film review – the mummy;

[ WARNING: this post may contain spoilers of The Mummy (2017) ]

If there’s one thing I’m really fond of about watching a film, it would be the cultural elements inside of it. No, I’m not talking about race or religion, but the stories―both the old factual tales and the fabrication of the real thing. I have always been interested in other culture (which now, makes me question why am I even studying Communications instead of Culture Studies and Anthropology). From how the social behaviour, clothes, moral values, but mostly, it directs back to their history.

Especially when it comes to the ancient section―namely, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greek, Ancient Norse, and last but not least, Ancient Egypt.

Yep, you got me. I just watched Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy. And what’s that? Isn’t this supposed to be my finals week? Yeah, that. I don’t care, because I have no schedule whatsoever today, June 8.

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My first days of finals had taken so much toll on me―I was practically drained. So when I noticed The Mummy’s premiere in Indonesia, I immediately asked a friend whether he wanted to watch it with me and long story short, he agreed. Right, without beating around the bush, let’s get down with the technicalities.

Cast

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While watching the trailer (weeks ago), I noticed that the source of attraction is by one sole name written on every posters in my city’s cinema: Tom Cruise. The second layer of attraction source is Sofia Boutella and Annabelle Wallis. To be honest, Russell Crowe and Jake Johnson’s appearance kind of surprised me. Either I didn’t notice their names or they undersell them.

Tom Cruise as Nick Morton, an adventurous military guy who had done countless dirty deeds that he could write a book for naming all of them. He got the charm for that kind of character, period. Let’s skip, shall we?

First female lead and antagonist, our Princess Ahmanet. Sofia Boutella is a real beauty, I tell you. For me, there is something distinctive about her appearance that makes me think she can perfectly portray an Egyptian royal. As you can guess, when I see her in the Egyptian garment during the movie, I couldn’t see anyone else suitable for the role Ahmanet.

Then, the second female lead, Annabelle Wallis. I’m VERY exhilarated I get to see her because her role in Peaky Blinders hooked me. She gave me an impression that she is a real badass beaut. But sadly, I was kind of let down by the fact that Jenny Halsey fills the damsel-in-distress part.

Plot

As someone with an active imagination, needless to say, I love the plot. The concept of an erased princess because her ambition of conquering the world had driven her into batshit craziness? I love it. What’s more, they linked it to the New Kingdom era and the Second Crusade, and added a twist of pop culture―zombies.

Another reason why I liked the plot might be factored by the fact that some women figures in history were erased because according to the Muted Group Theory by Cheris Kramarae, men assert their dominance by controlling the history. Forgive me, this was on my first day of exam.

(The romance plot was cliché. Enough said.)

Technicalities

A lot of cinematic aesthetic detected when Ahmanet is trying to reach Nick. Those CU and ECU shots are gold―literally and figuratively. Am talking about the tones here.

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“My chosen one.” // The tone and desert reminded me of Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dream music video by Joseph Kahn.

But of course, a praise is commonly followed by downside. The camera works came out sloppy and messy in following the characters’ point of view in a fighting scene.

I have to give appraisal for the costume & make up artist for doing a great job in creating Ahmanet’s look. Those tattoos, the zombie scar and effects, they’re flawless. How do you do that? I can’t even put on my foundation evenly.

Storyline

The pace and stretch between the three main parts didn’t seem quite right. Personally, the introduction were a little rushed and blurry to me. Not much narration or dialogue was spoken in the funeral scene in post-Second Crusade timeline, so I have absolutely no idea what’s the point of showing the burial process of a priest before Jenny mentioned the Dagger of Set, which also brought me back to the scene where Ahmanet was captured and the dagger got thrown off, setting apart the stone from the handle.

The mid-part bears a lot of unnecessary things. One good example (or the only one I actually remembered, really) is Jenny’s fight whilst Nick struggles with Hyde/Jekyll.

Oh, also, Vail suddenly disappeared after several times persuading his partner. Wasn’t his character supposed to lure Nick more and seriously tempting him into fulfilling Ahmanet’s wish to bring Set into this world? It’s just too sudden.

Overall

I have always been a fan of the femme-fatales. Ahmanet’s backstory reflects one or two things about being a female in a modern society. The reason why Ahmanet felt her position as the heir of Pharaoh was no longer secured was her newly born step-brother. Men were favoured as rulers compared to women. As deranged as it seems doing the method she took, she fights for what she wants.

This movie too, had presented me some new knowledge, such as how Mercury was believed by Ancient Egyptians to ward off evil forces and the areas which were involved in the first and second Crusade.

Two particular scene swiftly reminded me of Sirius Black’s words of wisdom―the first one is where Dr. Jekyll transitions into his alter ego, Hyde; and second being the one where Nick decided to summon Set into his body to help the global population (but mostly, for Jenny). That’s the message, I guess.

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All of us have two polar side: the good and the bad, and we have the power to choose which one we aspire to be. Nick chose to let the dark win for a while and later, he was reminded that he has a good side and uses Set’s power to do what he think is good. (I said ‘what he think…’, because let’s face it, not all of you will agree he did the right thing due to perceptual differences.)

I will definitely recommend watching this film.

Aaaand for the rating, I’ll give it 8/10. Creative historical plot! Hard to take my eyes off the screen because it keeps making me wonder what will happen next.

I have no idea what else to write in here since I’m too sleepy (GMT+7: almost 4 AM) to think about basically anything. See you in my next post after the finals!

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