The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) Poster

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5/10
Sadly disappointing
Kristine4 August 2008
I do have a question, what ever happened to the slow walking lame Egyptian mummies? I mean, as silly as they are, they're still entertaining. Now we have The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, I loved The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, it was watchable, but this one was just an excuse to make some quick cash. I was actually looking forward to seeing this movie, I got the opportunity to see it today, I was excited, but unfortunately, we now have Chinese mummies that can do anything that will fit into the CGI budget. Another disappointment was the recasting of Evelyn, I know Rachel Weisz turned this script down, but she was seriously needed, Maria Bella, who is a decent actress, actually made Evie a very flat character and not as enjoyable. Then not only that, but we have Brendan and Maria who do look incredibly good for their age, they have a 20 year old son in the movie? This story was a waste of time and money.

The Emperor of China wanted to rule the entire world, but when a Chinese witch curses him and his army, he is put to sleep for thousands of years. Rick and Evie are now retired and have lost the spark in their relationship, but when they are asked to go to Shanghai to deliver a small little ball, they bump into their son who has discovered the Emperor. Rick and Evie are forced to wake the mummy by his followers. Now the whole family with Jonathan and the protector who was supposed to keep the emperor from rising, must destroy the Emperor or he will take over the entire world.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has some OK moments, I loved the beginning story and the ending battle scene is held pretty strong, it's worth the look for that, but I would say this is more of a rental. It's just a sad disappointment, considering how much better it could have been. The one liners were too cheesy and we have three headed dragons, karate kicking abdominal snow men, why not just go all the way and have leprechauns with machine guns? That's how out of control the CGI effects are. Luke Ford makes Brandon Fraiser look like Marlon Brando with his acting and the love story between him and the protector girl was useless. Like I said, wait for the rental, not the worst movie of this year, but a huge let down for sure.

5/10
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5/10
Now, I Really Missed Rachel Weisz In This One!
3xHCCH31 July 2008
I really like the Mummy series for its epic action, sense of humor and great special effects. I was very excited when I started seeing teasers for this sequel to be shown in July, mostly because it was quite unexpected.

This movie has all the required elements of epic action, sense of humor and great special effects. Of course there is still the swashbuckling hero Rick O'Connell played in grand style by Brendan Fraser. He undoubtedly has this action-comedy genre sewn up right in his alley. John Hannah is still around playing his brother-in-law, Jonathan, in his old annoying manner.

For the new stuff, the setting shift to China as the titular "Mummy" now refers to an ancient Chinese emperor who desired immortality, played by Jet Li (who really personified his anti-hero role with relish here). The emperor sought the help of a "witch" (played with much bravado by Michelle Yeoh), with whom he gets attracted to. However, the witch fell in love with his main general (played by Russell Wong, whom you'd wonder why he isn't getting more breaks in Hollywood). From hence starts the conflict and the resultant curse on which the movie stands.

The requisite martial arts you would expect in a movie set in China are of course in full play. Very well choreographed, especially that thrilling sword fight between Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. The exciting action sequences inside the booby-trapped lost tomb, the truck and chariot (!) chase in the streets of Shanghai and the final fight sequence with the "Mummy" are all executed very well as in the two previous installments.

But then there are the drawbacks that for me pulls this one down to a five star rating. The quality of the spoken Mandarin is at times unintelligible. However, the major beef involves what for me are severely miscast actors.

The actor who plays the now college-aged son of the O'Connells, Alex, looks too mature to be the son of Brendan Fraser. I just checked to see that the actor Luke Ford was born in 1981, but he looked older than that, so it was a bit of a stretch to believe that he is Brendan's son. Furthermore, he also does not act like a son, but more like Brendan's younger brother.

But the worst and damaging mistake was the decision to cast Maria Bello in the beloved role of Evelyn O'Connell, which is wholly owned by the more beautiful and credible Rachel Weisz. I felt absolutely NO chemistry between Maria and Brendan. Her acting was also quite wretched when compared to Ms. Weisz, who was able to maintain her intellectuality, demureness and gentility on top of her topnotch fighting skills. Ms. Bello fails miserably in this regard to recapture the unique character of Evie we have loved before, in my opinion.
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2/10
This Mummy should have stayed in his crypt.
kimgrear1 July 2008
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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Failing in more ways than one...
Derpologist2 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is painful to watch.

The special effects are decent, but everything else is an absolute mess. The first half of the movie is a series of cringeworthy jokes and atrocious dialog. Once the action picks up, it doesn't get much better because of how campy and cheesy the action really is.

