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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.
BLU-RAY Bonanza
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]
Traitor Dec 19, 2008
Burn After Reading released Dec. 21st


Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
hanso 12/16/2008 11:11:34 AM

Sex on stairs hurts your back. 

audioslave69 12/16/2008 11:18:12 AM

Wow Full Screen Edition  those are becoming rare. I think ...

samson 12/16/2008 11:34:17 AM

I'm sorry. But, this was a really fun movie. As a matter of fact, this was the only "Mummy" film I actually enjoyed. And, as much as I hate to say it, I liked it way better than The Crystal Skull.

Was it great? No. But, as far as popcorn films go, it did it's job. It entertained.

Does anyone else here agree with me?

chaotic 12/16/2008 12:50:08 PM

I loved Mummy: TOTDE

Not as good as the first, but better than the 2nd

Just got the Blu-ray

akiraakobus 12/16/2008 7:05:29 PM

I agree completely The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was better than the second Mummy film, not to say I did not like the second but it just seemed like to much of a rehash of the first.  The Mummy films  are all cheesey B movies, but thats all they are meant to be and thats fine with me, I plan on buying the Trilogy boxset at some point.

noblenonsense 12/16/2008 7:07:14 PM

WORST. MOVIE. EVER. I literally wanted to get out of my seat and leave to harrass the manager for my money back. I didn't because i was eating popcorn but you bet your ass I pulled out my cell phone and starting playing tetris.

JoshGordon 12/16/2008 9:54:46 PM

I'm with you "noblenonsense" I was astonished at how bad this movie was. I thought it started out ok but by the time they got to the yetis my jaw was on the floor in total shock. AND it was all downhill from there.

ultrazilla2000 12/16/2008 11:49:46 PM

I probably enjoyed the third Mummy film more than the first two, and found none of it worse than the ending of the second film with that laughably bad CGI Rock-scorpion creature.  Omg that was bad!  For me, the only bad moments in the third movie were the one's with Jonathan.  Every line out of that character's mouth was pure crap, just like in the previous one's.  It's like they just can't make a Mummy movie without his abnoxious and VERY unfunny one liners.  Otherwise, the story and effects in Mummy 3 were top notch and I'll definately want to see it again.  Yeah, the snow creatures were silly, but I still liked them more than Jonathan!

dragon261 12/17/2008 6:36:29 AM

Yeah the Yeti creatures were a little silly but they were beautifully rendered and animated. The movie was better than Hellbore 2.

Hobbs 12/17/2008 6:55:18 PM

All the Mummy movies were silly adventure movies.  The 3rd is no different but I'm sorry, nothing against Maria but she can't replace Rachel in the role.  That was my biggest problem with it...that and the fact their kid aged 50 years.  I think Rachel was smart to stay away from this one and I'm sure she passed up a big pay day in the process. You have to respect that she didn't sell out.

No way the effects were better in this movie then Hellboy 2.  Unless you were smoking some weed while you were watching it, then I'm sure it was fantastic.

Also disagree with the review on Maria english accent.  Though it wasn't as horrible as we are used to with American actors she still missed her accent in several scenes.  For whatever reason, American actors can't do a british accent for a full movie and really should stop trying.




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