Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Movie Reviews - should have been put to the grave

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Movie Reviews - should have been put to the grave

Time to Mummify 'The Mummy'
By Todd McCarthy, Variety.com

Given the must, dust and rust emanating from this third installment, it's clear the time has come for this "Mummy" franchise to be truly mummified once and for all. Set in a post-WWII context and giving the hero a cocky college-age son in a way that tiresomely mirrors the recent "Indiana Jones" revival, the new entry has a fresh marketing angle in the Chinese setting that will boost business, especially in Asia, beyond the built-in worldwide audience that paid more than $800 million to see the first two Brendan Fraser starrers. But as the film comes off as both old hat and low-grade, this will stand as an interesting test of whether seven years represent too long a wait to sustain public interest in a once-popular concept.

Aside from some of the visual effects, which at their best involve 10,000 Terracotta warriors coming to life after 2,000 years, this is cheeseball stuff all the way. As they say, it starts with the script, and this one, by "Shanghai Noon" and "Smallville" scribes Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, should have been found wanting early on, especially in the woeful family-issues dialogue that periodically brings the otherwise lumbering adventure tale to a complete halt.

Last seen battling the Rock's Scorpion King in Egypt circa 1933, Fraser's Rick O'Connell, having helped lick the Nazis, is reintroduced here in 1946, getting used to domesticity in a sumptuous English mansion while his wife Evelyn (Maria Bello, stepping into the role vacated by Rachel Weisz) looks for inspiration for another entry in her potboiler "Mummy" novel series. Rick insists he's retired from archeology and exploring, but perhaps he doth protest too much, as it takes little convincing to get him and Evelyn to decamp for Shanghai, where they quickly encounter Evelyn's nightclubbing brother (John Hannah, returning) and their devil-may-care son Alex (Luke Ford).http://www.boxofficeprophets.com/tickermaster/loadimage.cfm?image=themummy3.jpg

Alex has inherited his parents' heedless sense of derring-do and good luck, as he has recently stumbled upon the long-sought tomb of the Dragon Emperor and the chambers housing his massive army, all preserved under the Chinese desert. An action-powered prologue reveals how, back in 50 B.C., the ruthless, nation-unifying Emperor (Jet Li) betrayed a witch (Michelle Yeoh) who had agreed to endow him with immortality, and who repaid him by sending him into an unending state of limbo between life and death.

With the help of a duplicitous contempo general (of unspecified political affiliation in 1946 China), who hopes to ride the legendary emperor's coattails to power, the crusty-looking old monarch heads to Shanghai and then to Shangri-La itself -- all the while doing battle, in various human and inhuman forms, with the O'Connell mob, which grows to include the witch, a foxy mystery woman (Isabella Leong), and an old coot pilot to spirit the gang into the Himalayas.

http://www.stuffwelike.com/stuffwelike/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/mummy3-tsrposter-big.jpg

All the elements are present: a rare elixir, a secret stone, the toxic seductions of old Shanghai, a villain who can only be killed in one special way, the brash and sometimes bumbling Americans, the mummy who seethes with centuries of resentment and can morph into other creatures. But reheating the ingredients can't disguise how stale they are, as setpiece after setpiece strains to whip up excitement, only to fall flat while reminding of previous sequences that did such things ever so much better.

Although he's pulled off adrenaline-fueled features before, notably "The Fast and the Furious," director Rob Cohen flubs his opportunities here by shooting most of the action in medium closeups and cutting with manic arbitrariness. The coverage provides scant sense of geography or proximity between characters, while offering no excitement or suspense in the bargain. By any nominal standard for staging screen action, it's incoherent more often than not.

Rather too relaxed in the early going, Fraser only intermittently finds his old groove, as he's forced to share the spotlight with an overabundance of co-stars; as the lynchpin of the franchise, he should have exercised a measure of droit de seigneur by demanding a rewrite giving him more action and better lines. The very contempo-seeming Bello is an odd fit here, adopting a high-toned Brit accent and well out of her comfort zone when asked to lurch into battle. Ford, as Alex, is generally annoying, and only further performances by the Aussie newcomer will tell whether the blame lies with the actor or the role.

