"Sex," the critic replied.
I didn't hear that joke until my first graduate level film criticism class, but if you have read any film criticism (and no, the stuff on Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic isn't film criticism) then you probably understand the ridiculous amount of time film critics spend "digging up" sexual innuendos in films that most people believe simply don't exist. In the case of Alex Kurtzman's amazing reboot of The Mummy, yes, it is about sex, and just as Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) is an archaeologist digging for clues, so, we, too, are called to dig for clues. As always, every spoiler is in this post, so it would be better for you to see the film first, and come back to read this afterwards. Further, this film is incredibly dense, it is so packed with encoded details I was overwhelmed when taking notes (I have all ready seen it twice) so there are things left out, and I apologize, but maybe I can draw your attention to things you might have missed.
Let's start with Nick.
|There are three different types of soldiers in The Mummy: first, there are the Crusaders, who open the film, and we will discuss them below, they are the soldiers of God; then there is Colonel Greenway, pictured above, who is a soldier for the state/government. Third, there is Nick and Vail, "soldiers of fortune," who use their position in order to have access for financial and personal gain (Napoleon Solo was this kind of soldier of fortune in The Man From UNCLE). The three types of soldiers we see that "soldier" is not a stable term in the film, i.e., referring to one type of soldier, because there are three types, and if someone says, Nick is a soldier, we have to have that explained which type of soldier he is because the definition of "soldier" is in play. For example, when Nick and Jenny are at the pub, Nick leaves her to talk to Vail, and Jenny calls Henry Jeckyll; he tells Jenny, "Bring your soldier in," but what type of soldier does Jeckyll mean in referring to Nick in that way? Does Jeckyll see Nick as a "soldier of God," a decorated soldier (as he mentions to Nick when they first meet) or a "soldier of the state," like Greenway, or does Jeckyll all ready know that Nick was going to find the "treasure" at Haram and hold it for ransom until Jeckyll paid the price for it? What Jeckyll means by "your soldier" remains ambiguous and it isn't cleared up when Jeckyll meets Nick and reveals some of the details in Nick's file, like he has been decorated for bravery. When this kind of ambiguity exists, it's not inherently bad, unless we ignore it, and arrogantly go forth, confident that we understand the "meaning" of a word, only to allow a pothole in the road to trip us up and cause a disaster.|
Colonel Greenway doesn't have a big part yet he supplies us with an important clue: how to interpret the film. When Greenway shows up at Haram, Nick and Vail tell Greenway a story about civilian hostages and how they were acting honorably trying to save others, in spite of their own self-interest; Greenway then proposes a "different scenario," and accurately tells Nick how Nick saw an opportunity to steal some antiquities and got into a mess over his personal "capitalist venture" and how Nick and Vail weren't doing anything heroic at all. Why is this moment important? It demonstrates Nick as an "unreliable narrator," and that he can't be trusted, either by other characters or us the viewers. Because the "unreliable narrator" also happens to be the main character with whom we, the audience most intensely identify, his lie becomes our lie, and we are implicated with him because of the lies we have told in our own day-to-day lives and, rather than be absolved of our guilt, we are implicated with him. What guilt? We'll discuss that below. It also demonstrates, however, how much interpretation Greenway is capable of, inserting his own understanding into "holes and gaps" in Nick's and Vail's story, and that's what we are called upon to do as well: interpret what we have been given.
When we first meet Nick and Vail, they argue about what the word "Haram" means: As Vail attests, "Haram" means forbidden, but then Nick does something interesting: Nick interprets (just as Greenway will interpret his story about him and Vail going into Haram) a different meaning to "Haram": "'Harma' is what they call 'treasure,'" and that because it must be "forbidden," is must also be worth a lot. First, that which is forbidden is a reference to Original Sin and the taking of the Forbidden Fruit. Nick, as a mortal in a state of mortal sin (i.e., "deadly" sin) is like a teenager: if it's "forbidden," that must be the good stuff, so that's what I want. Additionally, we see Liberals going after that which is "forbidden," consistently: it's almost like, if a thing isn't forbidden, Liberals won't want to have anything to do with it (homosexuality, witchcraft, transgenders, drugs, as well as the desecration and isolation of religion and religious symbols and holidays). We can most definitely see Nick Morton as a socialist figure at the start of the film, not only because of his attraction to the forbidden, but because of what he tells Vail about stealing: 'We're not going to steal the antiques, we are going to liberate them," and we saw that same "logic" used in the remake of Point Break, when Utah asks Bodhi if they are going to steal the money and Bodhi replies, "No, we're going to liberate it." Being a "thief" is a reference to The Hobbit, where Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) becomes the "company thief" of the dwarfs so Bilbo can steal back from the dragon Smaug the treasure Smaug stole from the dwarfs (in The Mummy, this is a far more complicated issue we discuss below with Jenny). So, is The Mummy a pro-socialist film since we see the hero, Nick, "liberating" antiquities to sell them on the Black Market? No, for at least two reasons. First, Jenny seriously guilt-trips Nick for having stolen the map from her because it was her "life's work," and therefore Nick had absolutely no right to take it, whereas with Liberals and "wealth redistribution" (in this case, the map of Haram being the "wealth") they have a right to anything and everything you have because you don't have a right to it to begin with. Secondly, the "black market" is never a capitalist market. Only countries where there is no capitalism or where activities are illegal, is there a black market, and even though people do make money on the black market, because it's not open, free (regarding government regulations) and legal, it's not a legitimate part of a legitimate capitalist society.
Everyone's name in the film means something, so what about "Greenway?" Of course it does. Greenway has chosen a "green path" in life, a good choice he upholds because he sacrifices himself for a greater good, instead of putting others at risk to reap gain for himself. This should remind us of another soldier we recently saw, The Blind Man in Don't Breathe (that was such an awesome movie!): The Blind Man had been a veteran, after his daughter's death, he decided he was a victim, and changed from being a soldier who served his country to being a victim who wanted his country to serve him (exactly what President John F Kennedy warned us about). So, Greenway has chosen a path of life (remember, we meet him in the desert where there is no life and there isn't anything green). So, why does Greenway die? We can look at it one of two ways, and I think both can/are accurate. First, Greenway put himself in the line of danger first to stop Vail from attacking the sarcophagus, being a threat to himself and others; Vail himself tells Nick in the ladies room at the pub that he killed Greenway to "save him" from the curse of Ahmanet, so either of these is permissible in that Greenway wasn't at fault for anything (he didn't try and get Nick and Vail to give him a cut of the money they would make from the sale of their "liberated antiquities").
