The primary objective of Universal’s latest reboot of its 85-year-old horror property is to establish an Avengers-style “shared universe” with the other iconic monsters the studio owns. The secondary objective seems to be an experiment: Will audiences turn out for a Tom Cruise movie even when he’s woefully miscast and the movie is a mess? Cruise plays Nick Morton, a cocky, irresponsible looter of antiquities who disturbs the tomb of a cursed Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella); she then imprints on Nick and wants him to become host body for the death-god Set. Annabelle Wallis plays the beautiful archeologist who correctly and repeatedly scolds Nick for being reckless and ignorant; Jake Johnson plays the comic-relief sidekick who yells things like “We're gonna die!” and “I never should have agreed to this!”; Russell Crowe plays Dr. Henry Jekyll. (I told you Universal was serious about this.) First-time big-budget director Alex Kurtzman delivers a few entertaining action sequences in Cruise’s wheelhouse—you get the feeling Cruise had a wish-list—but the film is glib, charmless, written-by-committee piffle with no character. Better stake this idea in the heart before it gets too far.
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Producer: Alex Kurtzman, Chris Morgan, Sean Daniel, Sarah Bradshaw, Jeb Brody and Roberto Orci
Cast: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Simon Atherton, Stephen Thompson, James Arama, Matthew Wilkas, Sohm Kapila, Sean Michael, Rez Kempton, Erol Ismail, Selva Rasalingam, Shanina Shaik and Javier Botet