The Asian actors are highly confined by costumes and character conception, with Yeoh having the most opportunities as the fortune-dealing witch. Li only really appears in recognizably human form at the beginning and end, as the Emperor takes partially mummified CG form through most of the picture.

Production values are massive, ranging from a large Shanghai-streets soundstage set to, more impressively, the sandy wastes that serve as the setting for the climactic battle. End credits are truly endless, listing everything down to hair department interpreter.

If there is to be a fourth "Mummy," perish the thought, internal indications are that it would be set in Peru.

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The Mummy should've stayed buried

This Mummy should have stayed in his crypt., 1 July 2008
2/10
Author: kimgrear from East Longmeadow,MA

I was able to catch this movie at a test screening in California while i was on vacation and its not much of a film. Its the same story as the previous ones and most of the stuff in the movie were taken from them as well. I love Brendan Fraser but he didn't look happy to be there and with how the story was set up, you can't blame him for looking miserable. He has no chemistry with Maria Bello, who was just awful (She's no Rachel Weisz, that's for damn sure.) and he has even less chemistry with his own son played by Luke Ford, who has the charisma and the charm of a brick, not to mention the fact that he looks just as old as both Fraser and Bello. Fraser has more chemistry with John Hannah, who is a welcome distraction from the lousiness of the film. The movie itself is just a flat headed mess of bad visual effects with no soul. Jet Li lacks the menacing presence of Arnold Vosloo from the previous films but that problem is more than less on the shoulders of the director, who was in my opinion more concern with the style of the film than any substance it could have had and because of that, Jet Li and most of the cast got the short end of the stick and it shows.

They should have ended it with the second film but instead, we have a movie that manages to make even "The Scorpion King" look as good as Iron Man.
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Terrible..., 20 July 2008
1/10
Author: AJ_is_Awesomness from United Kingdom

A true honest review? Some true honest advice? Don't waste your time on this, its terrible.

I am a true fan of the original. I like the way it was weaved together with interesting characters, hammy dialogue and breath taking action sequences not to mention a beautiful location and some great plot devices. Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weiz lit up the screen with his charisma and her likability factor. They made a good screen presence and carried the story along until its fantastic action packed finale. I also like the way the producers mixed up the scenes, to spoon out not only violent and eerie scenes involving the main villain himself but to water it down to family standards with John Hannah's comical brother. It was a film of epic proportions. A fun story, likable characters and good use of live action and cgi, for the most part. Then about 2 years later Universal ran out of idea's and so decided to return to the bandwagon to churn out another cash cow sequel. 'The Mummy Returns' was released and whilst not as good as the original at least had the decency to be spectacular enough for the risibility. Fraser and Weiz returned (having made an offspring) and warbled, walloped and crashed through the bustling busy streets in a less than original screenplay but at least maintained their charm and kept the spark glowing from the first film. It was a likable sequel, and whilst no where near as good as its ancestor still managed to be entertaining.

So here we are folks. 2008 and yet again we are re-visiting a tired series. The next gruesome threesome to bring home to Hollywood is not only the worst of the Mummy films, but quite possibly the worst sequel of the year to date. Its so bad in fact that even Rachel Weiz turned it down, but its not surprising having listened to some of the laughably dire dialogue churned out here. I bet she took one look at the script and threw it in the trash can. The story goes something like this... Brendan Fraser (back as Rick O'Connell) his wife Maria Bello (yes they replaced her with someone with half as much talent) her brother John Hannah (what is he doing in this?)and their son Luke Ford (who has now aged by about 20 years) are somehow prancing around in their ordinary lives (in the Far East?) but suddenly the son awakens an evil Mummy Emperor (because hey thats what your bound to do in a movie like this) who wants to use his army of the undead to take over the world and get revenge on the sorceress who put him to sleep so many years ago. The only people who can stop him are the O'Connels who crash and bang through armies of stone beasts, supernatural winds and all sorts of other unoriginal menaces. Of course the showdown at the end will result in global domination or ultimate Savior. But by that time, you just wont care.

