Cinematic Universes are all the rage today. With each of the major studios they are heavily invested in building an interconnected string of films in one universe to be just like Marvel Studios. Creating the cart before the horse is the problem studios are having. They aren’t willing to let things build over time than just catch up and play ball with the shared universe concept out of the gate. With this film there is a lot of world building that sets up a greater mythos that intrigues and teases future monsters to the “Dark Universe.”
Tom Cruise again does what he normally does in any of his action films and commands the screen with his movie star presence. There was some offbeat comedy used for him this time that I didn’t feel work for him but appreciate the effort into trying something new. His character did have a lot of anti-hero tendencies
which I was surprised they were going for with his character. At the end it worked for me with his anti-hero persona being made more into a grey area.
Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters.
Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet was a great role for her. She knows how to play the physicality and has a striking figure on screen. Russell Crowe as Dr Jekyll/Hyde was great. I appreciated how he didn’t feel wasted or underutilized to showcase that the monsters aren’t alone in this world. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny I felt needed more to do than be the damsel in distress, but that paid off for me in the 3rd action sequence when a trope is followed through. I hope that she does return to the “Dark Universe.” Jake Johnson was used sparingly, I wish he had more to do in the movie.
I would say that I would definitely point towards the script and the creative team in not making a movie first instead of just setting up a universe. I don’t Alex Kurtzmann helping craft some of the elements, characters and world building but that shouldn’t take charge of the movie over telling one story then just telling chapter one of a book. I would recommend people see this at a matinee or streaming because I feel the next entry with “The Bride of Frankenstein” will be a better made film.