There is a big final battle at the end, but even that's pretty disappointing.

At one point, a Yeti throws a dude through another Yeti's arms, simulating a goal.

This movie is bad... Really bad.
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1/10
Terrible...
AJ_is_Awesomness20 July 2008
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.
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4/10
Curse of the trilogy
Fever2 August 2008
Like so many great movies that became dragged-out trilogies, the newest Mummy falls right in. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved the first movie. But like so many sequels, this story line becomes repetitive. The first rule of sequels is to keep the cast. Rachel and Brendan and an amazing chemistry, but Maria Bello was abysmal as the new Evelyn. Her fake British accent and melodramatic acting was inexcusable. The sets looked like they were built by 3rd graders, the effects were overwhelming, the scenes were disjointed and the cheesy one-liners got old fast. Sure, Brendan Fraser still looks hot in a tux, but he still looks 35 even though his son is in his young 20s. Overall, I was terribly disappointed. I wouldn't even bother seeing it in theaters...and please tell me this series is finally over.
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1/10
They should have left this Mummy in the sarcophagus
Albert Wayne21 August 2008
This is probably one of the worst films I've seen in my life, and I don't tend to toss around accusations like that lightly, but this third installment of The Mummy series initiated back in 1999 deserves such dishonor, cause it's such a bad example of film making, it borders on offensive.

I'm a guy with simple tastes, I'm not one of those people who think cinema begins and ends with Bergman and Goddard, I actually enjoyed the previous Mummy pictures, even the second one, which I know was cheesy as hell, but like film critic Michael Phillips said about cheesy movies, a movie sometimes is just "10.000 pounds of cheese on a cracker, but sometimes, I'm exactly in the mood for 10.000 pounds of cheese on a cracker." But The Mummy: Tomb of Dragon Emperor is, at best, feces on a cracker, the cracker being the amazing trailer of Quantum of Solace before the movie, probably the highlight of the experience.

I won't go into any details regarding the plot, cause, well, the plot is pretty much explained fully on the trailer. We pick up with the O'Connell's, retired and bored as well, just as I was while watching the movie. They get at again to stop the evil Mummy of the Emperor Han from taking over the world...how original, when will these Mummies just wanna lay back and enjoy the comforts of the modern age. I'd love to see a movie about an ancient Mummy , brought back from the dead, only to be flabbergasted by the technology of the present, and lay around drinking beer, watching TV, and getting fat with McDonald's. That would be more fun that all that this movie had to offer.

All of the actors were there for their paychecks, Brendan Fraser has never been more boring. John Hannah was also incredibly stupid, and the jokes they wrote for him were not funny at all, some are even distasteful. Luke Ford, playing Rick's son, not only looks like two minutes younger than him, but less charm than R2-D2, Michelle Yeoh is wasted, Jet Li doesn't have the Mummy gravitas that Arnold Voosloo had, and finally, Maria Bello; filling in for Rachel Weisz, who had the good common sense to stay away from this dregs, she is horrible, she looks so concern with her fake Posh accent, which she got wrong anyhow, so, at the end, we are left with nothing in the acting department.

Rob Cohen, man, is he getting worse and worse, when you though Stealth was really the lowest a director could get, he managed to enlighten us with an even lower level of mediocre work. He has never been an interesting director, and his campy style has butchered many movies that looked interesting, if only for entertaining purposes, like Dragonheart and Daylight, but you would expect at least, with all that money spend on these summer movies, to have something to show for. But no, no, no, everything looks poor, the action sequences are dull as hell. To prove my point, this will probably be the only movie where a sword fight with Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li lasts about 20 seconds, and it's all in slow motion. If a director cannot make a sword fight between those two modern icons of martial arts films, he should really think about retiring for good.

The story is stock, which is to be expected from a B movie of this sort, but like Raiders of the Lost Ark proved, even B movies can be Oscar Hopefuls, but there was no attempt at all with this one. The pacing of the story is terrible, the special effects are sub par, and at the end, you are left with a 2 hour yawn fest, to which you would fall to sleep within minutes, if it weren't for the loud noises coming from the speakers.

