10 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
DVD SHOPPING BAG- Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
A film critic escapes
By Robert T. Trate
December 16, 2008
General Yang (Chau Sang Anthony Wong) learns not to mess with a Yeti in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
© Universal Studios
So while sitting through the third Mummy movie (Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) my mind really started to wander. To place my daydreaming in any kind of order and to make this fun for you I thought I would go into exact details about the movies Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor were reminding me of. It is, after all, both a blessing and a curse to be a film critic and while watching the third Mummy film it definitely felt like a curse.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opens with a great back story about one twisted and maniacal king and a forbidden love between his best general and a beautiful witch. The style was slightly reminiscent of Hero (aka Ying xiong). Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh were perfect in this opening prologue making me wish that their complete story would have played out instead. Nothing further reiterated that fact better than Brendan Fraser playing the bungling fool as he tries to master fly fishing. This excruciating scene was all about how his character Rick O'Connell hasn’t changed. It was nothing more than O’Connell in A River Runs Through It.
We learn that Rick and Evelyn (now played Maria Bello and not Rachel Weisz) have retired from adventuring. He apparently does nothing and she has become a horror/ adventure/ romance novelist. Maria Bello brings a lot to the role and is actually more fun to watch than Fraser. He seems to be going through the motions where she delivers a brilliant character and superb British accent (she is from Pennsylvania). As they prattle on about being retired and what their son is up to all I can think about is Bello in A History of Violence and her very odd and uncomfortable sex scene on the stairs.
Before I knew it we were off to Shanghai where we meet Evelyn’s brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). Jonathan now runs a night club named Imhotep. It was shame that this too fell short of an original idea and was nothing more than that night club from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Again, my mind wandered to better films and then suddenly we are opening the Dragon Emperor’s tomb in a warehouse. My mind changed channels and was now seeing Shiwan Khan emerging from the sarcophagus of Gangis Khan in The Shadow. Only here the Mummy in this scene is actually better.
Then our band of adventurers is off to Shangri La and it was as if someone combined Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon with Hammer Film’s The Abominable Snowman. The mix really worked, that is until the football kicking Yeti did their touch down moment with arms held straight up in the air. This is when I checked out completely.
All that money and effort seemed like such a huge waste. There was this great premise about an evil emperor and a wronged lover but it seemed like someone took this script and adapted it into a Mummy movie. Why does Universal keep milking this dull franchise? Why does Rob Cohen have three movies with the word dragon somewhere in the title? Why didn’t he direct Dragon Wars? Maybe I have seen one too many movies. Perhaps the normal, run of the mill, everyday filmgoer is an idiot and that is why people keep making crap like this. Thank god I was able to tune out while I was tuning in to the Mummy. Seeing all those movies wasn’t such a curse after all.
8 Mile [Blu-ray]
Bottle Rocket (Blu-ray) - Criterion Collection [Blu-ray]
Burn After Reading [Blu-ray] Dec 21, 2008
Chungking Express [Blu-ray]
Death Proof [Blu-ray]
Death Race [Blu-ray] Dec 21, 2008
Hot Rod [Blu-ray]
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale [Blu-ray]
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY