Since COVD put the kibosh on hookups and house parties in March 2020, every Friday is Movie Night: a special dinner, a special dessert (last night it was cake), and the DVD that arrived in a red Netflix envelope. Always science fiction or horror. After 17 months, we're running a little low, and last night we hit the bottom of the barrel: The Mummy (2017), starring poster boy for homophobia Tom Cruise.
Oh well, he still had a respectable physique at age 55.
Don't worry, I won't go through the whole movie. Just the first fifteen things that make no sense.
Scene 1: 1127 AD. Some Medieval knights, decked out like the Knights Templars, are burying one of their own with a ruby on his chest.
Scene 2: A news story tells us that construction workers uncovered "ancient tombs" under present-day London: Crusaders who must have visited Egypt, since there's a giant door with Egyptian hieroglypics buried next to them. Ok, the crusades were in the Middle Ages; they weren't "ancient" (before 500 CE).
There's some stuff about construction workers fighting with archaeologists. Then an old guy who will later turn out to be Dr. Jekyll (yes, that Dr. Jekyll) gets all reverent and says "I've finally found HER." He narrates HER story:
Scene 3: Flashback to ancient Egypt, during the New Kingdom (1550-1077 BCE). We see the pyramids of Giza, but not the Sphinx for some reason. Princess Ahmanet, heir to the throne, is practicing sword fighting while wearing a wispy white robe, with someone who I thought was her boyfriend, but might be her father. She's all ready to become Pharoah, when her father has a boy baby (her mother isn't mentioned; we get the impression that Dad gives birth). Now she will no longer rule!
So she goes into a crypt and summons Set, the God of Death (actually in charge of thunderstorms, earthquakes, the desert, violence, and foreigners). This requires her to take off all her clothes and walk around naked a lot. He gives her a ruby scepter, which allows her to assassinate her father and baby brother. Gee, couldn't she do that without a lot of supernatural machinations?
Now Ahmanet wants to "take revenge on the world." What for? She's Pharaoh. This requires her to kill her boyfriend (Erol Ismail) during sex. But then she is captured and "mummified alive." That's impossible -- mummification requires the removal of the brain and internal organs. She was buried alive.
Scene 4: "Mesopotamia, Cradle of Civilization. Now known as Iraq." Yeah, I'm sure audiences know that.
Effervescent American soldier Nick (Tom Cruise) tries to talk his sidekick Chris (Jake Johnson) into a side caper: digging into a spot marked "Haram." Ok, haram means "forbidden" in Arabic, but it refers to religious prohibitions, like eating pork. Not "stay away."
He assumes that because it is forbidden, it contains valuable artifacts, which they will steal from the Iraqi people and sell on the black market.
They ride down to the village and get yelled at by their commanding officer (Courtney B. Vance, playing one of those authority figures cast with a black actor so they can say "Look! We're inclusive!", even though they have only five seconds of air time). He tells them: "No looting! No tomb-raiding! We're here to fight the insurrectionists or something!"
Suddenly Jenny, a supermodel archaeologist, rushes up to yell at Nick: after a one-night stand, he stole her map of the Haram site, and left without giving her his phone number. This is a novel version of the "broken up so you can get back together again" cliche.
Nick also performed poorly (he finished after only fifteen seconds). Guess which of the accusations Nick is most concerned about? Yep, the fifteen seconds. He tries to save face among the other guys by claiming that it actually took many hours, leaving Jenny exhausted.
Scene 5: They explore the Haram hole, descending past a giant scary head to an artificial cave complex, where mercury has been dripping down for three thousand years. Eventually they find a group of statues surrounding a sarcophagus suspended by ropes (that haven't rotted after three thousand years). While Jenny examines the various artifacts, Nick and Jake steal them. They also fight spiders.
Suddenly Nick has a vision of being in the Egyptian desert, where a scantily-clad Ahmanet says "You freed me, my Chosen One" and kisses him. So she has been orchestrating all of these events just to get Nick into her tomb?
Their commanding officer calls: the insurrectionists are approaching, so we're leaving. Grab what you can and get out. Wait -- he forbade them from looting.
Scene 5: An army transport plane, with the sarcophagus they've stolen from the Iraqi people ludicrously suspended by ropes, but the tomb itself inside. Jenny reads the story from the hieroglyphs. The Egyptologist has never heard of Ahmanet.
Later, Jake turns into a zombie and starts stabbing people. He comes for Nick, who has to shoot him.
The pilot announces that they're inexplicably gone several thousand miles off course, and now they're over England. Then a pack of birds starts dive-bombing the plane, killing the pilots, plus causing massive holes and engine explosions. The plane careens out of control. Why would Ahmanet want to kill her Chosen One, and destroy her own body? This makes no sense.
The other crew members and soldiers are swept out of various holes in the plane. Nick and Jenny wait for the crash. He asks her again about the fifteen seconds. This is ridiculous. Who would be concerned about that at the end of their life? At the last minute, he straps a parachute onto Jenny and pushes her out of the plane (you know, two people can descend on one parachute). Then he dies.
Scene 6: At a hospital in England, Jenny is asked to identify the bodies. Wait -- she didn't know most of the people on the plane. Shouldn't their families be contacted?
In the morgue, all of the bodies are draped in white sheets, except for Nick, who is in a clear plastic body bag. Suddenly he comes back to life. He struggles to open the bag before he suffocates. Bummer -- get resurrected, and then die right away.
He gets out and looks down at the corpse tag attached to his toe: "Unknown."
At that point, the DVD froze. But at least it froze at a shot of Nick's muscular chest. I'd rather watch that for an hour than the rest of this mess.
Beefcake: That one Tom body scene, the bare chest of Ahmanet's boyfriend.
Gratuitous Female Nudity: Lots.
Aggravating ignorance of what archaeology is all about: Lots. Did anyone associated with this movie actually consult an archaeologist? Or pick up a book?
Annoyingly blatant American imperialism: Lots.
Toxic masculinity: A man is worth only as much as the length of time he can last during heterosexual intercourse.
Gay subtext: I understand that at the end of the movie, Nick resurrects his sidekick so they can ride off into the sunset together. That counts, I guess.