The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Jet Li and Luke Ford
Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Plot: Alex O’Connell (Ford) unearths the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin (Jet Li) and his parents Rick (Fraser) and Evelyn (Bello) must come to the rescue.
Who’s It For? You really, really need to like mindless blockbuster escapes. But instead maybe you should just rent King Solomon’s Mines or its sequel Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, which were both better knock-offs than this franchise has offered.
Expectations: Let’s be honest here. I didn’t see The Mummy Returns. But I think that actually made me a hint more excited for this third installment. Distance made me believe that a fun adventure movie would be a nice escape.
Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell: There is one part of Fraser’s Rick that should be the highlight of this series of films, and it’s the fact that he gets out of jams. Unfortunately, only his nickname ‘Ricochet’ highlights this feature. There is room for more than one Indiana Jones but it’s not this guy.
Maria Bello as Evelyn O’Connell: The big winner of this film is Rachel Weisz because of course she escaped the Evelyn role after the first two Mummy films. I truly hope Bello’s motivation was a fat paycheck. Her accent was painfully overdone and the most ammusing part of Evelyn was that she had writer’s block because she has no imagination of her own.
Luke Ford as Alex O’Connell: Passing the mantle? Was that the goal of this film? Indiana Jones did it better and that’s not even saying that much. I never once believed that Rick and Alex were father/son, and their bickering about guns, life, whatever was painful.
Rest of Cast: Jet Li is barely in the film, you never get a sense of his power and wouldn’t it have made more sense to remain a three-headed, fire breathing dragon? Doesn’t that help with one on one fights? John Hannah is still the sidekick hamming it up, and that means getting yacked on by a yak. Michelle Yeoh at least has a presence about her, but if her life goal is to protect the fountain of youth from people, shouldn’t she just destroy it?
Talking: There was at least 50 ways they found to say, “I hate mummies.” This is by far the worst dialogue of 2008.
Sights & Sounds: The best scene is the final battle between the two undead armies. And the streets of China look great in the car chase, but additions like the barely explained Yetis just baffles me. And when will Rick learn that bullets don’t kill the undead?
Dear fictional character Rick O’Connell, you can’t roll your eyes about a magic knife being the only thing to kill a raised-from-the-dead emperor if you’ve already lived through two other unreal adventures. That is just one of the hundreds of problems with this third installment of The Mummy. There are so many moments where Rick and company should have just blown up a bridge or allowed themselves to die, instead of risking all of mankind. And what semblance of a plot there is, it’s simply lifted from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade with the holy grail being replaced by a fairly easy to find Shangri-La. In fact, even though every single line was about how much mummies suck, were any of these from-the-dead soldiers technically mummies?
Score: 3 out of 10