|To some, it might seem odd to reference the most famous horror film of all, the original The Exorcist (top and middle images) however, in creating a Dark Universe, The Mummy shows how serious it is in taking its cues from the scariest film of all time. Whenever you are watching a film, and something explicitly or implicitly reminds of you another film you have seen, that's intentional on behalf of the film makers, and is called the implied viewer/reader of Reader Response Criticism. The film makers know you have seen other movies than the movie you are watching at that moment, and they want you to know they, too, have seen those same movies, so in the words of my film criticism professor, the film makers "reward" viewers for having watched other films and bringing that intellectual and artistic baggage with them, and applying it to the film you are watching now. This leads us to the second point: it can save a lot of air time to simply reference something the viewers have all ready seen, rather than go to arduous lengths to do the same thing in your own film. For example, when the film opens in "present day mode," and we join Nick and Vail in "the cradle of civilization," the ruins being ruined by the insurgents reminded me instantly of the opening sequences of The Exorcist, when Father Merrin encounters the statue of the demon he once overcame in an exorcism, but would have to overcome again, and the battle between the two dogs fiercely fighting. Why would The Mummy film makers want to remind us of that? Because they want to establish that they, too, are centering their narrative upon the ancient battle of good and evil, that old demons buried have been resurrected and are back for revenge against us, and they are quickly claiming victims. We can also be confident that, when Nick sacrifices himself and stabs himself with the knife of Set so that Set possesses Nick, the film makers reference The Exorcist once more, when Father Damien (center image) commands the demon possessing Regan to come out of her and possess him instead. Why would The Mummy need to reference The Exorcist for this scene? For at least two reasons: first, so that we know it's sacrifice and not a power-trip prompting Nick's actions, and second, so that we do, in fact, see Jenny in Regan's role as being "possessed." It's undeniable that Nick gains incredible powers when Set takes over him, and it would be tempting to interpret that Nick doesn't really sacrifice himself, rather, he takes advantage of an opportunity presenting itself and reaps the rewards for becoming a "living god on earth." When we link back to The Exorcist, however, we know that is clearly not the case, and just as Father Damien offers himself as a victim to save the girl, so, too, does Nick offer himself to save the girl. In case we have failed to understand Jenny's-Ahmanet's role in the film, tying Nick's sacrifice to that of Father Damien's also links the possession of Regan and the possession of Jenny (because, in both films, it's not just demonic possession, but sexual possession by a male as well which is at stake; The Exorcist: Absent Fathers for more.|
What about the bottom image? It's either The Book Of Life or The Book Of the Dead (the Egyptians had both) from The Mummy trilogy starring Brendan Fraser. The covers of both books look very similar and it's hard to tell which one was used, but when Nick gets trapped in the Prodigium office with Jeckyll after he has turned into Hyde, Jenny tries to get to Nick and help him, by grabbing this book off the shelf and hitting Jeckyll's assistant with it so she can get to Nick. Why? I don't have time, dear reader, to go back and study those old The Mummy films to answer the question; if this were my full-time job, I would love to do that, because I think therein lies an important answer; however, I don't have that kind of luxury, so if someone knows, please, drop me a line and I will gladly give you the credit and update this spot. Suffice it to say, there is an important link here between Jenny saving Nick and the old The Mummy films and events which take place therein which fans of the original The Mummy films will be rewarded for my knowing what is happening.
|Nick's and Vail's friendship clearly invokes the 1981 horror classic, An American Werewolf In London, not only in Vail's appearing to Nick as being dead as Jack appears to David in various states of decay (middle image) but also in what causes the "curse" which follows both Nick and David, which is sex (unfortunately, I haven't been able to post on An American Werewolf In London yet--in spite of at least two serious attempts on my part--but I hope to by the end of this year, because I could certainly reference the film and encourage viewers to watch it). In both films, the friend (Vail and Jack) are mere psychoanalytic doubles for the main character, Nick and David: translated, what happens to Vail and Jack have actually happened to the main characters, Nick and David, but the film makers wanted to "rescue" the main characters as much as possible, so instead the sins were committed by "throw-away" characters in whom the audience was not as emotionally invested. In other words, the minor characters, the doubles, are a part of the main character that has to die or be overcome so the main character can achieve conversion and complete their "heroic journey," whatever that might be (yes, granted, Nick Morton becomes Set and David gets shot as the werewolf, but trust me, these are all important similarities that were well-crafted by The Mummy film makers).|
So, in The Mummy, when the "veil of death" is discussed, it's the character of "Vail" being referenced, and how Vail is a "veil" for who Nick really is; but then, there are also all those "veils" floating in the air when Ahmanet goes through the Set ceremony and gives herself over to the god of death. When we first meet Nick and the last time we see Nick, he wears a "veil" over his face, because he hasn't yet revealed to us who he really is: when we do meet Nick, he says, "We are liberators of antiquities," he echoes the remake of Point Break when Bodhi tells Utah, we aren't stealing the money, we are liberating the money. As a pseudo-socialist figure (another phrase of "opportunistic parasite") Nick looks out only for himself, as socialists tend to do because they have no self-respect (they will sleep with anyone, take anything, don't feel like they have to work for anything) and therefore, they have no respect for anyone else. So, what happens to Nick at the end? Vail has been resurrected,.. yes, this is a bad thing, in other words, everything Nick would have learned through Vail has basically been undone because death is the great purgation in art (part of a character dying means that part of them won't be able to come back and control them anymore); we can hope that Vail himself has been rehabilitated so the part of Nick symbolized by Vail has been converted, but we won't know until a future adventure. When Jenny, Nick and Vail are in Ahmanet's tomb, it's Vail who actually steals a necklace off the high priest of Ra (a man who sacrificed himself to stay at Ahmanet's tomb to insure she was never released from it). This is the reason why Vail is bit by the camel spider on his neck: instead of becoming a high priest [being celibate like the Crusader warriors we see at the start of the film] Vail/Nick is a thief because the neck symbolizes that which leads us in life, and Vail is led by his ability to make money off artifacts in an easy fashion (not working for it); since Vail is only a manifestation of certain of Nick's qualities, we can say that same (Jenny sees Nick about to steal something but warns Nick against taking it, so he doesn't, but Vail all ready has, so Vail is the one who is cursed). The bite on Vail's neck, of course, leads to his death, but it's the spiritual death that's important because Vail/Nick has chosen a worldly life rather than to live a life of the spirit of God. Ahmanet has two pupils appearing in her eyes because she is possessed, but Vail's eyes--as he dies on the plane--roll back into his head and there is no pupil at all, because there is no soul any longer, he's lost his soul to sin. Another validation that Vail is a manifestation of Nick is that, on the plane, we see Vail slap his face, as if he's going numb; where else do we see someone being slapped in the face? When Jenny first appears and she slaps Nick on the face, so this action, again, binds Vail and Nick as being the same character. At the end, when Nick has gone back to Egypt, he takes a hand-full of sand and lets it slowly pass through his fingers; why? The sand best illustrates what Nick has become: sand, barren, dead, worthless. Nothing grows in sand, and it really can't be used for anything purposeful. This state of existence is probably the real cause of the sandstorm following Nick and Vail as they ride off at the end, Nick is a swirl of dangerous emotions, but it's also fitting, because he had no real nobility or admirable ambitions in life, so anything good which would have been given to Nick would have been wasted.
