Director: Rob Cohen
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello,
John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Wong, Luke Ford, Isabella
Leong, Russell Wong, Albert Kwan, Liang Tian
RunTime: 1 hr 52 mins
Released By: UIP
Official Website: http://www.themummy.com/
Opening Day: 31 July 2008
The blockbuster global "Mummy" franchise takes a
spellbinding turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next
chapter in the adventure series, "The Mummy: Tomb of
the Dragon Emperor." Brendan Fraser returns as explorer
Rick O'Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet
Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China
high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new
adventure by son Alex (newcomer Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria
Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time,
the O'Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old
curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless,
by a double-crossing sorceress (Michelle Yeoh) to spend eternity
in suspended animation, China's ruthless Dragon Emperor and
his 10,000 warriors have laid forgotten for eons, entombed
in clay as a vast, silent terra cotta army. But when dashing
adventurer Alex O'Connell is tricked into awakening the ruler
from eternal slumber, the reckless young archaeologist must
seek the help of the only people who know more than he does
about taking down the undead: his parents.
the monarch roars back to life, our heroes find his quest
for world domination has only intensified over the millennia.
Striding the Far East with unimaginable supernatural powers,
the Emperor Mummy will rouse his legion as an unstoppable,
otherworldly force...unless the O'Connells can stop him first.
Now, in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,"
the trademark thrills and visually spectacular action of the
"Mummy" series will be redefined for a new generation.
The Indiana Jones wannabe adventurer Rick O’ Connell
is back. And so is his wife Evelyn, as well as his brother
from that, the third film in the Mummy franchise veers away
from the origins of its two predecessors and goes where Hollywood
likes to turn to for ideas most recently- China.
Han emperor, bent on world domination, is the Imhotep, the
baddie that Rick and his allies must send back to the dead
where he belongs. Entombed in clay for 2,000 years, he is
resurrected by the evil army General Yang (Anthony Wong in
his sophomore Hollywood outing after The Painted Veil).
wait…who is the mummy then, you ask? Strictly speaking,
there is no mummy to be found here. Unless you consider the
word in a figurative sense, of the dead coming back to life.
has been seven years since The Mummy Returns was released,
the last film of the Mummy saga opening to the tune of a US$68
million weekend in the US and a total worldwide gross of US$433
million. Indeed, the Mummy franchise was never quite dead
good news is this third film in the series doesn’t suck
the life out of it. But neither does it inject it with a breath
of fresh air. The Mummy and The Mummy Returns were meant to
be perfect summer popcorn entertainment, the kind of movies
that were designed for a thrill ride and nothing more. The
Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor continues to deliver the
thrills, though they do not seem as fresh the third time round.
of this has to do with timing. Barely three months after the
latest Indiana Jones adventure, the setup of the characters
in this latest Mummy film seems awfully similar to the Kingdom
Of The Crystal Skull. Rick’s son, Alex (Luke Ford),
is now all grown up and instead of going to college to study,
he’s off to China raiding the Dragon Emperor’s
tomb. Rick is the father who disapproves of his son following
in his footsteps. So the father and son team bicker at the
start but eventually put aside their differences to defeat
the Emperor. At least Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf’s
age differences made the father-son duo look credible. Brendan
Fraser still looks like he’s in his 30s, and Luke Ford
looks like he’s in the young 20s, so the supposed father-son
duo come off looking more like brothers.
script by the duo Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, best known
for their Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights movie, also sucks
any sense of mystery out of the story.
Take over the duties from previous writer-director Stephen
Sommers, they churn out a story that basically goes from point
A to point B. Worse still, you can see everything coming from
a mile away, thanks to Michelle Yeoh’s sorceress character
Zi Juan who reveals before the halfway mark exactly what the
Dragon Emperor is going to do and where he intends to go.
all is not lost under the direction of Rob Cohen, who has
shown with The Fast And The Furious that he is capable of
directing big-budget action set pieces. From the streets of
Shanghai to the Himalayas and the Great Wall of China, Cohen
keeps the CGI-heavy action and humour fast and furious.
the biggest applause must be reserved for the veterans of
The Mummy cast who make the reunion a much more enjoyable
affair. Brendan Fraser is always likeable as Rick and John
Hannah is ever amusing as his brother John. Amongst the newcomers,
Australian first time actor Luke Ford fares the best, sharing
a natural chemistry with Fraser on screen. Less so is Mario
Bello, taking over the role from Rachel Weisz, who seems unsure
of whether to play Evelyn serious or hammy and ends up looking
uneasy on screen.
the Asian actors play second fiddle to their Hollywood counterparts.
Though Jet Li enjoys equal billing with Fraser, audiences
don’t get to see much of him as his character is often
awash with CGI. Michelle Yeoh, Isabella Leong and Anthony
Wong also play token characters that aren’t given much
depth in the story.
the end, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor succeeds in
what it sets out to be, summer popcorn entertainment and nothing
more. Entertaining but ultimately forgettable, the Mummy franchise
needs a fresh injection of life soon, or it might just end
up stuck in a crypt.
(Mummy dies, Mummy comes back to life, send Mummy
back to the dead. It's a different Mummy no doubt but this
third film rehases the same formula to deliver perfect summer
Review by Gabriel Chong