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Review of “The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor” (2008) PG-13 112min

August 3rd, 2008 by Maxim · 3 Comments · 8,031 Views


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The Mummy 3 (2008) poster

Brendan Fraser returns to movie theaters for another adventure as intrepid explorer Rick O’Connell.

The plot: Rick and Eve O’Connell spend the fortune they earned in the past two adventures in after-war England in a huge mansion. Both of them pretend that they are quite happy with this lifestyle since they try to stay true to their promise to stay out of adventure business, but inside they are itching for another one – Rick wants to prove he’s still got it after that many years, and Evelyn needs something to write a new novel about. The excuse to go on a trip soon presents itself when CIA offers Rick and Eve to secretly deliver a preceous artifact to China, where their Son Alex, a college-dropout archeologist, discovered the location of the tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Through a series of unfortunate events and betrayal of friends, the evil Emperor awakes from his 2,000 year old slumber to raise an army of the undead that would take over the world, unless Rick, Eve, Alex, Jonathan and a young Chinese witch stop them.

The good: Michelle Yeoh was as beautiful as ever in the role of 2,000 year old witch who cast a spell on the evil emperor and his armies. Good action sequences, although 90% of them were CGI. Probably the best sequence in the whole movie was shot at the cabaret that Eve’s brother Jonathan Carnahan (John Hannah) was spending his fortune on and owned in Shanghai (I think): it was stylish and really conveyed the sense of time. Very energetic. 40-year old Brendan Fraser is in great physical shape, which induced a shirtless shot. nice musical score.

The bad: Basically the premise of this movie is another adventure for O’Connell family, but now a much tougher mummy that shifts shapes and has much more powerful magic then the mummy Rick killed twice in the prequels, and also to show how a more modern world’s weapons stand up against fragile mummies of evil emperor’s soldiers. The latter task has not quite succeeded – though CGI fights of the mummy armies were entertaining and shooting them from an aircraft seems like a lot of fun, but why not try to shoot them from a tank or with a cannon as well? The whole adventure in the Himalayas was ridiculous – you’ll see. Rachel Weizs replaced by Maria Bello and her acting was not as good. Alex lost his English accent and sounds like American now. Stereotypical to the point of ridiculousness. The snow men had no genitalia, which was probably a requirement to get the PG-13 rating. The only real action sequence with stunts was when the witch was fighting the emperor and it lasted no more then 2 minutes. The rest of fight sequences were mostly among the CGI armies of mummies. The jokes would be funny if they weren’t repeated several times before in the two previous Mummy movies. The alleged war past of Evelyn and Rick as intelligence officers was fast-forwarded through and reminded the alleged CIA past of Indiana Jones in the Crystal Skull quest. Really bad acting by Isabella Leong (as Lin) and Luke Ford (as Alex O’Connell) – an unconvincing action-hero sidekick. It’s a waste of everyone’s talent, especially Jet Li’s: all he was doing is wave his sword while ordering mummies to do stuff for him; everything else was CGI. Seemed like none of the actors actually wanted to be in it and they detested the dialogs.

The summary: this is a movie for kids. Thrilling enough for adults, but nevertheless a solid entertainment for its action sequences, even though the plot is full of holes and acting with exception of Michelle Yeoh’s is unconvincing. Doesn’t live up to the first part, but better then Scorpion King.

The cast: Rick O’Connell – Brendan Fraser | Emperor Han – Jet Li | Evelyn O’Connell – Maria Bello | Jonathan Carnahan – John Hannah | Zi Juan – Michelle Yeoh | Alex O’Connel – Luke Ford | Lin – Isabella Leong | General Yang – Anthony Wong Chau-Sang | Ming Guo – Russell Wong | Mad Dog Maguire – Liam Cunningham

The credits: Director – Rob Cohen | Screenplay – Alfred Gough, Miles Millar | Producers – Chris Brigham, Sean Daniel, Bob Ducsay, James Jacks, Josette Perrotta, Marc Pitre, Stephen Sommers | Original Musical Score – Randy Edelman | Cinematography – Simon Duggan | Universal Pictures | Relativity Media

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Rated 3/5 on Aug 3 2008
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Tags: Action · Adventure · Movies · Supernatural · Thrillers/Suspense

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 media boy // Aug 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm

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    Sounds like Tomb of the Dragon Emperor met everyone’s expectations; fun overall, but Brendan Frasier tries too hard to act, so he has an unnatural feel on screen

  • 2 Hot new movie releases on DVD and Blu-Ray this week (Dec 16, 2008) | Maxim’s Movie Reviews and Opinions Blog // Dec 15, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    [...] The third installment in the Mummy franchise takes archaeologist Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) all the way to China, pitting him against an emperor (Jet Li) from the 2,000-year-old Han dynasty, who’s returned from the dead to pursue an evil quest for world domination. This time, O’Connell enlists the help of his family — including his wife, son and brother-in-law — to quash the so-called Dragon Emperor and his abuse of supernatural power. DVD (Widescreen | Full-Screen) | Blu-Ray | [Maxim's Review] [...]

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