Monday, August 04, 2008

Mummy 3: Curse of the Dragon Emperor


Well, the title got it right. It feels like this movie was...cursed...to begin with. Actually, I feel like cursing it.

I really wanted to like it, too. While Rick O'Connell may started out as an Indiana Jones copycat, the first two Mummy movies were fun and enjoyable enough to grow on me. After the dismal Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the underdog had the chance to claim the crown. Sadly, they flubbed it.

Mummy 3 sticks to the formula of the first two movies, but shifts the action to China and swaps Rachel Weisz with Maria Bello as Evelyn O'Connell. Both moves were a big mistake.

Evelyn O'Connell's link with Imhotep were what gave the "Mummy" and "Mummy Returns" an air of mystery and destiny. No such plot device here, and she becomes just another adventurer.

Another mistake was the introduction of a grown-up Alex, now an archaeologist. Neither Brendan Fraser nor Maria Bello are old enough to portray parents to Luke Ford. Mummies rising from the dead we can believe; this one, no.

Moreover, Jet Li is miscast as the Dragon Emperor; he doesn't convey enough menace, and his action skills are wasted in the role. Michelle Yeoh, always a pleasure to watch, does what she can with the role but is underused; she deserves better.

The editing and pacing of the movie was horrendous. It just started going downhill from the get-go. I was waiting to see if it would pick up, but it never did. The action sequences were really mediocre, bordering on the silly. To top it off, everything looked patched together.

Final verdict: 1 of 5 Mummy wrappings.