By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a glorious mess. It just flies so far off the rails that you can't look away. You have to see just what ridiculous creation it will think of next.
Review: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
It starts out promisingly enough, with a mythological legend just like the first two Mummys. Maria Bello sounds just like Rachel Weisz. I know because I just watched the first two on Blu Ray. They even acknowledge her replacement in a cute way.
But as soon as we meet Rick and Eve in their post-WWII boredom, the movie becomes embarrassing. They try to be cute, horsing around and it's just nonsense. First of all, if they're going to get back into action anyway, why bother setting up their alternate life? And if you want us to identify in any way with their transition, you've got to give us more than skits. During the action scenes, they resort to doing pratfalls for the kiddies.
At least there are some booby traps when grown-up son Alex unearths the Chinese mummy's tomb. Although you've got to wonder, in a world where legendary curses are real and come to get you, why do they even bother looking for old mummies? But that's part of the fun so you hope it's going in a good direction.
The Casablanca look in the '40s would be cool but it only feels like Rick and Eve are playing dress up. They aren't even believably of the period that follows the period where they were first introduced.
John's club is funny and he's the only character who still feels like the same character from the first two movies. Rick may talk about fighting mummies, but he suddenly needs the whole plot explained to him. He plans to shoot at or blow up the mummy? Who are these people?
Alex is the most mature character. At least he knows what's going on and it's a step way up from the precocious kid of The Mummy Returns. It would have been better to just continue the franchise from his perspective. Why bring back Brendan Fraser if you're not even going to let him play the Rick O'Connell who kicked so much ass is 1999?
I don't have too big a problem with sequels imitating the plots of their predecessors. There are elements we like. The problem is, this Mummy imitates the same beats at The Mummy Returns. That's the wrong one! And that's only when it even resembles a Mummy movie.
The Mummy 3 makes me miss Uwe Boll. At least his disasters have the heart of a guy who really wants to be good. Now come on, guys. You can't keep hating on Indy IV after you see this.