The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

First thoughts...

        This was a very exciting movie.  That being said it had its faults.  First of all,  Brendan Fraser is 39 so when he plays the dad of Luke Ford, who is only 10 years younger than Frasier, it seems a little weird.  Critics didn't like this one.  Most seem to agree that this series should have stayed buried after The Mummy Returns.  I'm not sure if I agree, but the third installment did have a lot of ups and downs.

What Happens (may contain spoilers)...

     A few thousand years ago China was under the control of many military rulers battling for control.  (This is called the Period of Warring States in real history).  Historical events are sketchy here so those of you who are big on history just go with the flow. Then along comes Emperor Han (Jet Li) a military mastermind, who is able to unite all of China and even builds the great wall.  He finds witch who says she can make him immortal. He orders her to cast a spell that will make him immortal.  She tricks him and places a curse on him and his army.  The curse is that they are transformed into clay. 

    We fast foward to the year 1946.  Alex O'Connell, Rick and Evelyn's son, has just dug up the tomb of the Dragon emperor.  Rick O'Connell (Frasier) and Evelyn (Maria Bello) agree to carry an ancient artifact to China.  This artifact is said to be able to lead to the pool of immortality.  As a kicker the artifact has a little sample of the pool which is used to revive the emperor. The O'Connell family meets up in China and they are quickly robbed of their artifact.  The artifact is used to revive the emperor and a race to the pool of immortality is initiated.  The emperor is able to drink from this pool but the mortals of this battle find the witch who originally cursed the emperor.  She raises the dead enemies of the emperor and an epic, undead battle ensues. 

What I thought about...

The acting.

     I love Brennan Frasier and Jet Li, but the some of the cast was a little off.  Let's start with the O'Connell family.  I miss the actress who played Evelyn in the first, because she and Frasier had great chemistry.  However Bello tends to act more like his mother than his wife.  To her credit she really holds her own in the action scenes.  Alex would have been great if he was a little younger.  The problem here is that Frasier and Ford look more like peers than father and son.  However, their dialogues, especially during the action bits, are very funny and very father and son like.  John Hannah made a very funny comeback to the series as Jonathan, Evelyn's brother.

     As for the rest of the cast, they were pretty good.  The triangle of immortals Lin (Isabella Leong), the Emperor (Li), and Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh) all did as well as they could given the writing.  Yes, the writing for these characters was a little weak.  I think most people will agree that these actors are good in their parts but they are not hard parts to play.

The directing.

     What happened Rob Cohen?  This guy has directed a few of my favorites like xXx, and The Fast and the Furious; but here, he fails.  This movie had exciting action scenes except for the shaking cameras and bad angles.  This movie was a great pallet for him and he just didn't fulfill this movie's potential.  Needless to say I was disappointed with the direction.  That's all I have to say about that.

What the critics said.

     With this film I half agreed with what most of the critics said but I did feel that they were too harsh and focused on the negatives a bit much.  Joshua Tyler of said, "It's as if they forgot to bring the fun to this picture. Avoid it at all costs." I fully disagree.  This film has fun and to me he seems to be exagerating about how bad it is.  Danny Milton of the Beaumont Journal said "Were you to watch this film with the volume off, it might be a fairly good adventure film."  hmmm volume off eh?  He might be on to something.  Although I would have to say turn it back on when Jonathan, Rick and Alex are together.  Mike Clark of USA Today said "Remarkably, the plot has much in common with Hellboy II: The Golden Army, yet that bundle of fun has enough vision to make even its Barry Manilow interlude seem appropriate."  I hadn't thought of it like that.  Thats actually a good comparison that I have to agree with.

Bottom Line 3.6 out of 10 1 1/2 out of 4

Sickofthecritics wait for the DVD







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