Universal is planning to restart their monster cinematic universe with the release of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. You can check out the first chapter in the reboot of their iconic monsters as The Mummy heads out on digital download, DVD and Blu-Ray. Coming soon will be The Werewolf, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and more, but for now, it’s time to get all sorts of wrapped up with The Mummy as it lands on home video.
Have to start by giving props for turning the gender of our title character to the female side of the aisle. An ancient evil is returned to the world when Cruise and his cohorts discover a mummy that was once an Egyptian royal who used her wiles to claw her way to the top until she was found it, and mummified alive and buried where they thought no one would find her… modern day Iraq.
Once discovered by treasure seeker Cruise, all bets are off and the cursed princess seeks to lay waste to the modern world and all who call it home. One can understand why she’s a little peeved, after all, she was buried alive and now all of us in the modern world have to prepare for 1000s of years of pent up anger. Doesn’t look so good for us, no? But thankfully we have Cruise to save the day.
Cruise is an interesting fit for this role, but the spotlight tends to shine on his co-star, the impeccably cast Russell Crowe… who makes his debut as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The circumstances of Crowe’s character and his involvement in this story will be the catalyst to this new Universal monster cinematic universe and that part works quite well. What doesn’t work as well is the Cruise-centric story that falls a little flat at times in search of the thrills. For more on our thoughts on the film itself, don’t miss our theatrical The Mummy review.
The highlight of the film has to be the actress behind the evil, Sofia Boutella. The Kingsman: The Secret Service star blows doors channeling her evilest and bringing an authenticity to a Mummy film, which arrives relatively recently after the Brendan Fraser starring series called it quits.
That’s why when it comes to bonus features on The Mummy Blu-Ray, we have to start by saluting Meet Ahmanet. This closer look at Boutella’s character and performance breaks down why it works so well and gives us an inside look at how the actress dug deep and delivered the chills.
One of the most insane scenes in the entire film is the plane crash that opens up this world and thank goodness one of the home video’s bonus features clues us in to how that brilliance was achieved. Life In Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash is a seven-and-a-half minute featurette that finds Cruise himself showcasing how his vision for the scene was brought to life utilizing a real Zero-G airplane that was integral to making that jaw-dropping movie moment truly drop jaws.
The superstar was actively involved in all aspects of the making of The Mummy. That fact is made perfectly clear in the twenty-plus minute Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation. The thespian and his helmer talk in front of a movie theater crowd, and then in a more intimate setting, about the making of their hit film and give us priceless insight into how some of the best moments came to be.
For those who are fascinated by the entire Egyptian lore at the heart of The Mummy, don’t miss Rooted in Reality. Kurtzman, Cruise and others involved in making the film explore at how they integrated some real life elements of Egyptian ancient history to add a layer of authenticity to the action thriller.
The last three bonus features make the extras even more enthralling than the film itself. Cruise in Action showcases the cast and crew showering their love on their star and reveal how much he brings to a project and how he is so much more than the name above the marquee. Becoming Jekyll and Hyde dives into the dark world created by Crowe and adds incredible insight into a major player in the Universal cinematic monster universe. Lastly, Choreographed Chaos gives us great insight into finding the film’s locations and the challenges that ensued from filming a global epic out in the field, instead of taking the easy way out on making this movie on a soundstage.
Also, the Audio Commentary is a nice effort, largely because it goes behind the primary players, Kurtzman and Cruise. Joining in on the discussion through the film’s commentary track is Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson.
Film Grade: C+
Bonus Features: B