CULTURE

Tom Cruise’s The Mummy Crushed By Critics (and Likely Wonder Woman)

Tom Cruise’s surprising choice to lead Universal’s Monster movie cinematic universe is not paying off with critics.


Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips

National treasure and Scientology poster boy Tom Cruise has never won an Oscar and, well, there is a very good shot that he never will. People don’t turn up to see him to watch him try on accents and complex characters like Meryl Streep, they pay their $15 at the multiplex to see him dangle from planes, shoot robot aliens, and make out with actresses who are definitively shorter than he is.

That said The Mummy, his latest foray into blockbuster territory, looks like it should have been kept under wraps. It only has a 21% at review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it slightly worse than stinkers King Arthur and Pirates of the Carribean: Johnny Depp Needs a Paycheck, and just 1% better than The Rock and Zac Efron’s abfest Baywatch. “Did our hero even bother to read the script for this toxic CGI dump site?” asks the Toronto Star.

The New York Times is even crueler, “Mr. Cruise plays Nick Morton, a jaunty military daredevil with a sideline in antiquities theft and a nutty sidekick (Jake Johnson). When a caper goes wrong, the two call in an airstrike on an Iraqi village — I guess that’s something people are doing for kicks nowadays — and a mysterious tomb is unearthed. Luckily, an archaeologist, Dr. Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), is on hand to explain what it’s all about and also to affirm Nick’s heterosexuality.” Ouch.

Making it even worse, The Mummy is supposed to be Universal’s first foray into the extended cinematic universe territory made popular by Marvel’s Avengers movies and whatever the hell it is that DC Comics is trying to do with Batman Vs. Superman. (Wonder Woman is really good though, and will likely crush The Mummy in its second week at the box office.) Universal plans for this movie to be the first in their Dark Universe series where they reboot all of their old monster movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, and the rest. Johnny Depp has already been tapped to star in a related remake of The Invisible Man. The plan starts to come together in this movie, where we meet Dr. Jekyll played by Russell Crowe who drops hints at all the other baddies he’s been fighting lately. There’s even plans for a tentatively Angelina Jolie-starring Bride of Frankenstein (even though no one has officially asked Jolie yet).

But trying to set up this whole universe outside of the movie seems to be part of the problem. “The Mummy is trying to do so many different things, has so many different reasons for being (not to mention so many screenwriters), that a kind of narrative chaos is the all but inevitable result.,” the Los Angeles Times says.

Things don’t look too promising if Universal can’t get this one movie off the ground. However, many in Hollywood note that these flicks could make far more in the international market than they will in the U.S., where we have more options at the theater and aren’t lured in by everything Tom Cruise does.

Still, The Mummy isn’t even the lowest rated Cruise movie on Rotten Tomatoes. That honor goes to Cocktail, which has a paltry 5% rating, which is lower than the alcohol content of most of the drinks Cruise serves in the movie. But then again classic Top Gun only has a 56%, so what the hell do critics know anyway?

Related: An Angelina Jolie Bride of Frankenstein Movie is in the Works (But No One Has Actually Asked Angelina Jolie Yet)

Tom Cruise Takes W’s Screen Test:

Guitar Hero: Tom Cruise

Cruise wears Rita Ryack leather pants. Accessories and jewelry styled by costume designer Rita Ryack.

Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips

Cruise wears Rita Ryack leather pants. Accessories and jewelry styled by costume designer Rita Ryack.

Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips
Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips

Models, from left: True Religion black leather shorts. Michael Spirito cuff; Alexis Bittar rings; Burberry belt; models own nipple ring. Emilio Pucci black and white Lycra swimsuit. Eddie Borgo cone bracelet, Tom Ford cuff (from left); Sequin ring. Cruise wears Rita Ryack snakeskin pants. Accessories and jewelry styled by costume designer Rita Ryack.

Beauty note: Pump up any hairstyle with a flash of Borghese Milan Volumizing Mousse.

Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips
Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips
Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips
Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips

Models, from left: 3.1 Phillip Lim silk blazer. Hervé Léger by Max Azria polyester bathing suit. Sequin ring. Eddie Borgo black rings; Assad Mounser dangling earring; LaCrasia Gloves gloves; model’s own cross and stud earrings. Cruise wears Rita Ryack leather pants. Accessories and jewelry all styled by costume designer Rita Ryack.

Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips
Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips

Cruise: Hair by Michael White; makeup and tattoo design: Michele Burke. Models: Hair by Recine; makeup by Aaron de Mey at Art Partner; manicures by Champagne Satayakul. Models: Abbey Lee Kershaw at Next; Edita Vilkeviciute at DNA New York.

Fashion on models, from left: Versace cotton raffia top. Hervé Léger by Max Azria polyester-blend swimwear bottoms. Eddie Borgo earrings and choker; Michael Schmidt Swarovski Elements spiked cuff, Chrome Hearts 22k gold and diamond bracelet (from left); Chanel gloves; Double Happiness Jewelry 14k gold and tourmaline ring. 3.1 Phillip Lim silk-blend bralette. Salvatore Ferragamo beaded silk jacket. Barbara Bui cotton shorts. Venus by Maria Tash nose ring; Assad Mounser earring; Michael Schmidt mesh bracelet; Solange Azagury-Partridge 18k blackened-white-gold and diamond ring; her own earrings. Cruise wears Rita Ryack leather pants. Accessories and jewelry styled by costume designer Rita Ryack.

Beauty: On Cruise: Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner in Smoke. On models, from left: Smashbox High Definition foundation in Light L3; Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Screenshot; Lash DNA mascara in Jet Black; Blush Rush in Gingersnap; Limitless Lip Stain in Guava. Studio Skin foundation in 2.3; Smokebox Palette; Hyperlash Mascara in Blackout; Blush Rush in Paradise; Lip Enhancing Gloss in Tease.

Photographer: Mario Sorrenti Stylist: Arianne Phillips
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