The Mummy (2017) 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
About 30 minutes into THE MUMMY and I was wondering why everyone was so down on the film. I was having a good time; Tom Cruise and Jake Johnson had a good rapport, the dialogue was fun, the action was fast-paced and no one seemed to be taking themselves too seriously. It reminded me of the 1999 film with Brendan Fraser, just updated with better actors and better effects. But after the airplane crash (which was great), the film took a terrible turn. The fun was lost and it felt like everyone was being forced to do something they didn’t want to do. I suspect this is where the politics took over and the need to build a franchise overran any desire to make a good movie, which is a shame because for a solid 30 minutes, they had a good film on their hands.
Nick (Cruise) is a…well, I’m not really sure what he is but he’s in Iraq with the US military and he seems to be some sort of treasure hunter that also has the ability to call in airstrikes. That detail aside, he and his buddy Chris (Jake Johnson) have accidentally stumbled upon an ancient Egyptian tomb that Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) was also looking for. Together, they excavate the tomb of Ahmanet (Boutella). We learned in the beginning that Ahmanet was the heir to the throne of Egypt but was banished after murdering her father and infant brother. She was banished to Mesopotamia, where she’s been waiting thousands of years for someone to find and release her. That someone, of course, turns out to be Nick and Jenny, who along with the tomb of Ahmanet crash land in England, where Ahmanet needs a dagger to perform a ritual on Nick in order to bring the God of death to life.
Once the airplane crash lands, things go off the rails. We learn that Nick has been cursed somehow by Ahmanet and is her “chosen one”, which means he has some sort of connection to her. We also get a bigger introduction to Dr. Jekyl (Crowe), who apparently leads some sort of organization that chases down monsters and evil beings. Dr. Jekyl, of course, is from the story of “Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde” and apparently he controls the transformation by injecting a serum into his skin. I immediately became frustrated with this since his “urges” come on instantly and he then has to fumble around with his serum to get it injected in time. Why not have one ready to go, just in case? I don’t know and it was clear the filmmakers didn’t care to explain.
The fun banter that we saw in the beginning was completely abandoned in favor of depressing discussions about how evil Ahmanet is and how she’s going to kill Nick. By this time, Cruise was rendered worthless as all he was asked to do was go through the motions while director Alex Kurtzman tried to justify the Universal Dark Universe. Cruise’s involvement was curious to begin with and although I still think he’s the last true movie star left, this was not the right vehicle for him. If they had stuck with the Indiana Jones type vibe they had in the beginning, he could have knocked it out of the park. But this entire movie felt like a way to build a universe.
I’ve read that THE MUMMY was cursed with rewrites and re-shoots, thanks in large part to Cruise’s team reworking his character. The finished product does feel like different people wrote different parts and Cruise’s character in particular was inconsistent. I’m not sure the problem was with the script or with the conflicting goals of the filmmakers. THE MUMMY had potential, but couldn’t break through the red tape to be considered a good film.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This is a really nice looking 4K UHD, which kind of took me by surprise. The Blu-ray also looks nice, but the 4K gives a significant improvement at every turn. The scene on the plane is a good example where everything looks clearer with more detail. The background of the plane comes into focus, giving the entire scene a nice 3D-effect. A lot of the movie takes place in darkly lit rooms and the 4K comes through there as well, giving detail and depth that was lacking on the Blu-ray. Couple all of that with the normal uptick in textures and during closeups and you have a great looking 4K UHD. From what I can tell, the disc is not displayed in Dolby Vision, which I know will disappoint some consumers, especially since Universal was the first to release a title with Dolby Vision, but I don’t think the video presentation suffers from it. This is still a great looking video.
Audio: The 4K features the same Dolby Atmos track found on the Blu-ray and it’s incredible. I know the movie wasn’t what it should have been, but it sounds wonderful.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does contain a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Commentary with Alex Kurtzman, Sophia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson: Any time you get multiple cast members in the same room, you know the commentary is going to be more fun than technical and that’s the case here. These guys seem to have a good time together and most of the commentary is spent making jokes or talking over each other. It’s fun, but if you’re looking for technical details, this isn’t for you.
Deleted/Extended Scenes (4:52): Nothing to note here as most of these fall into the extended variety.
Cruise and Kurtzman: A Conversation (21:15): Cruise and Kurtzman sit across from each other and talk about the film and what drew them to the project.
Life in Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash (7:32): The best stunt in the film gets its own featurette.
Meet Ahmanet (7:39): Ahmanet gets her own featurette talking about her character and the actress that plays her (Sophia Boutella).
Cruise in Action (6:09): Although he never says it, I’m pretty sure Cruise did this movie just to do the stunts. This featurette is spent talking about how great he is and how intense he is when it comes to doing the stunts.
Becoming Jekyll and Hyde (7:10): Dr. Jekyll gets his own featurette.
Choreographed Chaos (6:35): The end battle gets an extended look.
Nick Morton: In Search of a Soul (5:43): The main character gets a closer look as Cruise talks about how complex Nick is.
Rooted in Reality (6:52): Director Alex Kurtzman talks about how much he loves the classic monster movies and how he wanted to set The Mummy in a realistic universe.
Ahmanet Reborn Graphic Novel