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.


2 comments:

  1. The one star I plopped on this clunky bore-athon is due to the presence of the great Jet Li as the evil Dragon Emperor of the subtitle and the gorgeous Michelle Yeoh as Zi Yuan, a witch who's been on the Emperor¹s ass for over 2000 years.

    Peter Travers
    Rolling Stone

    http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/22126971/review/22126827/the _mummy_tomb_of_the_dragon_emperor

    martial-arts superstar Jet Li triumphs as the mostly wordless evil Emperor Han of ancient China, a glowing magma spirit locked in a terra cotta shell.

    Jane Horwitz
    Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/31/AR2008 073100734.html

    Still, Li makes a great villain, using his powers to create fire, ice and other elements.

    Edward Douglas
    Coming Soon
    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/weekendwarriornews.php?id=47377

    Toward the end of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh launch into a vigorous sword fight — and what a grand pleasure it is to watch these two world-class stars in action again...Their duel atop the Great Wall of China is a reunion of titans, an Old Timers' Day for two actor-athletes still in their sinuous prime. Forgive the effusions of an alter-kocker fanboy, but the flinty glamour of Li and Yeoh — buttressed by the stolid, sneering presence of top Hong Kong villain Anthony Wong Chau-sang (who in 1993 appeared in 15 films!) — is the best reason to catch this third in the series of Indiana Jones knockoffs.

    Richard Corliss
    TIME
    http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1828343,00.html

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