“The Mummy” Something Something Stupid “Wrapped” Pun

There’s an off-hand moment early on in The Mummy when Egyptologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) draws attention to the importance of the discovery that she and Nick Mortion (Tom Cruise) have made by referring to the age of the sarcophagus:  5,000 years.  Trouble is, Wallis clearly mouths “three”, not “five”.  Oh well, ADR happens.  Maybe there was a re-write where they realized that 3,000 years wasn’t enough for the Egyptian period they wanted.  So they fixed it.  That’s fine, if a bit distracting.  Later, Tom Cruise calls “the chick” 3,000 years old.  They left that one in.  Maybe Tom Cruise is too busy to do ADR.  Maybe no one caught it.  Maybe no one cares.

Ladies and gentleman, this is The Mummy in a nutshell:  falling over its own presumed intelligence, never paying enough attention to what it is doing for it to matter.

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“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” to This Parched Well

Can a well be dry after a single successful trip?  Because if Jack Reacher:  Never Go Back is the best this franchise has to offer after its surprising debut, then we might as well be drinking sand.  None of the new characters are likable, the acting is hollow, and the writers deprive Jack Reacher himself of any real interest.  The plot is derivative and full of generic bad guys that make Jai Courtney look like Anton Chigurh.  The screenplay is written by three people, none of whom are named “Christopher McQuarrie”, and is populated by wooden groaners and extreme plot conveniences.  The plot is generic, and its associated “twist” is lazy and telegraphed worse than the death of Han Solo.  This is a film that is completely bereft of technique, subtlety, and intrigue.

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“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” Ascends to Brilliant Heights

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation revels in its tropes. Heists, MacGuffins, and double/triple crosses abound and elevate the film to the very apex of the spy film genre. Director Christopher McQuarrie (director of Jack Reacher, writer of Edge of Tomorrow) ably adds his touches and always keeps the action intelligible, but this is unequivocally Tom Cruise’s movie. Cruise’s portrayal of Ethan Hunt has carried the Mission: Impossible franchise since its inception, but in the past his task has sometimes bordered on Sisyphean thanks to poor plotting, writing, and directing. Rogue Nation is a much easier boulder to push, and never tumbles from its well-earned heights.

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Halo + “Groundhog’s Day” = “Edge of Tomorrow”: A Review

Last year, when Edge of Tomorrow was released in theaters, I remember being vaguely aware of it. I tried to get a friend or two to accompany me to one of the few showtimes left, but nothing came of it. I resigned myself to seeing it at some point. I knew it was supposed to be an interesting piece of science fiction action, and that meant that it would cross my plate eventually. I waited far too long, because this movie is fantastic.
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