Universal is launching a reboot of The Mummy. This new film is to be released in June 2017 and is planned to be the first part of a new Universal Monsters shared universe. Other films planned for this series are Johnny Depp in The Invisible Man, a Mad Max inspired Van Helsing movie, and Bride of Frankenstein which is rumored to be starring Angelina Jolie.
First let me just say- hell yes, that sounds fucking amazing.
Before we get into this new Mummy trailer however, it’s important you learn a little more about me.
I LOVE the 1999 version of The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser. During my formative years that movie played on TBS three nights a week, every week. For a long time if you had asked me my favorite movie, I would have told you The Mummy starring Brendan James Fraser. I’ve never told anybody this, probably because I’m afraid of losing all credibility and/or having my film degree revoked. Also if it weren’t for the fact that I run this website, my colleagues would surely have me fired had they ever found this out.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about this trailer.
The first 20 seconds are pure action movie. Very much something in which you’d expect to see Tom Cruise (Cruise stars in this movie btw). There’s a fade to black as Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones starts to play. The next two minutes show things being destroyed while human exposition machines Annabelle Wallis and Russell Crowe explain basically the entire plot of the movie.
During this period which takes up the majority of the trailer, we learn the basic backstory of the titular mummy antagonist named Ahmanet.
The final 30 seconds of the trailer veer into some more traditional monster movie motifs. My favorite shot of the trailer occurred at 2:04 when our antagonist appears from beneath the water where are heroes are hiding. Very horroresque. Lots of fun.
If I had to levy one major criticism of the trailer, it fell into the trap of giving away a too much plot information. This trailer seemed to be more of a mini version of the whole movie rather than a true trailer. YouTube commenter MidisG82 even quipped, “If you look closely you can watch the entire movie”.
Despite that, I enjoyed the trailer. For one it’s much better than the first trailer which was an unintelligible pile of nonsense. It was also fun to notice parallels between this new movie, and the 1999 Mummy that I love so much. Based on these two trailers, this reboot and the 1999 version seem to be very similar. Details have been changed of course, but the overarching plot of an evil Egyptian monarch being unwittingly brought back to life and then going on a murder spree seems largely unchanged.
I think that’s a good sign however. It’s a good formula. Plus Sofia Boutella who plays the titular Mummy seems to be infinitely more charismatic, interesting, and badass than 1999’s Arnold Vosloo mummy.
Will this movie be an artistic masterpiece? Certainly not. Will it be a lot of fun? I’m guessing yes.
I have high hopes for this Universal Monster movie universe. Monster movies in many ways are the antithesis to the current trend of superhero movies. I find superhero movies to be boring largely because superheroes are all-powerful pseudo deities who are never REALLY in any danger, you know, because they can fly and have laser vision and super strength.
Monster movies subvert that by giving all of the power to the antagonist. How can a group of normal people destroy something super powerful? That is the nature of the drama in monster movies. That is a form of drama which I find to be not only more interesting, but more affecting as a viewer. A good monster movie can tap into our deepest fears both as individuals and as a society. On top of that, there’s nothing cooler than a good monster. Jaws, The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth, Predator, King Kong, Godzilla. All of them iconic characters who are way cooler and more interesting than generic super villain number six from the latest Marvel film.
All in all, this is not a particularly well made trailer. However I think this movie has a lot of potential and I’m very much looking forward to its release. Have I been blinded by my love of an 18 year old movie that is also objectively not very good? Maybe, but at this point I don’t care.
BRING ME THAT SWEET MUMMY ACTION.
Watch the trailer below and tell me if I’m a lunatic who needs to find a new line of work.
[editor’s note: it has been brought to my attention that Imhotep from the 1999 version of The Mummy was not actually royalty, but rather a priest with close ties to the Egyptian Royals.]