Why does Nick not show his face at the end? He's been exposed. We would see, if he did drop the mask, the signature of Satan on Nick's face, which is why he keeps it covered up.
Nick Morton is a fairly amoral type of guy, that is, he is willing to serve himself when and how he can, and this isn't the typical role we see Tom Cruise in; if you were watching The Mummy, and felt there were references to other Tom Cruise films, you were probably right to embrace that reference because drawing attention to the usual cast of heroes Cruise portrays highlights the "lacking" of Nick and his character. For example, when Jenny accuses Nick of having "mimicked" the motions of human intimacy for fifteen seconds, that referenced Cruise's character Cage in the 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow when the invading enemy aliens (who symbolized socialism) are called "mimics." or when Nick has an extended underwater swim sequence attempting to save Jenny from drowning, you might have remembered how Ethan Hunt nearly drowned in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Ilsa had to save him. Again, these other film references serve two purposes: first, to highlight the typical hero Tom Cruise usually plays, and how Nick Morton isn't heroic, at least by Tom Cruise standards, and, secondly, that The Mummy is self-aware, it knows it's a film, and it exists within the context of other films that you, the audience member have seen; therefore, it wants to incorporate those films, meaning that The Mummy does not exist in a vacuum where it's the only film to have ever been made (not to mention the context of the other The Mummy films, and other Universal horror films, and the upcoming Dark Universe films).
On a different note, how is it that Nick can be both a pro-socialist figure (we aren't going to steal the antiques, "We're going to liberate them,") and Set and a white, heterosexual male who has been under attack for a decade? How do we reconcile all these different roles Nick Morton plays in the film (or any character in any work of art, for that matter)? That's the importance of "conversion," and how a character can earn enough conversion "energy" to get them ahead of the narrative events, even if they haven't been completely healed of all their wrong-doings by the end. The fast-paced and changing events/situations in the story line mean we have to pay very close attention to every single detail or we are bound to lose something and not be able to make sense of everything.
|This is probably the most important part of the film. In the bottom image, we see an image of Cabiria from the the 1957 Fellini drama, Nights of Cabiria. At the start of the film, Cabiria, who is a prostitute, has been with her boyfriend by the river; he robs her, taking her purse, full of money, and pushes her into the water; she can't swim and is about to drown, headed for the sewers, and some of the local boys see her and rescue her. This is basically what happens to Jenny with Nick, even before we ever see Jenny on the screen. Like Cabiria drowning and headed for the sewer, we also see Jenny drown (middle image) and just as Cabiria latter realizes that her life of prostitution is a prison, so, too, does Jenny realize that her promiscuity is a prison and not an expression of her "liberated female" sexuality at all (when Jenny says, "It's not a tomb, it's a prison," is her realizing what she has done to her own life by being so addicted to sex, that she would have sex with a guy like Nick, just to have sex, even though he's not a good guy and he is causing her all these problems). But Cabiria and Jenny share an even more important trait: they are both concerned far more with the material goods taken from them (Cabiria with her purse and money, Jenny with her map) than with the dignity and proper self-love which the men have robbed them of (although both women were willing participants). Both Jenny and Ahmanet are women of the desert, which is anti-woman because it's from women that life comes, but life does not come from the desert, but this is where we see both women, the desert (because they use their sexuality for power rather than to give life and have children, rather like the Amazonians in Wonder Woman, where there was an island full of women, and only one child). Further, we see Jenny making a deal with Jeckyll the way Ahmanet makes the deal with Set; what Jenny finds at Haram will give her power in archaeology the way the knife of Set will give Ahmnet political power (we discuss Jenny and Ahmanet further below). |
Why does Ahmanet have to kill Jenny? Jenny dies by drowning, and when the initial trailers came out, I erroneously thought Ahmanet's sarcophagus was buried in water--the opposite of the desert sand--but I was wrong, it was buried in mercury (an easy mistake to make). Water, we know, symbolizes the first stages of reflection: you are looking into yourself or a situation, and you cannot see beneath the surface, you are still having to discern what is taking place. Even this simple stage of reflection is sufficient to kill Jenny as she realizes what it is she has done: she is Ahmanet, and that's why Ahmanet is behind Jenny in the water just before dragging her beneath the surface, they are "in-line" with each other as characters. Water is supposed to give life, not take it, just as sexual intercourse is meant to give life (pregnancy and birth) not take it (spiritual death because of sexual addiction). The knowledge that Jenny is killing herself (Ahmanet dragging Jenny down into the water) is the taking-over and possession of Jenny by Ahmanet, the way we will see Set take over Nick even though Set is all ready a part of Nick. Additionally, water is the sacrament of Baptism, but Jenny hasn't been baptized, instead, water symbolizes the opposite of "cleansing" (the committing of sexual sin because of the bodily fluids exchanged during sex) and instead symbolizes the addiction to sex that Jenny has, Ahmanet dragging her down into the depths of spiritual death caused by adultery (where the corpses of virginal Crusader knights wait to drown Nick the same way, because the Light they lived their lives by has been put out with the rule of Ahmanet, so they can no longer serve that Light, they now serve Ahmanet). We will continue discussion on this in the image of Ahmanet's tomb, below.
Importantly, if you look closely at the image of Jenny at the top, she has a gold band on her earlobe which she wears throughout the film; the very last shot of Ahmanet's fetal-position corpse, when her sarcophagus is being filled with mercury, shows that Ahmanet now wears the gold-band earring on her right ear; why? Ears symbolize our ability to hear the truths, not just to hear, but to understand with wisdom what is being said and explained to us.