The movie is shameful, and not worth the price of the ticket, this movie is the reason why some theaters have money back policies, and had the theater I saw this had one, I would have asked not only for my money back, but for a year of free admissions, for having seen this awful mess.
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1/10
Terrible cash in by all involved.
coolkeoo17 July 2008
I was able to see this film about a month ago in a preview screening and to put it in kind words, its terrible. Jet Li is about the only good thing about the film but he's hardly in it. Brendan Fraser was phoning in his performance and looked if he was waiting from a call from his agent to get him out of the movie. Maria Bello looked goofy and miscast and the actor who plays their son makes Hayden Christensen from the Star Wars films look like an Oscar winner. John Hannah manages to bring some laughs to the table but his stick is not as fresh as it was before and Michelle Yeoh does not really do much with her role. This movie lacks the creepiness of the first two Mummy movies and the stone warriors of this movie don't hold a candle to the ghouls of the first two films at all. Not to mention the fact that the visual effects in this film look even worse than the second film(The Mummy Returns). The film itself seemed toned down in the fun and thrills department and just feels tired in certain scenes not to mention the dialogue, which seems like it was written by a five year old. This film seemed like a quick payday from all involved and sadly with the little effort spent in giving the audience something to root for and care for, its just feels like no one even cared about what they were making.
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3/10
From a 50+ perspective: Thumbs (sadly) down
bmcdannell2 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Since we saw Mummy III and Hellboy II as a drive-in double bill we're doing sort of a twofer - reviewing both movies simultaneously and posting under both titles - because we discovered that we were actually watching the same movie twice. It was a fascinating way to see these films; giving us the opportunity to directly compare and contrast them and analyze why one succeeded and the other failed.

Synopsis: Ancient Relic must be returned to Undead Villain so that Villain might be reanimated in order to summon his Demon Army and destroy the World. Hero's task is to thwart this process. In the course of attempting to prevent Armageddon, Hero is nearly killed but is saved at the last minute by Love. Hero's power is not great enough to stop Villain, so secondary characters must make the Ultimate Sacrifice in order to dispatch Villain and Save the World. The End. If it all sounds familiar it's because it's also the plot of nearly every superhero or fantasy movie made over the last umpteen years. Note to Hollywood: It's time to come up with a new plot line, OK? Please?

We were expecting to enjoy Mummy III. First, there was Brendan Fraser and most of the cast of the previous Mummy films. Then there was the rich potential of the setting - the Terra Cotta Warriors, the mystery and lore of China...even a trip to Shangri-La and Yetis. The table was set for a feast of mystery, wonder and enchantment. How could they not produce an entertaining film out of all this?

One word: Writing. We're always amazed when megabuck films apparently cap the writing budget at a buck ninety-seven. Early on, didn't anyone involved in this say, "Hey, the script we're working from really stinks!"? The rich mythology available to them was utterly wasted by the writers. Shangri-La was a cheesy set that served only as a platform for one of the progressive plot elements. The Yeti, though well done, performed their little shtick and left the scene. One appearance by the shape-shifting villain as a three-headed dragon and so much for the fascinating potential of Chinese dragon lore. The hero's skeletal army could have offered another little tribute to Ray Harryhausen (as was done so well in the first Mummy), but no, why bother? And the dialogue was uniformly clumsy, blunt and contributed nothing to either character development or plot movement.

The writers in Mummy III were obviously in video game mode. Video games need progressive plot tasks. So the Relic is returned to the Villain. But wait - now the Villain must carry a jewel to the mountains that will reveal the location of Shangri-La. But wait - now the Villain must enter the waters of Shangri-La to be fully restored. But wait - now the Villain must return to his tomb and summon his Terra Cotta Army. But wait - now the Army must make it over the Great Wall in order to achieve immortality. And so it goes. Played out like the levels of a video game, and with even less explanation of the rationale than you'd get in a video game. These are game levels rather than story elements, and since the audience's need to be informed isn't fulfilled, it winds up not understanding - and consequently not caring about - what's going on.

In Hellboy II director/writer del Toro had the more difficult task. Without a wealth of Chinese mythology to squander, he had to invent his own...but he does it so very well (to see what we mean, watch Pan's Labyrinth - please!). Del Toro is an imaginative story teller and myth maker and proves it in Hellboy II. He also appreciates something the writers of Mummy III don't - the wonder of small magic. The single moment in Mummy III that made my wife "Ooooh!" was the transformation of the egg-thing that awakened the emperor. Beautifully done - but the only thing of its kind in the movie. Everything else was bigger than life, overblown. In contrast, del Toro is full of small magic. From tooth fairies to troll markets to wheels within wheels, he understands that an audience can be just as enchanted by the small wonder as by the huge spectacle. It's the difference between stage and close-up magic. Make an airliner disappear and I will only wonder about the mechanics of how you did it. Make a coin float in mid-air before my eyes and I will be mystified.

