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After several false starts, it's looking like our beloved Universal Monsters might just finally get the reboot franchise they were promised years ago as The Mummy kicks off the new "Dark Universe" which would lead to an Avengers or LXG-style team-up.

The reviews for this new remake haven't been kind but the presence of Tom Cruise in the lead role with the likes of Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem set to star in further movies might just help confirm this franchise as a done deal despite its lukewarm reception. The original The Mummy was a moody horror film and the Brendan Fraser-starring reboot more of a fun adventure series while this latest effort tries something in between: part-tongue-in-cheek actioner, part-creepy monster movie, this new Mummy certainly has an uneven tone, something that might have alienated some viewers and critics. The plot sees a couple of thieves uncover a hidden Egyptian tomb in war-torn Iraq where they quickly scoop up a mysterious sarcophagus. Unfortunately, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who sold her soul to Set before being mummified while still alive, rests inside waiting to get out and bring life to the nefarious Egyptian god. Soldier of fortune Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is chosen by the mummy to be Set's vessel so he'll need to somehow stop the curse before it's too late.

Starting up a monster movie universe with a reboot of a relatively recent franchise (The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor was released in 2008) was always going to be a challenge as audiences are starting to grow weary of unnecessary remakes and the grittier look of this new Mummy didn't exactly sell the sort of campy charm the earlier movies banked on. Tom Cruise definitely lends a lot of star-power to a film that might have otherwise passed by unnoticed so the actor, like him or not, was pretty indispensable here. His Mission: Impossible-style antics do distract a little from the film's horror theme but that plane crash scene is still very exciting and well done plus you still get to see Cruise kick zombies in the face and fight it out with both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Russell Crowe) so chances are there'll be some aspect of The Mummy you'll enjoy. The look of the "monsters" is pretty cool, the action scenes are fun and Cruise has a good time playing another flawed yet witty and badass (of course) character. Admittedly, a less predictable story, a more original visual style and a greater emphasis on the horror elements could have improved this one.

For all the bad press The Mummy's been getting, it really isn't bad. This is an entertaining and appropriately grim popcorn movie with enough action, zombies and laughs to make it worth a watch. Sure the romance is completely tacked-on and it's mostly predictable but it remains an enjoyably brainless sit.

Fun gloomy actioner.

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