So, how do we know that Vail is Nick's double?
|The plane this takes place upon is important: it's a Hercules C130 (I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it is): why is this important? One, because of "Hercules," for example, in Murder On the Orient Express, our hero is named Hercule Poirot after Hercules; there have also been at least two Hercules films lately (one with Dwayne Johnson, the other with Kellan Lutz) and there was a character named Hercules in Pacific Rim; then, in Olympus Has Fallen with Gerard Butler, it was on a Hercules C130 that the socialist terrorists flew in to terrorize Washington DC; why? The C-130 Hercules is one of the longest serving air crafts in American history, and it was absolutely instrumental in the wars against socialism, including the Vietnam War and throughout the Cold War, and today, so it's a symbol of American military power, might, strength and innovation. This aircraft is a symbol of American masculinity (not necessarily a phallic symbol, but the plane pulling out of the blurry and chaotic sand storm can certainly be read as sexual). In the top image, what do we see? The ancient, the feminine and the un-developed. Progressives, liberals, socialists and communists all want to do away with technology; why? Technology requires the free market to be innovative, it drives new and better designs and demand pushes down costs, while increasing investment opportunities. In other words, the free market (capitalism) and technology go hand-in-hand, and in order to brainwash people into believing that socialism is good, they have to digress to a state without technology: we see this in films such as Jack the Giantslayer, The Lone Ranger and Gravity, Wonder Woman (among many others). Just as Ahmanet's power brings down the plane and destroys it, so socialists want to do the same to the American economy and the global network (it's easier to control populations that are isolated and can't share information with each other).|
his is a great scene, even without the zero gravity stunt thrown in! We just saw in Wonder Woman how Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) pierces through the protective barrier of Diana's island when his ship crashes and she has to save him. In that situation, Wonder Woman film makers are claiming that the failure of men (Steve losing control of his plane) had invaded the feminist world (Diana's island) and feminists would not have gotten involved in the American civil war of the Obama administration (and still going, this is represented by World War I in Wonder Woman) had it not been for mankind's desperate need of a savior (Diana). In this scene for The Mummy, (when the airplane begins to crash and we see the zero gravity stunt) we are seeing the exact opposite of that scenario from Wonder Woman: in The Mummy, the plane is the "ship of state," and the windshield you see in the image above is equivalent to the protective barrier surrounding Diana's island (we saw similar barriers in both Oz the Great and Powerful from several years ago, as well as Thor: the Dark World when the Dark Elves pierced the protective barrier of Asgard). In the image above, the windshield doubles as the "protective barrier" for the ship of state; why? Being made of glass, the windshield symbolizes the ability to reflect, to understand and meditate about an event or situation. Because this is the front windshield, and not the rear windshield (which would symbolize reflecting on the past), this instance allows us to understand the importance of reflecting on the future; and what's there to see? Blood. There is not only a massive crack in the windshield ("destruction" of the self, in this case, the "self" is the government,and the government's inability to reflect upon what it's doing) but the blood we see is smeared across the windshield (making it difficult to "reflect" about the coming menace of the other birds); what does the blood symbolize? In this case, civil war. How can we determine that? The birds and the plane are "similar," in that a plane is designed like a bird, with a body and wings, and meant to fly like a bird, so they are similar even while they are dis-similar. The flock of crows attacking the plane are the same ones we saw hanging dead and upside-down in the ceremony room where Ahmanet sold her soul to Set, so these birds are the "birds of death." On the other hand, the airplane is technological, it's transportation, it helps people and has become a necessity of the modern world. This is what the civil war in America is about: the agents of death (the Left) and the agents of technology and advancement (conservatives). It's my understanding that this plane is actually Nick's (he's a soldier and this plane is his squad's) so the plane being attacked by these birds of death is actually Nick (the proxy of white, heterosexual men) being attacked, just as he is attacked by rats later in the film. The crows bringing down the plane reveals the Left's attempt to bring down the economy and the government protecting it, and to destroy all those within it (remember, the "binding spells" against Donald Trump aren't just directed at him, but against all of us who support him). The zero gravity which turns the plane, literally, upside-down, reflects how the Left has turned this country upside-down: from gender identification (I'm neither male or female, is now an acceptable legal statement, and if gender isn't stable, then what is?) to the law of the land and people being held accountable for the crimes they have committed. Being "upside-down" is important in the film because when Nick is being over-run by the rats, and Ahmanet comes to begin her possession of him, Nick sees her as being "upside-down," meaning, her very rule is upside-down (who murders their family for power? Oh, yea, Vortigern in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword). The same kind of chaos and darkness we saw Arthur fighting against with Vortigern is set to be the enemy of Ahmanet's reign. Now, if you don't believe me, there are two imperative details in this scene which support what I'm saying: the first is the tattoo Vail has on his arm that we see the moment his eyes roll back into his head: on his left arm (yes, the left) he has "10/17" on his bicep; why? The American Presidential election was taking place, and the month of October saw some surprises, which everyone was expecting. Then, as the black birds appear and are ready to crash the plane, the pilot puts out a distress call and he says, "November fourth!" and, November 4, was, of course, the day of the election. In other words, the birds attacking the plane to take out the "ship of state" is what conservatives expected to happen November 4 but, God be praised! It didn't.
In the middle image of Jenny, this is a great shot of her (if you click on the image you can enlarge it for better viewing): she wears glasses (the only time in the film we see her wearing glasses), headphones (again, the only time) and some rings on her fingers. The glasses imply that she has "focused her vision," and (possibly) she's even in a state of spiritual insight. The headphones show she's listening intently; why is this important? It shows that Jenny has the ability to study the Word of God, and to hear the Word of God, she chooses not to spend her time doing it, rather, in studying the "old gods," as she tells Ahmanet later, even though she knows the "old gods" can't do anything to save her and help her prepare for her afterlife. What about the rings? She has rings on each of her fingers,... except her ring finger. No ring there, because she's not married, and she wouldn't let Nick take the ring in Ahmanet's tomb to propose to her. So this scene validates that Jenny has not spent her time wisely.
Why does Nick shoot Vail three times? "The third time was unnecessary," Nick admits in the pub ladies' room, when Vail reminds Nick of what he did. The third time, however, reminds us of the Holy Trinity, in other words, Nick was genuinely afraid of Vail and what was happening, so he invoked the Holy Trinity by shooting Vail three times, meaning that, the third shot was absolutely necessary. It would not have accomplished Vail's death to have only two shots, because Vail acted like he might still have some life left in him, so it was only three shots that insured the "evil" Vail had become was put down.
This brings us to Ahmanet.
