The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Not as bad as I thought it would end up, but it is certainly not even close in quality to the first two films. The shine from the Mummy series is gone, but there are some fun moments here and there to keep you from getting bored with the film.
After conquering China, Emperor Han (Jet Li) searches for magic to make him even more powerful. Instead of assisting him in his thirst for power, Zi Yuan (Michelle Yoeh) double crosses him and curses Han and his army. Flash-forward to 1946, and the Mummy-fighting gang must stop Han from taking over the world.
Yep, that’s pretty much the plot in a nutshell. It’s actually a little more complex than many action films of today, but because Rob Cohen is directing, the storyline isn’t handled that well. Cohen doesn’t seem too concerned with connecting the scenes and locations in a natural manner, so the film feels even more disjointed compared to the Stephen Sommers films.
And, that’s the problem, there is a good adventure movie wrapped up in this mess of a story. And, Cohen is the reason behind the disarray. Cohen doesn’t have the creative skills to make a fun adventure, and that’s a real shame because this movie deserves better. Cohen, like Brett Ratner, is a by the numbers kind of guy that won’t cause any trouble for the studio. So, that means we won’t see much style or character development either.
But, even from a pure Popcorn Flick standpoint, The Mummy III is lacking.
However, not everything about the movie is bad…
Things I liked
-Moving the series from the Middle East to the East (China) gives the movie a fresh start.
-The dead armies and their special effects are impressive.
-The opening was also enjoyable.
-Michelle Yeoh was good in her limited role.
Things that I disliked
-The Acting is bad: Brendan Fraser seems bored and he’s worst here than in many of his earlier roles. Luke Ford is the lead man, and he’s horrible. Why is there not much of an age difference between Ford and Fraser? They’re supposed to be father and son. They couldn’t cast a younger actor? How about one that wasn’t as bland as Ford either?
-Jet Li is completely wasted. He just turns into really bad CGI monsters throughout the movie and frowns. Why cast him if you’re not going to use him?
-While the battle between the two undead armies was impressive, the final third act was a huge letdown. The movie simply gives up on a big ending and grinds to a halt. The ending needed another rewrite.
-The last few moments were some of the worst moments I’ve seen ever this year. There’s a stupid text mentioning that mummies were discovered in Peru. I’m not making that up, they didn’t even bother to film a teaser for the next film. They just slapped a text on the screen and cut to credits.
-Maria Bello is no Rachel Weisz.
Overall, this latest Mummy movie isn’t the train wreck that The Spirit will probably be, but it is lacking the fun and adventure that the last two films had going for them. Cohen is to blame for the total mess the last act is.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what anyone says, they’re making a fourth one.
Side note: It would appear both Indiana Jones and O'Connell family worked with Allies during World War II. Both movies mention they’re help during the war offhandedly too.