So.. why do I hate this one? when when one of the main stars from the original backs down and bails out and when the other looks bored throughout the whole darn thing you know you have a problem on your hands. And its sad because Brendan Fraser makes it blatantly obvious how unhappy he is reprising the role without Weiz by his side. He is never able to connect with Bello who tries to be chirpy but comes off looking rather ridiculous as the smart girl. And there we have another problem. Bello just cannot squeeze into Weiz's cleverly filled shoes. Its embarrassing to watch her warble on and you can really tell she felt uncomfortable trying to live up to the characters standards. The same can be said for Luke Ford, who makes a very unconvincing action hero-sidekick next to Fraser. Again they have no spark or connection what so ever. It feels like a cheap decision casting Ford because he never really brings any emotion, good or bad to the screen. The exception here is Jet Li, who whilst is not as menacing as Arnold Vosloo (the original mummy) still pulls off a good dark role. Its fresh seeing him portraying an evil character and it pays off when he is actually on screen. However his presence is short lived and at times feels like a guest appearance. And of course John Hannah who never disappoints and steals the show altogether with his one liners and witty charm. He almost makes this passable. Almost.

The movie deserves another good kick in, this time for its overly used CGI action sequences which feel cheap, tacky and unoriginal. Imagine a Roger Corman flick added into a Uwe Boll video game adaptation and your halfway there. The sets are nice to look at, but the CGI is really distracting and you can tell they did things all by computers. The character development is replaced with an endless array of pointless battle sequences. Pointless !

Its also really degrading seeing our much loved characters from the first movies spout lines of almost ridicule. Brendan Fraser cringes as he reads his lines (is he auditioning for the high school play?)and like I said Bello looks uncomfortable. Even Hannah looks bored and whilst trying to rescue this epic failure always looks like he wants to be doing better things. Like the ironing for example.

There is just so much to bash this movie about. Its an obvious cash in, but even fails at being entertaining. It doesn't live up to the first or even the second. It is boring, confusing and the characters are bland. The action is over the top and don't get me started on the screenplay. Its just an all round failure and should be buried in the Tomb of the title, never to be re-awakened.


21 comments:

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Patrick Roberts said...

Sounds like Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was a lot of what most people expected... ie, Brendan Frasier generally tries too hard to act, so you can tell he's acting

scatterhaiku said...

well, it looks like i'll be skipping this film after all... thanks very much for the heads up. :)

Sweet-love said...

“… even fails at being entertaining. It doesn't live up to the first or even the second…” Boo-hoo, what have they done of that movie? And just when I remember how much I liked the first Mummy…
Ann of http://sweet-is-my-love.com

michael said...

I didn't like since the first Mummy and reading your post just makes me sure I'm right im my opinion.

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Michael said...

I heard that this movie was completely horrible. It would have been better if they put the main characters in hawaiian shirts for the duration. Maybe they could have turned it into a comedy. It practically was one!

Alper Kaya said...

i love mummy series.actually i like Brendan Fraser 's performance..by the way i found good information on your blog..

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Tony said...

i love this movie :)

twity13 said...

HEy dear its really a nice post. Its also a great movie as the first two mummy films were great and entertaining. The story is very interesting and the script is also good. I liked how they were introducing Emperor Han and how everything started. Wanna watch this great movie then go ahead and Download Free The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor Movie

limotek said...

I really enjoyed this film. Whilst not the same calibre as the first two it keeps your attention throughout and has some stunning special effects.

scarletbreeze said...

yea, you are right..it was a terrible watch for me and my friend.

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nack josef said...

"The Mummy" is a really historical and periodic movie. I liked it, here I would like to suggest to all for we should have been put to the grave.
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tusharb said...

Compare to first Mummy, this movie is so badly made, its totally wastage of time. The same fight and little of same story it contains. Your blog is great and full of information. thanks..

Raj Khatri said...

Excellent movie i have already saw it twice.


GHD

tusharb said...

If you hadnt seen the first series of mummy then you can watch this movie, because you can't compare it to both of the first series...

roni1985 said...

mummy is been most amazing movie we frnds have watch sitting toghether

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Dane Canales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dane Canales said...

Great reviews. Although, the Mummy was the first film we've watched with my first boyfriend when I was 14. So, I guess I wasn't that into movies and I just watched it. But then, I realized it's not good at all, the story was not strong enough to explained each details of the film.

Thank you,
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