The Mummy [IMAX/3D]
Generously speaking, The Mummy would have made for a good TV-movie and be better appreciated as a standalone film in itself rather than as a reboot of the Branden Fraser's 1999 hit. Even Tom Cruise's innate charisma could not save it from its poor writing, mundane blandness and generally bad acting. However, having said that, there were four really, really great action sequences that were a lot better than anything in Wonder Woman, so there's that. But still, Penny Dreadful this ain't.
The potential of this Dark Universe, monster vs monster franchise is surely there, but director Alex Kurtzman and the whole team of writers basically just gave us a tone-deaf version of what could have been great (again, see John Logan's Penny Dreadful). And it all starts from the miscasting of Cruise. Or better put, the mischaracterisation of what a typical Cruise-character should be. To his credit, Cruise has an insane amount of charisma, but it plays much better when he portrays a character in-charge rather than as a passive stumbler of luck and contrivances.
Then we have the female companion. Annabelle Wallis was badly miscast. She and Cruise barely had any chemistry and she was utterly unbelievable as whatever her character meant to be. To make things worse, she was really a few steps back in the evolution of Cruise's female partner, i.e. a damsel in distress that needed Cruise to save. What happened to the strong, independent women like Cobie Smulders in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, or Rebecca Ferguson in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, or Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow?
Next we also have the miscasting of Russell Crowe. Boy, is Crowe really desperate for work? Too many elements in this film distracted from the promise of an exciting premise.
Jake Johnson replays the wise-cracking sidekicks that often occurs in Cruise's films, but it was unfortunate - and blind of Kurtzman, et al - that Cruise's character was named Nick when Johnson is probably more well known for his role as Nick in TV's New Girl.
Lastly, we have the poor Sofia Boutella. So pretty but such a bland character.
The film ran for 107 minutes but yet felt as long as Wonder Woman need. The Dark Universe franchise has so much potential that I really do hope we get to see more of it. But better.
IMAX and 3D not necessary.