But, ladies and gentlemen, that's not all,....
|This first scene, at the top, is interesting, because it's the first time we see Ahmanet, and what is she doing? Using a stick to beat a man who also has a stick. I know, my powers for observation are amazing, aren't they? Ha ha, but seriously, the stick acts as a "false phallus," it's a phallic symbol, and a false one for Ahmanet because she is not a man, she's a woman, but using her false phallus, she overcomes the man with a phallic symbol, i.e., a natural man (not a transgendered woman) who has a stick symbolizing his natural phallus, but he isn't able to overcome her. Why is this important? This man is Ahmanet's lover, and also her "Chosen," the man she is going to give to Set for a mortal body. This scene mirrors the scene later in the film when, after the ambulance crashes in the woods with Nick and Jenny, Ahamnet appears, and Nick picks up a wooden stick from the side of the hill, in an attempt to beat her up, just as the man in the image at the top does; Nick, of course, loses terribly. So how does this reflect Jenny-as-Ahmanet? Jenny was probably the more "aggressive" pursue-er in the initial meeting between her and Nick, i.e., she went after him and initiated the "mating ritual," knowing she wanted to have sex with him that night, and it didn't take much for her to persuade Nick that she was "easy."|
In the second image down, we have the definite evidence for Jenny-As-Ahmanet: "Jennifer," as discussed above, means "White Enchantress," because it's a form of Guinevere (so in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword, we don't have to hear that The Mage is named Guinevere, because "Guinevere" means "White Enchantress," as a member of The Mage bloodline, she is an enchantress, and because of her purity, she always appears being very pale, so this is a means of connecting both The Mummy and King Arthur, through the women). When Ahmanet's sarcophagus is raised from the pool of mercury and Nick immediately begins having "visions," he sees Ahmanet, in the desert sands, walking towards him in a billowing, white gown; why? She's the "White Enchantress," Jenny. Just as Ahmanet holds her hand out to Nick and calls him, "My chosen," so Jenny, in their initial meeting, "held her hand out to Nick," in initiating flirting and enchanting him because Jenny had 'chosen" Nick to have sex with her later that night; this is part of the reason why, at the pub after Nick has been drinking so much and he goes to the bathroom to talk to Vail, he goes "into the chick's room," because Nick became the passive participant in their "mating ritual," and so the gender roles were reversed: Jenny, exhibiting the masculine qualities and Nick exhibiting the feminine qualities. Just as the male in the top image is "dominated" by Ahmanet in the fight they have, he was also dominated by her in sex because she took the top position, which is always the position Ahmanet takes when she "mounts" Nick, the top position which is traditionally seen as being the more dominant position during intercourse. At the end, when Jenny has died and Nick tries to wake her, it's imperative that Nick is on top of Jenny, because Nick has "taken back" the dominant partner position for himself and put the world in "right order" with him as the male being in the dominant position (we will discuss this more below, but it's a theory we are seeing more and more in cinema).
Why do we see Ahmanet's fingertips and foot-tips blue? This is an absolutely incredible detail the film makers put in. Blue, as we know, is both the color of depression and, in its positive manifestations, the color of wisdom, because wisdom only comes from the sadness and trials of our lives. Under normal circumstances, when we see Ahmanet's eyes highlighted in the intense-blue make-up she wears (second image down), we could say that she "sees with the eyes of wisdom," because our eyes are the windows of the soul, so she would be a woman who welcomed wisdom into her soul and she sees the world through wisdom she has gained from her experiences in life; that, however, is not how Ahmanet behaves, because making a pact with the devil, murdering your father, his wife and your half-brother is not the behavior of someone who is wise, rather, a psychopath. What we have in Ahmanet is, instead, someone who has had difficult trials but has failed to learn the lessons those trials offered to teach her, so she thought she was taking the easy way out in amassing power for herself through her pact with Set, but instead, only buried herself in death. This is why her eyes, fingertips and feet are painted blue: she sees the world (her eyes) as being against her; she uses her honor (her fingertips as a part of her hand, but also another location of her identity because of her finger prints, like with Prodigium's identification security, and it accepting Jeckyll's identity but denying Hyde's identity) and her identity to alleviate her suffering rather than learn from it and be transformed into a better person who then is a worthy-ruler; her will (feet), therefore, is directed towards retribution and taking what she feels was denied to her. How can we tie this in with Jenny? When we first see Jenny, and she slaps Nick's face, she wears a blue scarf around her neck (the color of which matches her eyes) and what does Jenny say? She blames Nick for "stealing her life's work," just as Ahmanet blames the birth of her half-brother for robbing her of her "life's work" in preparing to become Queen of Egypt; in other words, both women blame males for what has happened to them, just as feminists blame men for what has happened to them throughout his-story. Just as Ahmanet kills her baby half-brother by slashing his throat, so Jenny tries to kill Nick by telling Nick's boss, Colonel Greenway, how Nick treated her so Nick will lost his job (the purpose of Ahmanet killing her half-brother was so the baby boy would "lose the job" of becoming Pharaoh in Ahmanet's place). Jenny's scarf matching her eye color reflects the blue make-up under Ahmanet's eyes, and Ahmanet having a will (her feet) tempered by her sadness and losses in life is the same as Jenny being led to find an "Egyptian princess intentionally erased from the history books" because Jenny-as-a-feminist feels she herself is that princess erased from history, but Jenny isn't a princess, she's a whore, a slut; Eliza, who is described as a "princess without voice" in the trailer for The Shape Of Water, IS A PRINCESS because she becomes wise and her life follows a path of wisdom; The Mage/Guinevere in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword is worthy to be a princess (if they do future installments) because she has sacrificed and risked her own life to help Arthur and others; Jenny/Ahmanet seeks only help herself (please see The Shape Of Water for more on Eliza who is called "The princess without voice," and The New Feminism: King Arthur Legend Of the Sword for more on The Mage/Guinevere).
