Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) Review:

According to most people the third installment of Stephen Sommers "The Mummy (1999)" is truly the end to this trilogy. I would beg to differ; I actually think this film played out better than The Mummy Returns (2001). What seemed to be missing from the second is back and that's not all. Some extras were added and the story line is a little more improved. Yes, there are some set backs, which I well get to but really it's not a big deal. Even the ending I thought finished better than the second film.

Rick's son Alex (Ford) and his wife Evy (Bello)
The only two actors to reprise their characters in this film are Brendan Fraser and John Hannah. Contrary to what I've read or heard, all the characters are the same as before. Nothing has changed and the jokes are still funny. Stupid slapstick, I think not. Fraser and Hannah still have their charm. As for the other characters, Maria Bello plays Evelyn whom at first I wasn't sure how she would turn out to be the next Evelyn. But in the end, I was pleased with her performance. I would have preferred to see Weisz come back but I think Bello was the next best choice for Evelyn. Alex O'Connell has also grown up which is nice to see because Alex was cool as a bratty child but now that he's grown up, he can really help out his parents (and uncle) to help take out this new mummy. Alex O'Connell is played by Luke Ford who I have not seen act in many other films. However his performance was convincing enough to be the son of the O'Connells.

Jet Li as the Dragon Emperor
Michelle Yeoh and Isabella Leong also play significant characters and it's great to see them give some individuality for once instead of having the same people all the time (although I did like Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo). I also think people were turned off because it's a "mummy" movie and yet it takes place in China. OK so the villain really isn't a "mummy" (and wrapped and buried) but he still has the same traits as Imhotep; banished from his lifetime with a curse and awaits to when he is resurrected again to concur the world. And what's even better is that it's not the same story line. The Mummy Returns (2001) was almost like a retread because it was the same story from The Mummy (1999), except this time it included the Scorpion King. Jet Li plays one heck of villain and if he were to head up against Vosloo, Jet Li would still win, especially that he has all the earthly elements at his disposal.

Another thing I didn't appreciate much from the second film was how a lot CGI was used for certain scenes. However, this one had a nice blend and I don't know if that's because this movie took some time to hit theatres after the first sequel or if it was Rob Cohen's direction but I like the feel of it more. The music is good too, which was composed by Randy Edelman, who keeps the feeling real and energetic. The last element to this film that I think really makes it worth while is the story; and I don't mean that because it took place in China! I like the story because it reunites the O'Connell family. In the beginning of the film the viewer will notice that the O'Connell family is not the family they used to be. But once the mummy business starts up again, things return to what viewers love about the O'Connells; fighting mummies together.

This "mummy" film may have a different director, different actors, and a completely different story, but in more ways than one, this film plays better than the first sequel. It has more character development, the same funny comical vibe and still retains exciting action sequences.

Points Earned --> 9:10

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