My thoughts on ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘The Mummy’

Wonder Woman
2017, Warner Bros. Pictures

Up to this point, ALL of the DC Extended Universe movies (Man of SteelBatman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, & Suicide Squad) have been box office successes. Wonder Woman is no different in that regard as it has already made half a billion dollars worldwide in its first two weeks of release, but it does have something the three previous DC movies do not have — near-universal acclaim from fans and movie critics alike.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed all of the DCEU movies so far. None of them are great, but they are still enjoyable on one level or another, even if though have major flaws. Well, Wonder Woman has no major flaws or any jarring & inappropriate tones, casting or characterizations like the previous movies have. The story takes place during World War I for the most part, and because of that, it’s really feels more like a war movie rather than a superhero movie (until the very end, at least).

While Marvel more or less sticks to the same action/comedy formula for every single movie they release, it’s nice to see DC’s movies offer some variety in terms of tone. Now whether that tone is appropriate, that’s arguable (such as Man of Steel), but at least they are taking chances. DC/Warner Bros. have caught flak for their movies, but I hope they never try to ape the tired Marvel formula and continue to not only give us movies that feel different from Marvel, but also different from all other DC movies.

Overall, I liked the movie. I’m not in love with it like it seems like so many other people are, but it’s good and it’s probably the best movie of the DCEU.

The Mummy
2017, Universal Pictures

Speaking of film universes….

The Mummy is Universal Pictures’ second attempt to start a shared universe inspired by the original classic Universal Monsters. The very first movie that was meant to kick things off was Dracula Untold, a movie that I enjoyed. Apparently I was one of the few to enjoy it as it was not very successful at the box office and received poor reviews. The story seems to be the same in regards to The Mummy.

The movie is okay. It’s a popcorn movie. The type of movie you can easily sit and watch then completely forget about it. That’s the way I feel about this movie. Is this the type of movie I’d like to have seen made? No. Absolutely not. I would have gone more for atmosphere and horror rather than gunfire and car chases. Although, one of the highlights was seeing Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. It doesn’t seem like they’ll be setting that character up for his own movie (I predict he may be used to help tie all of the films together), but who knows.

After two weeks, the movie has only made a bit over $40 million in the U.S. ($183 million worldwide against a budget of $125 million), so things are not looking good for Universal. I hope they power through and continue with their already announced plans for movie movies in what they are referring to as the Dark Universe.

This is a good lesson of why it’s not a good idea to give the lead actor creative control over the movie. Apparently, Universal gave Tom Cruise approval of script, production, and post-production. It’s been reported he was involved in rewrites of the script (which gave himself more screen time and less screen time for Sofia Boutella as the Mummy), editing, and was even telling director Robert Kurtzman how to direct. Why would you give one actor so much power over the production of the start of what could potential be a multi-billion dollar franchise? Unreal.