|It might seem strange to have these images in this blog for The Mummy, however, we know the film makers reference numerous others film throughout the narrative, and I'm certain Monster Squad (1987) is one of them (more on the bottom image in a moment). In the top image, we see the amulet which protects the world from the apocalypse and Armageddon surrounded by crosses and relics so that Dracula can't get it and take control of the world forever. We see this device used in The Mummy at the Waverly Abbey where the knife of Set has been kept (this is discussed in the caption in the next image below). Why? Monster Squad was clearly about teaching kids the importance of sex and its dangers, the "monsters" it releases when kids don't say no to having sex (please see The Forms Evil Takes: Monster Squad for more). So by referencing Monster Squad, again, The Mummy expands its cinematic vocabulary to assure engaged viewers like us know we are on the right track in decoding their message.|
The middle image of the Wolf Man is also taken from Monster Squad; why? It demonstrates why mercury is so prevalent in The Mummy. It takes silver to stop a werewolf (in the middle image, Dracula's cane is topped with a silver skull, which is why he points it at Wolf Man, so Wolf Man can't attack him); the question is, why does silver stop a werewolf from attacking, or even killing a werewolf? Because in Hebrew, the word for "silver" sounds like the word for "word," meaning "The Word," the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ. That is why so often, when you see a Crucifix, the body of Jesus will be in silver, when the rest of the Crucifix is wood or gold (for much, much more on this topic, please see my post on The Wolf Man, which Universal is making into their Dark Universe, and which is undoubtedly an important reference for the film: The Bright Autumn Moon: The Wolf Man). Back to The Mummy, "mercury" is known as "quicksilver," because of its color and the way it moves, and its properties (it was actually used in burials in not only Egypt, but Aztec, Chinese and Tibet, as well). The prevalence of quicksilver in The Mummy, and that Prodigium fills Ahmanet's body, then her coffin (at the end when she's really dead) with quicksilver, suggests what kind of a monster Ahmanet's mummy really is: a werewolf. In other words, when Jenny talks to Ahmanet--Ahmanet chained up and quicksilver being pumped into her body--Jenny tells Ahmanet, "I have studied the old gods," which is ironic, because Jenny obviously hasn't studied the "new God," Jesus, but she has gone back and read gods who don't exist ("Set," as Jeckyll tells us, is just another name for Satan, so "Set" exists, but this is Satan taking the form of Set to exist to Ahmaent, in other words, she didn't make a pact with Set, she made a pact with the devil), so even though Jenny speaks to Ahmanet about "gods," they are pagan gods, meaning, that Ahmanet being pumped with quicksilver isn't doing any real good to lead her to a discussion about The Word ("silver" in Hebrew), even though it has induced Jenny to discuss with herself (her darker self as manifested by Ahmanet) religion. Jenny wants to know what is on the other side, what happens in death, so we know Jenny has a interest in knowing what is going to become of her, but Ahmanet isn't going to tell Jenny the truth about damnation, because that would mean that Jenny would destroy Ahmanet (Jenny's sinful self) to insure she gains salvation, stop studying the "old gods" and take up studying the real God.
We have seen an increase lately in female werewolves; Dark Shadows, The Cabin In the Woods and Underworld are just three examples of films exploring how women's increase in sexual appetites have led them to become werewolves like men: those who cannot or will not control their sexual appetites. This is why "silver" is required to stop a werewolf (a silver bullet, or anything silver) because it symbolizes how only the Word of God can heal someone addicted to sex, which Jenny/Ahmanet is, as well as the other females in the films just named. Again, this is another cinematic technique The Mummy brings forth because this is a "new world of gods and monsters," where women who have been "liberated" sexually by the Left are now candidates to succumb to werewolfism.
What about the bottom image? We discuss the importance of names above, and I am confident that Jenny's last name, "Halsley," references the American singer/songwriter pictured above; why? When we first hear her name, it's from Nick who addresses her as "Miss Halsley," putting more emphasis on her last name than on her first name ("Jenny," the "White Enchantress"). Halsely's song The Devil In Me closely illustrates the events of the film pertaining to Jenny (possession themes with the devil being inside you and the song's constant refrain of "waking up") and, in the image of Halsely we see above, her white eyes remind us of what happened to Vail after the spider bite on his neck and his eyes rolling back into his head, turning white (the absence of pupils against the double-pupils of Ahmanet). But Halsey's better known song, The New Americana, is clearly a condemnation of what's happening to America because of Leftist "values" eroding the daily life of our society, which the film makers obviously agree with in standing against the Left.
It's the first thing we see; why? Because we either subject ourselves to the "fires of purgation," or we shall be condemned to the "fires of damnation," like Ahmanet and the fire at the Set ceremony she performs. The Crusaders have subjected themselves to the fire of purgation, and their example is what is being held up for us today. When we see the Crusader being buried, the stone of the Set knife is buried with him; why? It's not difficult to imagine the Set knife as a phallic symbol, and when we first see it, Set holds it at waist level for Ahmanet to take it from him, so it's literally the god of death's penis she takes as her own (false phallus because she doesn't have one of her own, which is why she's there, the baby brother was born who does have a penis and so he will rule instead of Ahmanet). But what about the stone?
That's the lust.
|THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT: when the film opens, we are told the year is 1127 AD; a specific year such as this isn't given unless the film makers consider it to be important, so what is so important about 1127?? Nothing, at first sight, however, if you notice that William IX, Duke of Aquitaine died, just as the Crusader died, then we are onto something. William was a leader in the Second Crusade, but there was nothing at all holy about his life: he lusted after many women, and was a terrible husband, and his horrible example of manhood is in stark contrast to the peaceful and holy Crusader warrior we see being buried, the "jewel of his virginity" still in tact, in contrast to William who is remembered for all his philandering. In other words, if Nick had been a "soldier of Christ" instead of a soldier of fortune, like he became, again, we wouldn't have this terrifying story of death, possession and destruction, but like William, Nick chooses to live for himself rather than for God as the Crusader knight chose. Just as the jewel of Set's Knife disintegrates after Nick has sacrificed himself, so, too, has Nick's virginity and purity. The Crusader sacrificed his life through his holy vows, but Nick had to sacrifice his life through an actual sacrifice, and had Nick chosen better, no one would have had to endure the trauma of the film.This leads us to the events at Waverly Abbey.|
Earlier, in the prison-tomb of Ahmanet, we saw Nick about to steal the ring of a High Priest of Ra, and Jenny told him, "Don't even think about it, Nick," because a ring usually denotes a covenant, especially of marriage (so the High Priest had "married himself" to Ra the same way the Crusader knight had "married himself" to the Church, they both sacrificed themselves for the "greater good," as Jeckyll encourages Nick to do himself, and that's how Nick becomes one of the "Watchers" in the tomb-prison, like the priests who were buried with Ahmanet). So, back to Waverly, usually, people go to church to hear the Word of God, to get baptized, married, buried, or confess their sins,... which leads us to some interesting history about it was part of the 1536 Dissolution of Monasteries by Henry VIII, another man who, like William, Duke of Aquitaine, lived by his passionate lusts rather than the Word of God; with the dissolution of Waverly by Henry VIII, there could no longer be the hearing of confessions or the dedication of one's life to God through the sacraments because there was no priests left to perform the sacraments, like annulments, so instead of people getting annulments, they got divorces and multiplied their spouses, and their sins of adultery,befouling the marriage bed because people subjected God to man's laws, as imposed by men like Henry VIII and Martin Luther, rather than allow themselves to be subjected to God's laws, like the Crusader knight. So, one sin quickly leads to another, and there is no such thing as a 'private sin," because not only did Henry VIII suffer because of his adultery, but all of England and the whole world because of his break from Rome so he could sleep with whoever he wanted. So, why has Ahmanet lured Nick to Waverly?
