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Is 2017's The Mummy just an Uncharted ripoff?
I have been a huge fan of the Uncharted games for a long time and have also been a lifelong fan of Tom Cruise. For a while it seemed that there was nothing he couldn't do. Well, apparently that unstoppable nature also includes remaking a remake of a remake this year with The Mummy. Now, the first two trailers already showed some distinct flaws in the film but to me they seemed tolerable. All that changed today when I saw the international trailer and immediately groaned in dismay. The action, the dialogue, and the plot seemed all too familiar. I was almost immediately reminded of Uncharted, the best-selling game series from game developer Naughty Dog.
Comparison #1: Leading male - Uncharted
First, let's have a look at Nathan Drake from Uncharted. He's got black hair, has a rugged look, and that infamous button down V-neck. He's just like Nathan Fillion, only younger. (Sorry, Fillion). But just looking at Nathan, you can tell he's an adventurer and someone that lives for finding lost treasure and discovering ancient burial sites to see what clues may be hidden within.
Comparison #1: Leading male - The Mummy
Now have a look at Tom's character Nick in The Mummy. (I could point out that Nick and Nathan both start with N but that might be pushing it.) Take away the jacket and what do you see? The same hair, the same shirt, the same need for adventure....it's Nathan Drake! No, it's not. It's Tom Cruise ready to take on the mummy. Now, aside from the obvious visual qualities, take into consideration that Nick is in Egypt actually looking for treasure and a whole convoy of people (assumingly from an enemy that's trying to get it before Nick does) appears to stop them. This happens in literally every Uncharted game and is often how Nate discovers what he's been looking for. Same goes for The Mummy when Nick stumbles upon the burial site after being chased by the bad people.
Comparison #2: Leading lady - Uncharted
Now let's have a look at Elena from Uncharted. She's more on the good-looking side with blonde hair a button-up blouse and a love for history. Elena's a journalist that actively travels from place to place to uncover new stories and find the interesting things the world has to offer. She's no girly-girl but she is intelligent and headstrong and is often trying to keep Nate from getting into trouble.
She's not a full-blown treasure hunter like Nate is. Elena is in it more for the history and uncovering the story behind the legends and myths that surround each location or treasure that is discovered.
Comparison #2: Leading lady - The Mummy
Now let's have a look at Annabelle Wallis's character from The Mummy. You can tell straight away that she is in obvious take-away from Elena Fisher. Annabelle has that same look: blonde hair, button-up blouse-and form hugging pants.
From what I have seen of the trailers, Annabelle seems like a person that's in it for the history and just loves learning about things. I don't know about you but this is sounding more and more like Elena the more we learn about her.
Now, a lot of people might be saying "Yeah but lots of women wear this kind of thing? How are you so sure it's a ripoff of Uncharted?" Well, let's look deeper shall we?
Comparison #3: Discovery
Okay just from the opening scene in this trailer, we see Tom and a buddy venture deep into the unknown, despite his friend's doubts, and run into a caravan of people that try to stop them. Tom makes a mistake and stumbles upon the burial site and tries to ease his friend by saying "See, what'd I tell ya?"
This literally happens in every Uncharted game. Sully always says "I don't know, kid..." or "Maybe we should..." and Nate always encourages him to press on anyway, which often leads to an ambush, which often leads to discovering the ruins they were looking for.
Comparison #4: Methods
The next section of the trailer shows Tom and team blowing up the tomb door and then shooting a chain despite Annabelle's warning which causes the sarcophagus to appear. Okay, things can't get any closer here. In Uncharted, Nate is always shooting conveniently placed gunpowder barrels or propane tanks to cause an explosion, whether it be to open a door or cause a diversion. Also the shooting chain thing? Yeah, totally in at least the first three Uncharted games at some point.
Comparison #5: Action
The last part of the trailer gives us some glimpses of the action scenes. The plane goes down and Tom tumbles through a bus. The visual style is all too familiar. In Uncharted 1, Nate and Elena's plane is shot up,damaging the engines. Yep, they catch fire too. Nate tells Elena to use her parachute and jump first. Then, he grabs his and jumps. While that is changed a bit in The Mummy, it's still strikingly similar. In Uncharted 3, Nate is caught stowing away on a cargo plane and is thrown into a battle which ultimately causes the plane to go down. In that scene, Nate doesn't have a chute and goes down with the plane. He is sucked out at one point and is able to grab onto a large crate with a chute attached to it and float to safety. Again, sound familiar? Also, there isn't a time when Nate is thrown, or tumbling through something such as a bus or a train. The action is probably the biggest giveaway of all.
Maybe I'm stretching or seeing what I wanna see but it looks to me like The Mummy is a pure ripoff of the Uncharted series, which highly disappoints me. This movie could have truly been Universal's return to classic horror but it seems that it's an action/mystery film that can't even stand on its own two feet without stealing from someone else. Sorry to say this, but this may be Tom's worst film ever made. I guess we'll see in June when the film releases.
© 2017 Alec Zander