A hallmark of both the Mummy and the Hellboy franchises is the effective use of humor. Mummy fell flat at every attempt. thanks to inept writing. Hellboy pulled it off very well - two love stricken, clueless guys getting plastered to Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You" was delightful. We also have to mention del Toro's mastery of lighting, set design and mood. His movies are consistently visually evocative, which makes a good movie even better.

The movies shared one flaw with several other recent movies: climactic action scenes that go into visual and auditory overload, causing the eyes to glaze over and reducing the ability to comprehend what's going on. When we lose the ability to take in what you're showing us this is a bad thing. Please don't toss everything at us at once just because you can - let us absorb your work so we can fully appreciate it. Had the intense action not drenched us a few times in Hellboy II it would have another star.

In summary, both movies had capable casts and premises with wonderful potential. Mummy III failed, sadly, to capitalize while Hellboy II succeeded very well. The difference was the quality of the writing and the talent of the directing. We only wish the Mummy III crew could take a mulligan, sit down and take a few lessons from del Toro and try again. It's a shame that can't happen.
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1/10
What a DOG!!!
selkie19646 August 2008
I want to say up front that I loved the first two Mummy movies, so I am not a hater of this franchise. They were campy, very tongue-in-cheek, and there was this wonderful rapport between the actors which came out in their performances. I went into this one with some trepidation because much of the main cast of the first two films would not be in it (Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, Patricia Velasquez and Oded Fehr), but I figured, well, the first two were great (or at least a lot of fun), so how bad could this one be?

Oh. My. God.!!! I am not exaggerating when I say that the best part of the movie was the Chinese-writing animation of the closing credits. Five minutes into the film I was cringingly embarrassed for the actors, and it only got worse. The only actor whose performance didn't suck a dead dog's butt was Jet Li, but only just -- he basically spent the whole movie yelling, killing people, and looking extremely cheesed off. There was no connection between his character and the audience. I mean, Imhotep (in the first two films) did evil things, but he had this romantic tragedy thing going on because he was in love with Anck Su Namun, and you could see some reason for his actions and you could even maybe sympathize with him a little bit (particularly at the end of "The Mummy Returns" when he realized that Anck Su Namun didn't really love him -- at least, not like Evie loved Rick -- and it had all been for nothing). He had a human quality, I guess. The Dragon Emperor, not so much. As far as anyone could tell, he was just a megalomaniacal twit with a world-domination complex -- there were no redeeming features in his character -- it was just a cardboard cutout of "evil." The only thing I have to say about the mother/daughter immortal protectors team is that even put together, they're no Ardeth Bay. Maria Bello was horribly miscast as Evie O'Connell. Her performance seemed clingy and desperate (not just Evie being clingy and desperate, but herself, Maria, the "actress"). Luke Ford was a huge waste of space -- I never thought I'd see an "actor" who was worse at acting than Keanu Reeves, but Keanu Reeves is a great Shakespearean compared to Luke Ford. I echo another reviewer's comment in saying why didn't they just keep Freddie Boath? He's about the right age and he was actually funny in The Mummy Returns. Of course, it's probably better for his career that he *didn't* appear in this piece of trash (ditto Rachel Weisz, et al.) -- kudos to their agents for keeping them out of it. Brendan Fraser, whose performances I really enjoyed in the first two movies (although a great actor he is not), seemed like he was tired of the whole thing -- monumentally bored and just milking the franchise for another paycheck (I know that's a horrible thing to say, but I can't imagine why else the egregious performance -- I mean, you can only blame so much of it on the rotten script). John Hannah (another actor whom I usually really like) ditto. To paraphrase Mark Twain (from "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses"): the film-maker should make the viewer feel a deep interest in the people in the film and in their fate; he should make the viewer love the good people and hate the bad ones. But the viewer of "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.

There was nothing even remotely funny about this movie -- the "jokes" (if you want to call them that) were either tired, stupid, or completely flat. The special effects couldn't make up for the mondo suckiness of this piece of... uh... "film." Even if they had been of the thrilling sort that one expects. Which these were not. The Yetis could have been cool, but they just, um, weren't. And the whole "field goal" thing was so NOT!

I had to give this film a rating of 1 (awful) because that's as low as IMDb's scale goes, but I'd really like to give it something more like a –27. And I'd also really like a refund on the two hours of my life I wasted watching this dog. Boo! Hiss!! Yuck!!!
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