Every year studios try to win audiences over with new special effects laden films based on old ideas starring big names. One such film this year is The Mummy, a reboot of a long time successful franchise by Universal, which is supposed to be a lead in to a whole Dark Movie Universe franchise. And of course it has a big name star, this time around it’s Tom Cruise. It’s got the name, it’s got the actor, and it’s got the big budget, but will it be enough to win people over? Probably not, because Hollywood needs to face a few facts.
- The first thing Hollywood needs to accept is that some actors just don’t have the pull they once did. Tom Cruise really can only be called successful the last few years because of his Mission Impossible films. Anything else just seems to fall flat. And really, every film he’s in these days just seems to be a carbon copy of the last. Tom Cruise running, Tom Cruise making a whitty comeback, Tom Cruise doing unbelievable stunts. And it’s not just him, Johnny Depp has fallen from grace, Mel Gibson isn’t a draw, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s not a dominate force and Wil Smith doesn’t put as many people in theatres as he once did. It’s not that all of these actors are one trick ponies (some are though), but just that people have gotten sick of seeing them doing the same thing. If you want to make a successful film try picking someone new and hot, instead of someone who has been around for a long time.
- Another thing Hollywood needs to start doing to draw more people to their movies, and something that would save them a lot of money, is to stop thinking that big budget means big rewards. Just because there are huge explosions, big gun fights and amazing car chases, it doesn’t mean people will come out to see your film. There has to be a decent story in these somewhere to keep the audience involved. And if there isn’t a decent story, people are going to see right through it and rip it apart. In other words Hollywood, story needs to trump everything else.
- When Marvel decided to make a cinematic universe they did it right. They started small, and slowly built it together. Iron Man came out, and you saw hints of a bigger world around him (especially after the credits) but they didn’t spend half the movie leading up to the next movies. In fact they hardly spent any time on it at all. One of the big problems with The Mummy is that they open their world quickly, and make you wait for the next movies to see everything else. Iron Man was mostly a self contained film, The Mummy unfortunately is not.
- Hollywood also has to stop with all the reboots and sequels. Last year they thought a sequel to Independence Day would be a huge hit, but it flopped horribly. It’s rare for a movie franchise to keep going year after after like the Fast and Furious movies. And even the latest film in that franchise wasn’t as successful as the previous one. People even seem to be going through superhero overdose these days, so it won’t be surprising to see them falling down a notch and losing a bit of popularity (for instance last years X-Men: Apocalypse was a huge disappointment.) In some cases reboots do work, like Jurassic World, but it most cases they just aren’t as good as the original.
Unfortunately even if The Mummy fails these types of movies will continue to be made. Copycats, reboots and sequels, have been around almost as long as movies have been made, and if they haven’t learned by now, they never will. Still, it’s nice to dream.