Apparently, I’m a different kind of moviegoer. I expect different things from different types of movies. I’m often baffled when I read reviews of big budget action / adventure films and they give them bad reviews stating that they don’t have enough depth, story, emotion, or are far-fetched. What are these people expecting from this type of film? I mean, do they really go see a movie like The Mummy expecting to take something away from it on the scale of To Kill a Mockingbird or Rushmore? When I go to see a film like The Mummy, Indiana Jones, or any of a slew of other films of that nature. I want to escape all the realistic crap that’s going on around me and be entertained. Sometimes it is alright to just want to be entertained and not have to be educated or taught a lesson. That’s how I’m going to review The Mummy: Curse of the Dragon Emperor. From the standpoint of being entertained.
Since I hate doing the synopsis thing, I’ll let one of the users on IMDb do it for me. Here’s how Sporak described the movie: “The blockbuster global “Mummy” franchise takes a spellbinding turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next chapter in the adventure series, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.” Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O’Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (newcomer Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O’Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service.
Doomed by a double-crossing sorceress (Michelle Yeoh) to spend eternity in suspended animation, China’s ruthless Dragon Emperor and his 10,000 warriors have lain forgotten for eons, entombed in clay as a vast, silent terra cotta army. But when dashing adventurer Alex O’Connell is tricked into awakening the ruler from eternal slumber, the reckless young archaeologist must seek the help of the only people who know more than he does about taking down the undead: his parents.
As the monarch roars back to life, our heroes find his quest for world domination has only intensified over the millennia. Striding the Far East with unimaginable supernatural powers, the Emperor Mummy will rouse his legion as an unstoppable, otherworldly force…unless the O’Connells can stop him first.”
First, I found the story to be interesting. Did it play out as anything new and challenging? No, but it still went somewhere. It wasn’t just nonsensical action and violence. Was some of the acting over the top? Of course, it was. It’s a Mummy movie. I thought that Maria Bello stepped into Rachel Weisz’s role quite comfortably and believably. She definitely played her as a stronger female and much more rough around the edges. Luke Ford replaced the kid that played the role of Alex O’Connell in the second Mummy movie. I felt like he took the role in a believable direction, based on how the kid acted in the first film. I really enjoyed the change of scenery in location, as well. I personally think that another Mummy movie in Egypt would have turned up pretty stale. I do give props to the writers and producers for taking the O’Connell’s adventures into another direction. The melding of the Mummy myth with martial arts was also very cool. I was a little disappointed in the battle scene between Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li. I was kind of expecting it to be a little more bombastic.
The visual effects were light years ahead of the other two movies. I remember that when I saw The Mummy Returns, the effects for The Scorpion King at the end of the movie looked dreadful even then. I was appalled at how plastic and animated it looked. The three-headed dragon in this one looks fantastic and is done really well.
Overall, if you’re looking for an escape and a fun adventure movie to waste some time and entertain you, then check this flick out. If you’re looking for something cerebral, smart, and challenging then go to your local Angelika theater and check something out there.