The Mummy is the first movie in a new franchise series from Universal that steps back to the original from 1999 and re-writes the storyline and characters rather than being written as either a sequel or prequel.
To some this will be confusing or will be compared to the original, but if you view the movie as a whole new beginning of a series it has plenty of adrenaline-pumping action, well-crafted visuals and smart dialogue.
Nick Morton (played by Tom Cruise) and his partner Sergeant Vail (played by Jake Johnson) are soldiers of fortune that plunder ancient sites for timeless artefacts and sell them to the highest bidder.
Morton steals a map of supposed treasures from archaeologist Jenny Halsey (played by Annabelle Wallis) which leads Morton and Vail to come under attack in an Iraqi village. The ensuing battle accidentally unearths the ancient burial site of Ahmanet, an Egyptian princess who was buried under the Mesopotamian desert for thousands of years.
Together with Halsey and American army officers they soon discover that Ahmanet (played by Sofia Boutella), was the sole heir to Egypt’s throne before her Pharaoh dad, Menehptre, has a son with a new wife.
Furious that she wouldn’t be Queen, Ahmanet vows revenge, killing all three and sells her soul to the Egyptian god Set. But before she could sacrifice a lover, who was to become the god’s human embodiment, she was captured and “mummified alive” in the chamber discovered by Morton.
The ceremonial dagger with which she intended to make the sacrifice was split into two parts, putting its magic powers on hold until the about-to-wake-up Ahmanet can put the pieces together again.
Meanwhile in England, one piece of that dagger has just been found in a crypt dating back to the Second Crusade. The dagger is taken for safe keeping by Dr Henry Jekyll (played by Russell Crowe), who has a monstrous alter ego he must continually take drugs to subdue.
With her powers constantly evolving, Morton (who Ahmanet has decided will be her new sacrifice) must now stop the resurrected Ahmanet as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.
Ahmanet is eventually subdued and returned to her sarcophagi after Morton sacrifices himself with the dagger to breathe new life into Halsey who has been killed by Ahmanet.
A now immortal Morton sets the scene for future movies in the finale as he rides across the desert with a sand storm following in his wake, as the audience wonders whether he has assumed the persona of the Egyptian god Set.
Words by Peter Lamont
Image by The Mummy
Details: The Mummy | now showing in cinemas everywhere | 2 hours 4 minutes | Rated M