Release Date: Aug. 1
Director: Rob Cohen
Writers: Alfred Gough, Miles
Cinematographer: Simon Duggan
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jet
Li, Michelle Yeoh, Maria Bello
Studio/Run Time: Universal, 112
The best thing that can be said for the
third Mummy movie is that it is slightly better than the new
Indiana Jones movie, though that's more of a slap in the face
to George Lucas than a kiss on the Mummy's cheek. When Alex
(Luke Ford), son of hero Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser), uncovers
the dusty tomb of the Chinese Dragon Emperor, he triggers the sort of
cascading traps often found in movieland burial sites. Sure, they're
all cribbed from the first three Indy movies, but they're at least
presented with the verve Crystal Skull lacked.
The emperor is Han (Jet Li), who
attempted to forcefully unite China 2,000 years ago before being
cursed by a woman (Michelle Yeoh) in love with his premier general.
In classic adventure movie style, the original tomb opening leads to
a chain of setpieces involving several Yeti, Han's cursed form (a
mummy cast in terra cotta) and a battle between his clay-cast army
and Yeoh's fighters resurrected from beneath the Great Wall of China.
The highlight here should be the
interaction between fight stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, and their
battle might have been legendary if filmed 15 years ago in Hong Kong.
But Li got more action in one scene of Hero than in this
entire movie, and his confrontation with Yeoh is rote. Neither does
director Rob Cohen understand how to use the perfectly malicious
character actor Anthony Wong or Maria Bello, recruited to stand in
for the departed Rachel Weisz.
Then again, Cohen doesn't show much
facility for anything at all, and the film's early energy fades
quickly. He relies heavily on Fraser's mugging to carry a shrill feud
between the elder and younger O'Connell and on heavy doses of
slapdash CGI to adhere one setpiece to the next. Consistency?
Tension? Wit? Forget about it. Each might as well be buried in a
separate chamber underneath some foreboding desert. If we're lucky,
the inevitable fourth Mummy movie might attempt to dig up and