Déjà vu. That’s the first thing that comes to mind as I reflect on watching Tom Cruise sprinting away from danger while those all around him just can’t seem to run as fast (or look as good doing it). “The Mummy” is a forgettable, mediocre action film with a highly formulaic arc. The film kicks off an interesting new franchise that might have some promise, but maybe should have gone a different direction with its debut vehicle.

The Dark Universe has been around for decades, but Universal Pictures has decided that now is the time to reboot. With “The Invisible Man,” “Bride of Frankenstein,” “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” and presumably “Dracula,” and “Wolfman” down the pipeline, it’s beyond familiar; it’s played out. That said: it’s going to make a boatload of money. With stars like Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe, Universal is pulling out all the stops to make a viable extended universe of characters that just might leave a real cinematic legacy.

The film begins with the backstory of Egyptian Queen Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) sealing her mystical fate by killing her husband and his progeny. She’s mummified and cursed, giving us everything we need to know about how the rest of the film will play out.

Enter present day Iraq.

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is an army operative who is really more of a treasure hunter than a patriot. He’s too cool to wear a uniform, and seemingly does whatever he wants, even with his superiors barking orders at him. Anyhow, after discovering Ahmanet, she awakens from her slumber only to have a massive mummy-crush on Nick, chasing him with the intent of binding themselves in eternal bliss or something. How it ends doesn’t really matter, because it’s all about Tom and some surprisingly impressive action scenes. Everything else is essentially dreck, but the plane crash, van chase, and particularly underwater fighting scenes, are fun enough.

Tom Cruise does his best to create a memorable character, but it’s not enough. Nick Morton is not particularly likable or heroic, and honestly didn’t ever quite fit the mood of the film. I would have preferred someone with less typecast recognition, and maybe someone of Middle Eastern descent. I understand the need to kick off the universe with an impressive collection of A-list stars, but wonder if the films would carry more weight if done with a higher standard of quality and less attention on star power. Anyhow, the ageless Cruise (he’s 54 now) delivers impressive action and unimpressive acting. I’m anticipating September’s “American Made,” as it might be an opportunity for him to demonstrate some quality acting in a potential surprise hit.

Russell Crowe plays Dr. Henry Jeckyl (yes, that Dr. Jeckyl) in what will likely be the Nick Fury character (Marvel Avengers reference) that ties the whole universe together. He stands out as the strongest character of the bunch, which may have been intended, but is definitely not enough to carry a film in a supporting role. Jake Johnson is the comic relief sidekick, and Annabelle Wallis is the damsel-in-distress archaeologist that tries to keep the cavalier Cruise in check. It’s pretty unremarkable overall.

Director Alex Kurtzman is new to this aspect of the game, after writing and producing Michael Bay and J.J. Abrams movies for years. He does a pretty decent job, but there is nothing special about his work, and I wouldn’t expect him to churn out anything of real quality. The three members of the writing team have worked with Cruise on numerous occasions, and have all come on hard times lately in terms of quality screenplays (excluding Christopher McQuarrie’s 2014 “Edge of Tomorrow”). “The Mummy” is no exception. A tent-pole film for Universal with high long-term expectations, and a modest $125 million budget, it should do well at the box office, no doubt.

Watching Tom Cruise in action is always somewhat entertaining, and the visual effects are higher quality than they appear in the previews (that’s mercury, not water dripping from the sarcophagus). A few of the action scenes are fun, and the story is timeless, almost ubiquitous horror fare. I had low expectations, and admittedly was entertained, but this wasn’t what I would consider a good movie.