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?
Tom Cruise Takes W's Screen Test: