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Thoughts On The Mummy – And Silly Season In General

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I left ‘Tom Cruise’s The Mummy’ with a massive shit eating grin on my face. I’d never been more sure that what I want from a movie – especially now – could be so different to everyone else. I’d also never been so at peace with that.

Then, as I was driving (like I stole it), on the A27, I got cut up. Twice. Both in their 90’s – and almost certainly Tory/Brexiters. I was incandescent. I flashed – but they were blind, so couldn’t see. I honked my horn – but they were deaf, so couldn’t hear. And then I saw myself in the mirror. Hyde-like, but with a better cockernee accent. What a daft thing to get upset about, AT. You silly billy.

And then it dawned on me. People get upset about the silliest things. And it’s each to their own. Me? Not merchandising the fridge properly. It’s right up there. Everyone else this week? Aside from the obvious – it’s been all out road rage on Tom Cruise. That, and the use of “silly billy” as an insult.

Two films in a year? People don’t care. ‘American Made‘ is DOA to them. It’s Tom Cruise with his stupid shit eating grin. It’s just Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise again. Well – last time I checked, we haven’t seen him smothered in cocaine or joining the mile high club whilst flying the plane, but each to their own….

Tom Cruise is the biggest movie star of all time to seemingly be liked by no one. Except me. And maybe my Dad (although he’s never embraced ‘War of the Worlds’ like I feel he should have).

So what does it all mean?

Well, unfortunately it means a lot of people will steer clear of ‘The Mummy’. Possibly still scarred by the CGI Scorpion King, I half understand it. But they’re missing a really good, mercifully short, action/comedy/horror/zombie flick.

There was a moment where I pictured the internet imploding as Cruise appears as Nathan Drake in flash forwards in the incoming ‘Uncharted‘. There was another where they almost outdid the underwater scene in ‘Alien Resurrection‘ in terms of a base scene.

It’s got a lot to say, and a lot to establish, but so what? If they didn’t try and crow bar Russell Crowe (!) in, we’d all say it was a missed opportunity, wouldn’t we? With or with out his Jeremy Beadle Claw (what?), I look forward to him joining up the universe.

And it’s not like you have to be in on the joke. Miss The Creature From The Black Lagoon? That’s OK. Miss Cruise playing Lestat again – if only for too brief a second? That’s OK, too. Avoid the whole thing because it looks “messy”? Not OK.

Name me a film this Summer that won’t be messy? (‘War of the Planet of the Apes‘ doesn’t count as I fear that will literally be in a league of its own). ‘Homecoming‘ – maybe?

It’s the summer, for gods sake. Embrace silly season. We may never get a year like 1999 again where the quality matched the output, so stop comparing.

I sit every year and tick off “The Biggies”. There’s not a huge amount left. And half way through I’m not convinced we’re looking for the good in movies. People are going in wanting to dislike them.

Possibly my only annoyance here is the fact the films a 15. After crusading for 12’s to lower their tone a bit (stop with the ‘effing eff words, Marvel!) – two days ago, this slams me in the face with a 15. Don’t get me wrong, it probably should be. But equally the bits that make it so are invariably CGI on CGI, so it’s puzzling at best. If they want to go full hog, fine. But the comedy (some great riffs on ‘Shaun of the Dead‘ and nods to ‘American Werewolf in London‘), always kept it grounded and safe in an 80’s Spielberg kind of way, for me.

Tonally it’s completely shot. But it seems happy with this. So the initial action scene leading to some zombie horror never bothered me. It’s not like the initial adverts didn’t call it out. It’s a universe with monsters in it. And Tom Cruise is in it, punching, kicking and shooting said monsters. I laughed a few times and jumped once. My 9 year old would probably laugh twice and jump five times. Horses for courses.

Sure, Hollywood needs to up its game. Scripts need to tighten up. They need to stop the whole expanded universe cramming. But you still can’t beat 120 minutes in a cinema, for me. (Apart from the guy who went on his phone and got the best comeuppance ever… he’d got a cheeky DM message on Facebook his girlfriend didn’t like. She didn’t see the end of the film, unfortunately – which is a shame, as if there’s another, they set the Dark Universe up quite nicely).

But Manchester United need to improve their goals to shot ratio – it doesn’t mean I’ll stop supporting. It’s one season of many. One film of many. If implore you not to turn your back on this one. There’s genuinely lots to like.

And to keep that analogy going, as we’re halfway through the Year/Season, here’s my Contenders and relegation fodder for 2017, so far… What’s your League table shaping up like?

If It scientifically proves one thing, it’s that ‘The Mummy’ is better than ‘Guardians Vol.2’ (Shots fired!)

1. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
2. ‘Silence’
3. ‘Manchester by the Sea’
4. ‘A Monster Calls’
5. ‘Wonder Woman’
6. ‘Kong: Skull Island’
—–
18. ‘Guardians Vol. 2’
19. ‘Power Rangers’
20. ‘Trainspotting 2’

(I saw these in 2017 as I’m not at fancy showings/don’t live in the States, so they do count, before you say anything!)

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