Monday, 21 September 2020
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 07 August 2008 20:54

ThumbnailUsually in most old-fashioned mummy movies, the cloth wrapped monster goes up in a puff dust when it sees the light of day… In the case of Tomb of the Dragon Emperor it's unfortunate that the movie didn't disintegrate in the same way.

The Mummy franchise started in 1999 as a promising movie that had all the cheeky humor and fun action reminiscent of an Indiana Jones flick. A great cast and beautiful production made it a surprise hit. Brendan Fraser was the charming tomb raider, Rachel Weiz a sharp-tongued bookworm and together they had great chemistry and carried the movie with their breathless banter. Unfortunately the studio got greedy (as usual) and what followed were the inevitable disappointing sequel and prequel, which got progressively worse, leading up to the present catastrophe now in theatres.

In Tomb of the Dragon Emperor adventurers Rick and Evie O'Connell travel to China to return a rare artifact. Their son Alex is working on a dig there and has unearthed (surprise, surprise) the tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Jet Li), a king who ruled the land long ago until he was cursed by a witch and turned into clay. Of course, through a series of missteps, he is reawakened and must be stopped before he and his army can become immortal.

I kid you not when I say this movie should never have seen the light of day. This cash cow couldn't even lure back Rachel Weiz, who is replaced in horrible imitation by Maria Bello putting on one of the worst Brit accents I've ever heard in my life! It's actually embarrassing to watch her chewing on her dialogue. Brendan Fraser seems none to happy to return without his counterpart and he spits out his lines as if they leave a bad taste in his mouth. There is no chemistry whatsoever between the two of them and he obviously knew there was no saving this dud. Then there is the issue of a 27 year old Luke Ford playing the son of 40 year old Brendan Fraser… let's see… that would have made Fraser 11 years old at the time of his sons birth. Now that is just all wrong! Unconvincing relationships all around!

ThumbnailA merciless string of tacky action sequences serve to fill out the film, but since I was not involved whatsoever in the characters or story I might as well have been watching paint dry. Not to mention the mostly lame CG graphics that looked fresher and more advanced 10 years ago when the first film came out. These are some downright bad special effects! With so much CG there isn't time for any martial arts fights, which makes me wonder why anyone would bother paying for an incredible action star like Jet Li when all they plan on having him do is stomp around with a fierce look in his eye throwing computerize fireballs. Boring. Did I mention boring?

The script is terrible and you know you're in for trouble when you hear lines like “You guys are like mummy magnets!” or “The yak just yacked!” Oh yes, there is a joke about yak vomit. There are also yetis playing football in the mountains, but that's a whole other review.

I just can't go on any further since this review is almost as painful to write as the movie was to watch. The end credits were the best thing about this terrible sequel.