Sunday, June 11, 2017

Movie Review: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The third and final installment in this Mummy series takes the adventure to a different part of the world while dipping in quality and recasting major characters. The story begins as all the others with a prologue of forbidden romance narrated by the witch Zi Yuan (Michelle Yeoh) about the evil Dragon Emperor (Jet Li). Centuries later, Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) has settled into a simpler life. The recasting of Evelyn (Maria Bello) is a strange thing and feels very off for this installment. Maria Bello is a fine actress but this role was established in previous films and just felt off for this film. 

Alex (Luke Ford) has grown up and is on a dig in China. He invades the Tomb of the Dragon Emperor setting off every trap possible and getting nearly all of his coworkers killed, except the old man Roger Wilson (David Calder). He is attacked by a ninja, Lin (Isabella Leong) but escapes. The O'Connells head to Shanghai transporting an artifact back and to see Evelyn's brother Jonathan (John Hannah) who runs a bar. Rick and Alex have a bad relationship as the O'Connells find themselves navigating Post World War II China and being spied on. At the Shanghai Museum, the artifact egg that they brought to Shanghai is stolen by Roger Wilson, General Yang (Anthony Chau-Sang Wong) and used to wake the Emperor.

A typical Mummy chase through the streets of Shanghai displays the Emperor's powers and his clay body, which look pretty cool. The head to the Himalayas with the help of the pilot Maguire (Liam Cunningham). A shootout at the gateway to Shangri-la includes rocket launchers and Lin calls Yetis to help fight. The Emperor stabs Rick and causes an avalanche. The Yetis help them escape and make it to the immortal pool where Zi Yuan. It turns out Lin is Zi's daughter and an immortal too, which complicates the budding relationship she has with Alex. Rick is revived and the Dragon Emperor arrives to turn into an actual three-headed dragon when he dips in the pool.

The Dragon Emperor can shapeshift back into a human after flying to the excavation site where he raises his massive army. Zi Yuan raises her own army of undead to fight the Dragon Emperor. She then sacrifices herself in a fight with him to steal the blade that can kill the Emperor. Rick and Alex take on the Emperor as Evelyn and Lin kill the General and his helper. Together, O'Connell men stab the Emperor in the heart which destroys the army as well. Everything wraps up pretty quickly putting an ending to this series.

This film feels wholly unnecessary and pretty boring. If the cast did not seem very enthusiastic about the process recycling old jokes and only going through the motions for the acting. The film is a failure on many fronts and the only small redeeming quality is Jet Li's Dragon Emperor which was only in part of the film as the primary villain. This ended the Mummy series until the revival this year of a new series that looks to be equally unsuccessful in bringing back the dead in any exciting fashion. What was once fun action and comedy has turned in to a chore of entertainment. 

No comments:

Post a Comment