm Street, 2010; and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 2011), then by now we are sick and tired of it. On top of that, Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour, Prometheus, Dr. Strange, Passengers) is the screenwriter. Three of the four major productions with which he has been involved are dark science fictions, and two were extremely poorly-received: not quite the adventure-fantasy-witty feel that we would expect.
However, the worst part is that they have decided to re-conceptualize a classic duology like The Mummy. Okay, we could call it a tetralogy if we included The Scorpion King (2002) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)…but let’s not. My two questions here are: why The Mummy, and what happened to that old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”? The 1999 film and its 2001 sequel are almost perfect. They are Indiana Jones meets Yu-Gi-Oh meets 1990’s CGI. In addition to that, it has Brendan Fraser in his most relatable goofy-hero performance as a generic adventurer and Rachel Weisz as a brave and intelligent Egyptologist in a borderline steampunk 1920’s setting.
One cannot reboot such un-toppable classics with a movie that has Tom Cruise, who clearly peaked in Tropic Thunder (2008), in a story set in the present day. Add this to the fact that Spaihts wrote it and I think we can all agree that we will see a predictable, gritty, forgettable action film with a third act full of explosions and the destruction of a large and recognizable urban area.
Also, we will not see a The Rock Johnson-giant scorpion hybrid, which in itself should be a reason for boycotting the film. Anyway, a preview of the trailer (yes, for some reason, that is something that studios do now) was released. Go check it out and you will see what I mean here.
João is a sophomore Sociology and Psychology double major.
What a thoughtful article. This guy is going places.