The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

  • Directed by Rob Cohen
  • July 24, 2008 (Moscow) / August 1, 2008 (US)

Alex O’Connell, son of famed adventurer Rick O’Connell and his wife Evelyn, awakens the mummy of the dangerous Dragon Emperor.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is not quite the fun thrill ride of its predecessors. It Is an okay movie but lacks the general fun feel of the first two. This was clearly meant to be a handoff film. Alex, here played rather blandly by Luke Ford, gets pushed to the center of the action though there are points where it feels that the creative minds decided he lacked the charisma of Brendon Fraser’s Rick and Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn and push those characters into the middle of things.

Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello-standing in for Rachel Weisz-were clearly meant to hand off the film series to Alex and the new girlfriend of Lin played by Isabella Leong. I think Ford as the proposed new lead and Leong as his girlfriend do not have the same chemistry as Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz had in the first two films. They lack that old Hollywood movie boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic that the two had even as a married couple. In fact Alex and Lin have no chemistry at all as a couple. The characters come together because it is expected. Nothing in the story actually brings them together.

And an American as a Brit? Maria Bello’s accent is acceptable for a secondary character but not for primary character. Brit’s can fake American accents, but Americans cannot fake effective British accents. Aside from Vincent Price whose natural speaking voice lent itself to sounding British, it just can’t be done. It needs to be part of your natural cadence and Bello just does not have that.

That and I think Maria Bello is only okay as an actress. Her Evelyn comes off more as annoyed than anything else. Annoyed by Alex. Annoyed by Rick. Annoyed by Johnathan. Annoyed by the Dragon Emperor. She is annoyed that she’s inconvenienced. Annoyed that people are irritating her.

And in a meta-kind of way Cohen and company do their best to hang a lantern on the fact that this is not the original actress. At several points they go out of their way to let you know this. Once is funny but more than that takes you out of the story.

And how did Alex lose his British accent between The Mummy Returns and this film? In the last one he was clearly meant to be British but here Alex sounds pretty Midwestern. And they do their best to make Ford look like a young Brendan Fraser with the characters laying it on thick and heavy about how much Alex reminds them of his father young.

Johnathan (John Hannah), even though he was a secondary character, previously he mattered to things. He wasn’t just comic relief. The same cannot be said here. His presence is more to remind you that this is a Mummy film than it is to actually participate in the story. His actions in no way contribute to the narrative.

And Michelle Yeoh is in this, but she is totally wasted as a generic witch character who hung around for centuries just to get vengeance.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor just doesn’t feel as epic as the previous two. Even with the cute kid element The Mummy Returns had an epic vibe. It felt like the world was in danger. The villain in here, Han the Dragon Emperor (Jet Li), while he could conquer the world didn’t feel like he was threatening the world. And don’t get me wrong. Jet Li was good in the role but everything that surrounded it just brought it down.

What is meant to be a touching scene at the end where Lin finally gets to interact with her dad falls flat. There is no emotional impact. Lin mentioned who her father is, but it comes off like it was inserted because somebody realized they needed to justify why she was part of the story and not as some actual part of the narrative.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is an okay movie. It just doesn’t have the magic of the first two films. It’s nice to see the characters, if not the original actors, back again. Unfortunately due to its weak nature I’ll give us an if you want. In the end it does nothing to expand upon the first two films.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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