The Mummy: Tomb of the
Dragon Emperor (2/10)
by Tony Medley
I think it’s nice to say
something nice about a film.
Except for Maria, this is a
real dog. She plays Evelyn O’Connell, the mother of Alex O’Connell (Luke
Ford). Brendan Fraser returns for the third time as Rick O’Connell, the
intrepid explorer of Mummies. The problem is that Luke Ford is 29
years-old. I think Maria is in her late ‘30s and Fraser just broker over
40. This makes about as much sense as having Dakota Fanning play a
That is just a little,
teenie-weenie bit of the absurdities of this film, which has been made
for the sole purpose of displaying special effects. Mummy stories aren’t
intended to make much sense. The two in this series had wit and charm to
get the audience through them and Fraser gave scintillating
performances. This has no wit and little charm and even Fraser’s talent
can’t save it. Jet Li appears as the Emperor. From what I’ve seen of Li,
playing a dead man is about the only thing that would not be a stretch
This is “Pirates of the
Caribbean” buttressed by the latest Indiana Jones fiasco. Like
“Pirates,” it has a bunch of dead people who can’t be killed fighting
each other. Like “Indiana” it is chock full of silly chases whose
outcomes are pre-ordained.
I skipped the screening and
saw it in a theater with real people. I clocked it at 105 minutes, but I
could be wrong. It certainly seemed a lot longer than that, but my watch
is pretty accurate. I know I shaved before entering the theater but
people were mistaking me Santa Claus when I exited.
The Emperor dies as the
result of a curse put on him by Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh), but she is
immortal. If someone can bring him back to life and other things happen,
he can be immortal, too. The film throws lots of barriers he must cross.
First he has to do this and then he has to do that and then he has to do
something else. Eventually he gets to do them all, all the while being
chased by the O’Connells and Lin (Isabella Leong), who is Zi Juan’s
daughter, also immortal, but who falls for Alex. They all want to kill
the Emperor by driving a special knife through his heart.
For women, however, all is
not lost. Fraser and Ford are, apparently, hunks, so they have something
to look at. Except for that, this is all a bunch of stuff to just have
lots of chases and lots of special effects. It ends by implying that
there are also some Mummies in Peru, so a fourth installment is on the
drawing boards. More’s the pity.