We actually saw a de-sanctified church play a crucial role in the the Sherlock episode The Abominable Bride, because that is where all the Victorian-era feminists gathered to perform their unholy rituals of male-bashing, self-pity and self-glorification; Ahmanet is doing the same thing in Waverly. There are two witnesses to what happens between Ahmanet and Nick in this scene: one is Jenny, who stands amazed at what is taking place, and Nick tells her to run ("Jenny, run!" because he wants her to run away from him so he doesn't release Ahmanet during their sexual encounter in Baghdad, remember, the "Cradle of Civilization," i.e., the Garden Of Eden where Original Sin happened) but there are also the zombies,.... who are the zombies? Us. The viewers. Not so much you and I, dear reader, because we are actively engaging the film's dialogue, so we are being the opposite of zombies, we are "reflecting" just like the stained glass windows behind the main events of this scene, but nearly everyone else watching this scene are zombies, because they are watching without realizing what is happening, how it fits in with the agenda of the film and how they are actually being implicated along with Nick. If you are a zombie watching this scene, you are holding Nick down, keeping him from being able to make the "sacrifice for the greater good," because you are dead in your own sins, notably, adultery. Most of the reviewers (and I don't mean to judge, I am just making a logical conclusion) who complained that Tom Cruise doesn't have a sufficiently dark side to portray Set, are the same ones who don't see that there is a problem with sleeping around and offending God, in other words, their very sins make them zombies because--like zombies--they have lost the power to reflect upon themselves and their own life, which leads us to the windows.
One of the dominant elements of the scene are the stained-glass windows directly behind the alter (these windows were added by the film makers because there are no windows in the ruins of Waverley Abbey today): windows, we know, symbolize reflection, so reflection is the invitation we are being given in this scene; the "stained glass" is unique because large sections of a piece of glass is colored to form an image, so each color in the window forms the path of reflection we are meant to take, to arrive at the whole, which is the image, for example, St. Michael the Archangel which is depicted on one of the windows. "Michael," of course, means, "Who can compare to God?" because that is what he said when he flung Satan into hell during the great battle of heaven. So, that is what each of us is meant to meditate upon when we are presented with temptation, but what temptation? Sexual temptation.
Ahmanet pins Nick to the alter (again, that no longer exists at the ruins, so it was added by the film makers); why? The alter is the "alter of sacrifice," it's the place where we are meant to remember how Jesus Christ gave His life for the life of the Church, His bride, and men are called to give their lives for their brides, their wives. There is an angel statue on either side of the alter; why? It's meant to invoke the image of the great Ark Of the Covenant, because it's at the alter that covenants are made; what is the covenant we are called to make with God? To give our lives to him, either in a vocation to religious orders, or in marriage, but we are called to do it at the alter, in the presence of the witness of the saints and God. In other words, the alter is sacred, and what is found there? The Knife of Set. As we have said, the Knife of Set is a phallic symbol (like Excalibur, or the great sword Optimus Prime uses in Transformers: the Last Knight, or the Trident of Poseidon in Pirates of the Caribbean) so that transforms the alter into the marriage bed, but because the church has been de-sanctified, but there is still an alter, and there are the "witnesses" of the Saints in the reliquary where the Knife is kept, it is an act of sacrilege, or, an intentional insult to God. The Knife is kept in the reliquary to sanctify it, make it holy, which is what the purpose of marriage is: to make the sexual act a holy act that has the purpose of binding the husband and wife, and bringing forth the fruit of life from their union; when a couple has sex outside of the bounds of legitimate marriage, they are doing the same to the covenant of marriage that Ahmanet and Nick are doing on the alter: desecrating the sacred. Again, we can either take note and reflect on what the film makers are telling us, or we can turn our heads and be zombies so we don't have to reflect on what we are being warned about. And this leads us to the stone; why can't Ahmanet complete the ritual? There is no stone; why not? Nick doesn't lust for her, which is what the stone symbolizes.
"But you said the stone was the "jewel of virginity," you might be thinking, dear reader, and I did, you are correct; the stone is the "jewel of virginity" for the Crusader knight, because that's what he lusted for: perfection, and he achieved it. Nick, however, lusts after women, but seeing Jenny-as-Ahmanet, and Ahmanet, not as the White Enchantress (the way she first appeared to Nick in her tomb-prison), rather, as a decomposed carrier of eternal death, Nick has no lust for her, and so the ritual can't be completed because seeing her as she really is, he knows better than to get involved with her. This is true of all of us and our sins: if we saw what sin did to our soul, if we could see the consequences, we would never sin, NEVER, but we don't have accurate vision, our spiritual sight is clouded by Original Sin, so we make these mistakes, and sometimes, we make them over and over.
When Ahmanet examines Nick,we see her decomposed nose, the gaping hole in her cheek, and her nasty, knotted hair. Each of these details reveals why Ahmanet is "dead": the face is the seat of our identity, who we are and how people recognize who we are, and being the most prominent feature of our face, the nose reveals our character, how sturdy of an individual we are and what we value and how we incorporate our values into our lives. Not only is part of Ahmanet's nose missing on her face, but it's also partially missing on the statue of her in her prison-tomb: that means her character is missing something; what? That leads us to her deteriorated cheek. You know the Scripture, "Turn the other cheek," (Matthew 5: 39) but that's not what Ahmanet did when her brother was born, rather, she took revenge, and because she has no tolerance for humility, she is rotten to the core. Seeing these traits in Ahmanet, Nick realizes he doesn't want anything sexual to do with her, and so he has no lust; at the end, when Nick is about to destroy the stone ("No stone, no curse,") Ahmanet promises him that if he doesn't destroy the stone, he will become all powerful, and she was telling the truth: any man who can control his lust and not give into his sexual appetites, becomes all powerful. Nick gains control over his appetites when he sacrifices himself for Jenny--not just at the end when he becomes Set, but also the countless times in the film that he saves her (like when the double-decker bus comes at them, and he pushes her out of the way, or zombies come up behind to attack her, or he fights off the soldiers to save her) because he does what Christ commanded the man do for his wife: lay down his life for her as Christ laid down his life for the Church (this is why the stone dissipates after Nick has stabbed himself with the Knife).
