Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and clan are back for the third and weakest mummy adventure yet.
What’s really impressive about this film is how in manages to be utterly terrible on every level every step of the way. The story is absurd, the dialog is laughable, the acting is wooden, the special effects are wretched and the action sequences are bland and uninspired.
First off we get ten minutes of very dull exposition explaining who the dragon emperor (Jet Li) is and how he came to be turned into a mummy. Then we cut to 1946 where Rick’s son unwittingly sets events in motion to unleash the mummy emperor in their time.
The plot is superfluous at this point overflowing with clichÃ©s and plot points stolen from other films. For Example, Rick is stabbed and only taking him to Shangri-la will save him. This whole things plays out like the end of The Last Crusade where Indy has to save his dad. The mummy runs amuck and tries to take over the world, and the O’Connell family along with a couple immortal chicks and three poorly computer animated yeti’s take on the emperor and try to stop him before he raises his undead army. Things get tricky when the emperor reaches Shangri-la and turns into a giant three-headed dragon. Why you ask? Don’t there is no logical answer to this or any of the rest of the film.
There are a few decent moments in the film like when the emperor rips his own stone face off and throws it at Rick. It’s so cool you feel bad that it got wasted in such a terrible film. Then there are moments that are so preposterously bad that you can’t help but laugh out loud like when one of the yeti kicks a soldier in the butt and sends him flying through two uprights, not unlike a field goal kick in football. The yeti’s look at one another then throw their hands in the air signaling a goal. I kid you not.
The most painful part of this film is watching Brendan Fraser struggle through it. You really have to wonder why he or Jet Li would agree to make this. At least Rachel Weisz had enough sense not to return as Rick’s wife. Maria Bello fills her shoes and brings nothing to the film.
The film is presented in 2.40:1 Anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Also has French and French language tracks and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The transfer looks fine and the film sounds great, but that’s the end of the compliments for this film.
Commentary with Director Rob Cohen: If you think this film couldn’t get any more dull, then just watch it with Rob Cohen’s commentary.
Deleted Scenes: (10 min.) These are a waste of ten minutes of your time.
The Making Of The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor: (22 min.) A typical pat on the back making of where everyone talks about how great the movie is and how everyone in it was fantastic. With a movie this bad all this self-congratulatory hoopla just comes of as ridiculous.
From City To Desert: (15 min.) This featurette wastes fifteen minutes of your time talking about the location shooting for the film and how much fun it was for the cast to go to China and shoot.
Legacy of The Terra Cotta: (13 min.) This one talks about what pieces they took from history to inspire the story of the film. Specifically they talk about the real history of the Terra Cotta warriors that appear in the film.
A Call To Action: The Casting Process: (4 min.) Just what it says, more praise for the actors for the film.
Preparing For Battle with Brendan Fraser and Jet Li: (10 min.) Here you can learn about how Fraser and Li trained for the action sequences in the film.
Jet Li: Crafting The Emperor Mummy: (8 min.) How they transformed the talented Jet Li into a poorly CGI animated stone mummy.
Creating New And Supernatural Worlds: (8 min.) So here the sets of the film get their praise. With all these thorough coverage I’m wondering why the catering crew didn’t get their own featurette.
Bad, bad, bad. There really is nothing good I can say about this film. Avoid at all costs. Sure you get over 100 minutes of special features, but those are more of a waste of your time than the film.
Universal presents The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor. Directed by Rob Cohen. Starring Brendan Fraser, Jet Li and Maria Bello. Written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Running time: 112 minutes. Rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence. Released on DVD: December 16, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: brendan fraser, Jet Li