(This is part five of a series about the man, the myth, the legend–the Mummy. Part one is here, or follow the “gods and monsters” tag to see all the installments. Information was sourced from a variety of books, articles, films, and museum resources, but all opinions and conclusions are my own. As we are now getting into the modern films, a spoiler warning is in effect. Enjoy!)
V – Formula Refined
2017’s The Mummy is a curious case study for anyone interested in the history or structure of fiction. A reboot of a reboot, a photocopy of a photocopy, mythologizing about a myth that is not a myth—describe it how you like. Rather than rebuilding the base structure of the story as the 1999 The Mummy had, the 2017 edition appears to be the result of a cinematic game of Telephone.
In previous installments of this essay, a comparison was made between eras of mummy films and the periods of ancient Egypt itself. If the Hammer era was the Middle Kingdom and the Fraser era was the New Kingdom, the 2017 The Mummy represents our entry into the Late Period: a time when ancient Egyptian culture, being conquered and re-conquered, attempted to save itself by aping its earlier incarnations.