Between his 1983 breakthrough in “Risky Business” and “Collateral” in 2004, it seemed Tom Cruise could do no wrong. But ever since he went off the deep end, jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch in 2005, the magic that had enabled him to jump from action flicks to romantic comedies to dramas seemed to disappear, leaving him stuck between science-fiction films and the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, with only the “M:I” entries still delivering explosive returns.

The chance to finally land another blockbuster by bringing Universal’s classic 1932 horror film “The Mummy” and its 1999 Brendan Fraser remake back to life no doubt seemed like a slam-dunk, giving Cruise the chance to attempt Indiana Jones-style heroics that would combine his old sly charm with his current reliance on stunts.

While it is a nice change of pace to see him play a character who’s not unstoppably superhuman like his “M:I” agent Ethan Hunt, this “Mummy” is too convoluted in places, too gruesome in others, never quite scary enough and sadly falls completely to pieces in its utterly bizarre and confusing final half hour.

The film kicks off in England in 1127 AD, as a knight who fought in the Crusades is buried with a giant red diamond in his tomb while other knights chant in Latin amid a foreboding ceremony. It then jumps to the present day, where the tombs of the knight and his peers have been discovered and a mysterious man named Henry (Russell Crowe) takes over the excavation site with his minions.

As Henry stands in awe of the tombs, his pretentious voiceover and a rather intense flashback informs viewers that the site is tied to an evil ancient Egyptian woman named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). She was the daughter of a pharaoh, destined to inherit the throne until he fathered a son, who would take her place in line.

Ahmanet clung to her power by killing her father, his wife and son, and attempted to live forever by ritually killing a lover with the supernaturally powered Dagger of Set, the god of Death. After being captured before achieving her goal, she was mummified alive and trapped in a pit more than 1,000 miles outside of Egypt, with the intention of keeping her there forever.

But back in present-day Iraq, two US reconnaissance officers — Nick Morton (Cruise) and his sarcastic sidekick, Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) — have gone rogue by looting and selling the ancient treasures of the villages they are supposed to protect from insurgents. Nick finds way more than he bargained for in one raid when the ground opens to reveal Ahmanet’s pit, with Nick unwittingly bringing her sarcophagus to the surface.

This discovery results in a confrontation with beautiful archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), who is angry because Nick stole her map to the pit after a one-night stand. Nick’s military supervisor orders the sarcophagus flown on a cargo plane to the US for examination, unleashing a string of disasters including a sandstorm and a massive swarm of crows that destroy the plane’s engines and windshield.

Nick saves Jenny from certain death by offering her the only parachute on the plane as it careens to the ground, then awakens mysteriously unscathed and in a body bag in a hospital morgue. But Chris is now a wisecracking zombie and Nick is troubled by visions that make Jenny realize that Ahmanet is attempting to control him in the hopes of finally finishing her ritual to Set and becoming immortal.

I’m exhausted just typing all that, and events only get more confusing from there. Somehow, director Alex Kurtzmann manages to make it seem fun and coherent for the first two-thirds, but when Nick and Ahmanet each wind up at Henry’s bizarre compound, the movie goes off the deep end with a string of violent and annoying confrontations that destroy what little logic remains.

To make things worse, the film ends with a ridiculous voiceover conversation between Henry and Jenny that attempts to establish further globetrotting adventures for Nick. But judging from the fact that the audience didn’t laugh and cheer during the climactic fight’s big catchphrase, and didn’t even provide the customary round of applause that accompanies nearly every free screening in Hollywood, Universal can stop the franchise development process right now.

If there are any parents still interested in seeing “The Mummy” after reading this, be forewarned that the sequence in which Ahmanet kills her family, strips naked and attempts ritual murder during sex really pushes the limits of the PG-13 rating. Repeated flashbacks to these killings and some truly gruesome zombie transformations mean this is truly inappropriate for kids under that age, while people 13 and older are more likely to be offended by the fact they spent $15 on a ticket.  Grade: D

Capsule Reviews

WONDER WOMAN

Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine
Length: 141 minutes
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Rating: PG13

The first superhero movie centered on a female superhero brings a fresh perspective to the genre, with director Patty Jenkins adding an impressive level of thought, heart and humor to the terrific action and visuals as Wonder Woman teams with a British spy to stop a nefarious German plan and an evil force amid World War I. Fun and expertly made on every level, it’s a must see. 

Grade: A

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose
Length: 96 minutes
Directed by: Stella Meghie
Rating: PG-13

This teen romance about a girl who has an immune-system disorder that has trapped her inside her house for 15 years and the new boy next door whose attraction to her makes her test her boundaries has cute lead performances and the young target audience giggled and swooned at a screening, but the claustrophobic story ultimately goes nowhere and has a maddeningly ridiculous twist ending.

Grade: D

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem
Length: 129 minutes
Directed by: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
Rating: PG-13

The fifth film in the series has Captain Jack Sparrow teaming with the son of Will Turner, a woman accused of witchcraft and his crew in a race to find the mythical trident of Poseidon before his nemesis Captain Salazar, and break a slew of curses. The setpieces are often funny and the finale visually spectacular, but Depp is hanging on to this series as a source of treasure more than inspiration.

Grade: B

ALIEN: COVENANT

Stars:  Danny McBride, Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup
Length: 122 minutes
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Rating: R

The second film in the “Alien” prequel trilogy that launched with “Prometheus” brings director Ridley Scott back again to show how the aliens evolved into their famed terrifying state, while they wipe out another crew of humans. The sixth film in the franchise means it’s hard to find surprises, and none of the stars stand out like Sigourney Weaver’s iconic Ripley, but fans will still find lots of moody scares.

Grade: B

SNATCHED

Stars: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Meloni, Ike Barinholtz
Length: 90 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Rating: R

The first superhero movie centered on a female superhero brings a fresh perspective to the genre, with director Patty Jenkins adding an impressive level of thought, heart and humor to the terrific action and visuals as Wonder Woman teams with a British spy to stop a nefarious German plan and an evil force amid World War I. Fun and expertly made on every level, it’s a must see. 

Grade: C