david koepp movies

The Mummy (2017)

If anyone was going to find something to like about Universal’s first entry in its Dark Universe, it was me. I grew up with the Universal Monsters, and am a big fan of the Brendan Fraser/Rachel Weisz reboot. But 2017′s The Mummy is awful. It makes so many mistakes that future pictures will have to work very hard to build a franchise.

Tomb pilferer Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his partner Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) accidentally revive the mummified princess Ahmanet (Sophia Boutella) from the dead. In order to stop her from unleashing a demon to which she sold her soul, Nick and Chris team up with archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) and Prodigium, an organization that specializes in monsters.

The moments that are supposed to be frightening aren’t and not only because of its dedication to cheap jump scares. The Mummy then tries to balance the mood by making you laugh but is never funny. The writing is horrible through and through. Ahmanet needs a specific dagger to complete her ritual. Why hasn’t it been destroyed if it’s so dangerous? Probably to give our villainess a chance. When she pulls idiotic moves like dismissing her undead soldiers and divulging her entire plan out loud, the poor lady establishes herself as a threat only because she possesses supernatural powers. Then, it gets little details plainly wrong. Anyone who does a basic Wikipedia search could tell you that Set is NOT the God of Death!

The characters’ actions do not follow each other logically, the tone is confused, and while the titular Mummy has a somewhat unique look, overall, the picture is very generic. The one positive aspect is Tom Cruise and some choice action scenes. Clearly, the man is committed to the spectacular stunts. Too bad they’re for this film.

I want this Dark Universe to be good so here’s some free advice. First of all, Prodigium, the S.H.I.E.L.D. clone you’ve got here, is no good. it shouldn’t include dozens of nameless members with high-tech equipment, it should be secretive, small and underfunded. Perhaps then I’d buy them employing the red-flag-raising Dr. Jekyll (Rusell Crowe). Next, please refrain yourself from destroying the world with special effects. I don’t know how the Bride of Frankenstein is going to threaten the world, and I don’t want her to. Unless you’re re-making Frankenstein Conquers the World, in which a giant, irradiated Frankenstein Monster fights a dinosaur (which would actually be cool, make it a shared universe shared universe by including Godzilla!), take cues from The Conjuring and its sequels, not The Avengers.

I wanted The Mummy to be good so badly, but it isn’t. Even with its hints of more to come (keep your eyes open for cameos), it seems hardly worth seeing, even for hardcore fans. (3D Theatrical version on the big screen, June 17, 2017)

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MORTDECAI

He’s the most interesting man in the world, who also happens to be a buffoon. Johnny Depp is Mortdecai in David Koepp’s comedy, also starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Aubrey Plaza, Jeff Goldblum, and Olivia Munn. The plot synopsis is as follows: 

Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

Mortdecai hits theaters on February 6, 2015.