Spider-Man: Homecoming- 8/10
Michael Keaton plays the best villain in the MCU so far. Keeping his character grounded in reality really helps to separate him from the rest. Of course, he's delusional, and the way he goes about it is all wrong, but Toomes is a man, who wants to provide a good, comfortable life for his family, and he won't let anyone get in his way.
Tom Holland really nailed Spider-Man/Peter Parker, and it's refreshing to see someone, who's actually enthusiastic and happy about being Spider-Man and taking on the challenge. I'll always love Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films (with the exception of 3), but Toby Maguire's Spider-Man was so miserable and depressed all the time, and I just had the feeling of looking at a guy, who was waiting to be put out of his misery. Garflied was a cocky and arrogant show-off, but I never had a big problem with his portrayal.
Homecoming feels fresh, and that's a good sign for the future after a second reboot. I'm also glad they didn't feel the need to include Uncle Ben and show his death again, because Uncle Ben's death is up there with the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents for "been there, done that" retreads in superhero films. Homecoming is a lot fun, and his screen time is basically limited to cameo status, but I'm more interested to see how Holland holds his own without RDJ in the sequels.
The Mummy- 5/10
Tom Cruise is beyond annoying here. His star power is not what it used to be, but Cruise is still a big name. Nick (Cruise) never comes into his own as "The Chosen," so you're basically stuck with Cruise playing this bumbling buffoon, with an incredible streak of luck throughout the movie.
Sofia Boutella is on a short list of positives as Princess Ahmanet. I loved the look, with the pale, white skin, the double pupils, and the hieroglyphic markings covering her body and her face. It's a case, where trying something new actually works, but if I had one complaint, it's the approach to make Ahmanet a cool and sympathetic villain. She murdered a baby and her father in his sleep. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. Ahmanet is a terrible person.
I might drop this to a lower score, when I watch it again. It's not that bad, but The Mummy is just a decent popcorn flick at best. It's an underwhelming film overall, with an anticlimactic final showdown between Ahmanet and Nick, and I couldn't buy into the forced love story between Cruise and Annabelle Wallis. Jake Johnson constantly reappearing as a zombie in every other scene, as a guide for Nick? It's funny the first couple of times, but after that, they really abused the "OMG he's dead, but he can appear anywhere, and he's still giving Nick advice! LOL!" joke.
Russell Crowe really doesn't add anything to the movie, and the Hyde transformation was a big disappointment. Unless I'm missing something, the last time I remember seeing Hyde was in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and he looked ridiculous. Crowe's Hyde doesn't look like someone, who took an obscene amount of steroids, but it's basically Russell Crowe with a deeper voice, his eyes change, and that's about.
Going back to the ending.....
Click for Spoiler:
So Tom Cruise just takes the dagger away from Ahmanet, because she lowered her guard for a few seconds? Yeah, I'm not buying it. Ahmanet literally slaps Nick around with no problems, and Ahmanet closely guards the dagger, when she comes back to life, but somehow Nick just grabs it from her, and she doesn't notice? Complete bullshit.
I know they're trying to build a cinematic universe, so the chances of killing off Cruise or Ahmanet were slim, but Nick, a guy, who's basically clueless and a borderline nitwit, somehow overpowers Set's possession to defeat Ahmanet? Come on now. They can always cook something up to bring Ahmanet back as a stronger character (I'm pretty sure I spotted The Book Of The Dead in one scene), BUT at some point you have to give people a reason to believe Nick is capable of defeating (and literally sucking the life out of) Ahmanet. I never did.
I watched a behind the scenes featurette, and you can tell Sofia Boutella put a lot of hard work into Ahmanet, but a character with some real potential is wasted here. Things are not off to a good start for the Dark Universe (a "meh" reaction for the logo reveal before the movie), and they can't just ignore this film. I guess I'm one of the few people, who didn't have a problem with Dracula Untold. A solid action/horror flick, and the ending was clearly a tease to set up future films, so I don't buy into the reports/interviews that deny it.
The early stages of the Dark Universe mirrors what happened with DC. A lot of hype for a dud, and if the second film (if it happens) is a failure, then they're going to need a Wonder Woman to dig themselves out of the hole.