|"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," could be the subtitle of this sequence when Nick and Jenny try escaping Ahmanet at the church. Nick wants to get away from Ahmanet, but at the same time, he doesn't: Ahament offers Nick a lot, and he's a fairly weak man to begin with, so it's easy for her to control him. First question first: was Nick actually going to leave Jenny at the church and just escape on his own? It's entirely possible. When Jenny tells Nick how she knows he is a good man because he gave her the only parachute when the plane was crashing, and Nick replies, "I thought there was another one," we actually don't have to take his word for it because he's all ready been established as an "unreliable narrator," and we don't see him look for another parachute or hesitate when putting the chute on Jenny; we could even deduce that, given the plane's status as a military plane, there should have been more chutes on board, and Nick should have started looking for another chute but didn't, implying that maybe he all ready knew he needed to sacrifice himself at this early stage in the narrative and that was what he was planning on doing (he saw what happened to Vail and knows something has gone terribly wrong). With the church, we could follow the same line of reasoning, that Nick knows Ahmanet is after him, so getting away from Jenny will lure Ahmanet away from Jenny so she will be safe as long as Nick leaves Jenny,.... however, this doesn't really come up, and given that the zombies start attacking the yellow ambulance, and coming through their windows, this makes it harder to buy, but there is another option,... Nick realizes at this point that Ahmanet is Jenny's double, and the "sexual act" committed on the alter in the church was sufficient for Nick to see that Ahmanet and Jenny are the same character, so to get away from Ahmanet, Nick also has to get away from Jenny (remember the part in the airplane when Jenny reaches above the seat to get something, and her stomach is bared, and Nick stares at it? That scene suggests that Jenny was active in "luring" Nick to her room, that Nick might not have noticed Jenny had she not sexually "baited" him in some way, and that supports Nick getting away from Jenny/Ahmanet to save himself, knowing that just as Ahmanet directs Nick's driving away in the ambulance right around and back to the church, so Jenny does the same thing in causing her and Nick's paths to keep crossing). In other words, Nick reasons, if I am going to save Jenny, I need to get away from her so we don't have sex and none of this happens, and that is why he asks her, "Did you see that?!?!" because that is the explanation of why he would leave her there, so they don't commit the sin displayed on the alter of the church.|
So, they leave the church and then what happens? They get into the yellow ambulance. "Yellow," we know, symbolizes dignity, so after the disgraceful what they committed sacrilege at the alter of God in the church, it's important to re-establish dignity and why it is that God loves us, because that helps to keep us from sinning further. The ambulance is for sick people, and Nick and Jenny realize they are sick, Nick realizing that Ahmanet is Jenny and Jenny also realizing that she is Ahmanet (when Ahmanet attacks her, Jenny hits her on the head with a candle stick holder: the head is the place where our thoughts originate, so Jenny has been thinking, and the candle stick holder (because candles provide light which symbolizes illumination) also symbolizes illumination, so Jenny realizes she has seen, stripped of its passion and lust, the sexual act she and Nick committed in her hotel room in Baghdad. So, instead of acting like animals in heat, they need to remind themselves and each other they are the children of God, created in His image, which is why they get into the yellow ambulance, but things aren't that easy.
Who attacks them? Zombies. The zombies, just like at the church, symbolize us, the viewers, because we "aren't reflecting" on what has happened the way Jenny and Nick have (not you and myself, dear reader, because we are reflecting, but like, you know, the people who were sitting next to you in the theater, those people). These are people literally trying to hold back Nick and Jenny in the conversion process; why? Because those zombies don't want to be converted themselves. They go through the front windshield (so "reflection" symbolized by the window, and the future, symbolized by it being the front windshield at the front of the car, the direction in which they are going, as opposed to the back windshield, which is where they have been, the past) so these zombies "know" that if Nick and Jenny are converted, the zombies, too, will be called to conversion and they don't want to give up their sins. While Nick is being attacked by a zombie, Jenny uses her feet to kick the zombie, and Nick yells at her, "That's my face! That's my face!" but Jenny sees Nick as a zombie now, just as Nick saw Jenny as Ahmanet's decomposed corpse in the church when Ahmanet was about to stab him. Jenny is nearly dragged out of the ambulance by one of the zombies, because she's weak, and she is almost lost to becoming a zombie herself, that is, not caring what her sin is, but because she was so shocked by what she saw at the alter, she puts on the seat belt to keep her in the ambulance; what does the seat belt symbolize? A chastity belt. I know, it's old fashioned, however, we were just inside a Renaissance, Crusader church, and the even by strict historical standards, chastity belts were heard of at the time of Waverly Abbey. Her "chastity belt" keeps her inside the ambulance when they "fall" which is a fascinating detail of this sequence.
Nick drives off the road, and the ambulance tips over, with Nick falling out of the door, but Jenny strapped inside; why does this happen? This sequence is definitely about their "fall from Grace," but the film makers are saying what we said above: now that Nick and Jenny have seen what it was they actually did in having sex, they aren't going to make that same mistake twice, so when they "fall," they don't do it together, they go through that temptation, but Jenny's "chastity belt" keeps her strapped into the ambulance (the vehicle for the sick to remember their God-given dignity) even though Nick falls out; why does he fall out? They are in the woods.
Anyone who has read Dante's Inferno knows that the "dark wood" symbolizes sin; why? The woods are the opposite of the Cross. The Cross has been fashioned just for one, specific person, but the woods is where everything is left to grow wild, there is no one looking after it and wild animals live there, so for Nick, he has such a "forest of sin" that just one act of penance isn't going to strengthen him, and the film makers are quick to supply the reason: Nick hasn't protected his manhood. Nick picks up a stick--a phallic symbol--and he intends on showing Ahmanet "who is the boss" and Jenny cheers him on, encouraging him to "Kick her ass!" but we know that Ahmanet hits Nick once and he is out for the count; why? Nick has allowed himself to be dominated by women, because that was the easier road to take. He can't put his life in order when he's being bossed around by these dominant women, and they can dominate him because of all his sins weakening his resolve. Men only have authority when it comes from Christ, but a man who has not submitted himself to Christ is dead in sin and so he has submitted himself to the devil, and the devil's servants instead.
(This film was so in-depth, that there was an obvious point I missed regarding the zero-gravity scene, so I just created an appendix for the scene, which you can read by clicking on this link here).
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