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Posted on 11/10/09 07:57 AM
The Mummy, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
I SO wanted to love this movie, but I didn't.
I remember when the first Mummy came out, I was so psyched to see it.
Ever since I was a child I have been enthralled with ancient Egypt.
So naturally I figured I would love The Mummy. I did.
I loved The Mummy Returns also despite all the major critics slamming it.
Needless to say when I heard they were making a third I was a little nervous as to how they would raise Imhotep for a third installment.
Then I read that Steven Sommer's said the story of Imhotep was basically finished and the new film would go in a different direction.
A Chinese Mummy?
Then I heard Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh would be in it, and I started to get really excited at the possibilities.
If any of you have seen Li in Hero or Yeoh in Crouching Tiger then you know what these two powerhouses are capable of.
I couldn't wait to see the Mummy franchise taken in a new and possibly exciting direction.
The first two Mummy movies really brought ancient Egypt to life, not that accurately mind you, but Egypt is a magical place with such a colorful and mystical history. The first two Mummy movies really did an excellent job of capturing that feeling.
Ancient China has that same magical, colorful history and I was sure the filmmakers would really bring us characters that were bigger than life and full of history , with interesting back stories.
The characters of Emperor Han (Li), Zi Juan (Yeoh) and Lin (Leong) were hollow and lifeless.
Li's and Yeoh's characters were completely wasted.
The filmmakers had so much potential with these two and they dropped the ball big time.
Neither character has much to say, especially Li.
I was expecting a major Chinese cultural influence on this movie and it just didn't happen.
It was an action movie, that's it.
Li's character receives his immortality WAY too late in the movie.
Yes, his transformations were impressive, the dragon was anyway.
The other transformation was kind of blah.
None of the new characters really had that interesting of a back story as to why they would want to come back from the dead.
Even Li in his mummy state says, "Why did you raise me?"
I can't help but ask the same question.
If the filmmakers weren't able to introduce likeable characters with interesting back stories then why did they even bother bringing the franchise back.
Halfway through the movie I really started missing the original cast.
The new Evlyn (Maria Bello) is a fine actress but I just couldn't stop wishing Rachel Weisz was onscreen.
And I'm sorry but when I think of mummies, I think of Egypt.
I really started to miss Vosloo (Imhotep), Anck Su Namun (Velasquez) and Ardeth Bay (Fehr).
Those characters were interesting enough to keep my attention.
The new characters were cardboard cutouts and I blame the filmmakers for wasting the colossal talents of Li and Yeoh.
Sorry, but without Steven Sommers behind the camera and Rob Cohen directing, this franchise has no future at all.
The first two Mummy movies had beautiful locations with some genuinely funny moments.
The only beautiful locations in this installment are at the very end where they show the fountain and then another beautiful location in the distance. I wont give away the name. But neither the characters or the filmmakers explore this location, they just show a two second glimpse. Another wasted opportunity.
The film has a very herky jerky feel to it.
The story is poorly paced and rushes all over the place.
When Li obtains his immortality there is practically no resistance.
Everything in the movie just sort of........happens.
The first two movies had a ton of atmosphere, personality and some really tense moments.
This movie has none of the above.
A couple of jump out of your seat moments but that was about it.
I was hoping the director would at least give us some good fighting scenes with Li and Yeoh but sadly he drops the ball on that too.
The shots are way too close, really all you can see is the movement of clothing. It ruins all the beautiful moves that Li and Yeoh are capable of doing.
Frasier's kid is not even necessary, he's way too old to be convincing.
I bet you're all asking yourselves, what did he like about this movie?
Well, the FX are top notch.
The scene with the Yetis which looked so awesome in the previews turned out to be the most corny and embarrassing moment in the film
The comedy that was present in the first two was absent in this movie.
The few funny lines were forced and didn't come across as genuine.
But as I said, the FX are top notch, especially Li's dragon transformation.
The music was ok, it was reminiscent of the other movies but really didn't add anything new but at least didn't take anything away from the movie.
The acting itself was very well done.
Sadly, that's really all there was that was good about this movie.
Great FX, a lot of action, and competent acting from the entire cast.
And this isn't a spoiler at all but at the end of the movie the film pretty much tells you where The Mummy 4 will take place.
I'm sorry, but John Hannah and Brendan Frasier are both excellent actors but they can't carry this franchise alone.
Unless they find a decent way to bring back all the original characters, and I'm sure they could think of a way.
Oh common, if they can bring Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers back five million times then I'm sure they can think of a creative way to bring Imhotep back for one more round of thrills and chills.
And with Cohen behind the camera for part four, I won't be seeing that mummy in the theater.
Do I recommend this movie?
If you hated the first two, then don't even bother.
If you liked the first two, but are anxious to see ancient China brought to life, don't bother.
If you're looking for a mindless action movie with tons of FX with zero personality, story line, or interesting characters, then yeah, go see it.
Recommended for die hard action fans only.