Action Adventure

'The Mummy' Blu-ray Review: More than just a loosely wrapped remake

September 23, 2017Ben Mk





FEATURE: 
The battle for the box office these days is all about world-building, with the end goal being to create a shared cinematic universe capable of supporting multiple characters and films. The best example of this, of course, is the Marvel Cinematic Universe; and it's a template the makers of the latest The Mummy reboot have clearly taken to emulating, with admittedly entertaining, albeit somewhat uneven, results.


The bulk of the narrative is set in the modern day, where roguish treasure hunter Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his partner-in-crime, Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), have stumbled upon the discovery of a lifetime in northern Iraq, unearthing the 5,000-year-old tomb of a long-forgotten Egyptian princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). As they and Egyptologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) soon learn, though, this is no ordinary tomb, and Ahmanet was no ordinary princess. And when Ahmanet is unleashed, Nick becomes cursed, and their fates become intertwined.

Of course, in the wake of Wonder Woman, it's tempting to view The Mummy as a tale of female empowerment. And in some ways, it is — a sort of supernatural take on Kill Bill, if you will. That said, there's also a bit of misdirection afoot on the part of director Alex Kurtzman and writers David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman, who've been tasked with laying the groundwork for this "Dark Universe," and who delight in twisting audience expectations, even tossing in a nod to An American Werewolf in London for good measure.

It all adds up to a commendable start to what is sure to be one of the most high-profile film franchises set to hit multiplexes in the coming years; but make no mistake, the filmmakers' eagerness to duplicate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe occasionally serves as a detriment, and you'll likely wish that Cruise's zest for stunts wasn't overshadowed by the liberal use of CGI. Still, The Mummy proves to be more than just a loosely wrapped remake, but only time will tell if there are any Scorpion Kings or Dragon Emperors in the series' future.

AUDIO & VISUALS: 
The Mummy rises from its tomb and lands on Blu-ray looking as rejuvenated as ever, boasting sharp detail and superb colors throughout. From the sun-scorched sands of Egpyt and Iraq to the overcast palette of London and the stark blue hues of gloomy catacombs, this 1080p transfer is top-notch, especially when it comes to admiring such details as the slivers of flesh hanging from the frames of decrepit, zombified corpses, while the default Dolby Atmos sound mix fills the surround channels with the sounds of gunfire, explosions and supernatural shrieks.


EXTRAS: 
Universal's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (4:52) - Four scenes ("Beautiful, Cunning, and Ruthless," "Your Friend is Alive," "Sand in My Mouth" and "She's Escaped")
  • Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation (21:15) - The star and director interview each other about the film.
  • Rooted in Reality (6:52) - A look at the grounded nature of the production and set design.
  • Life in Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash (7:32) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film’s plane crash sequence.
  • Meet Ahmanet (7:39) - Sofia Boutella and the filmmakers talks about her character and her portrayal.
  • Cruise in Action (6:09) - Various cast members praise Cruise’s prowess and dedication for stunt work, and vice-versa.
  • Becoming Jekyll and Hyde (7:10) - A look at Russell Crowe’s dual-minded character, from Crowe’s performance to the production and costume design.
  • Choreographing Chaos (6:35) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of several of the film’s set-piece action sequences.
  • Nick Morton: In Search of a Soul (5:43) - A look at Cruise’s anti-hero character and his arc throughout the movie.
  • Ahmanet Reborn Animated Graphic Novel (3:52) - An animated prequel to the movie.
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Alex Kurtzman and Cast Members Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, and Jake Johnson - A fairly loose and casual track in which the foursome share their stories from filming the movie and talk about the production and set design, the visual effects, the cinematography, their fellow cast members, working with Tom Cruise and more.


The Mummy is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as of September 12th, 2017. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, Spanish and French DTS 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 50 min.






* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on June 9th, 2017.



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