The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is the third iteration of The Mummy franchies (I refer to the newest iteration of course, not including the old skool black & white version 🙄 ). I personally like the previous release (The Mummy & The Mummy Returns) and I even watch em’ more than five times each. So, when I first heard about the newest iteration, it’s really excite me. Without seeking further info, I imagine the return of Imhotep (previous 2 release main villian) maybe seeking revenge and whatnot more deeper revelation of the ancient order of Medjai. But, it’s really surprise me later to know among the new cast would be Jet Li and even more surprising with the exclusion of Rachel Weisz. WTF…I start feels something is off and even after watching the trailer didn’t help much. Nevertheless, when the movie come out in theater, I decide to go & watch it. Is it better or worst? Read on…
❗ Warning. Contains spoiler. Halt if you don’t want to know any. You had been warned.
Well, the story start in the usual way; the same as the previous iteration. If Star Wars were famous for their “from the galaxy far far away” scrolling text introduction style, IMHO, Mummy had their own by telling a little bit history about the villain in a form of flashback (kind of story telling). It all start by portraying Jet Li as the Emperor Han doing the usual conquest and killing spree to gain more power. He buried his enemies under the Great Wall and he even master all the five elements (supposedly related to he can use those elements in magical way 😛 ) His lust for power come to even greater height by seeking immortality. Thus, he instruct his most loyal soldier, General Ming to find way to immortality for him.
Literally, General Ming found it by asking help from a witches Zi Yuan and both of em’ continue to search at some sacred library. In the process of searching, they both fall in love and since the Emperor also had interest in Zi Yuan, General Ming can be considered
fucked up at this point. Both of em’ return to the palace and Zi Yuan present the Emperor the spell book containing the spell to immortality. She then cast the spell to the Emperor after he promise to let her and General Ming live together. But both of em’ playing tricks really; the Emperor in the end broke his promise, kill General Ming, tried to kill Zi Yuan, Zi Yuan revealed that she actually curse the Emperor and his soldier by turning them into terracotta statues, and she escape the palace.
The story then go onwards to 1947. A little bit introduction on how the young Alex O’Connell found the Dragon Emperor’s Tomb, then he found the Emperor in its terracotta form and after some hiatus, bring him back to Shanghai. The previous protagonists Rick and Evelyn O’Connel enjoying their retired life in Britain (although they seems not doing so). One day, the British government want them to carry some relic (Eye of Shangri-La) back to Shanghai as a sign of good faith. They did bring the relic back to Shanghai, encountering Jonathan (Evelyn’s brother) & Alex but in the end like Jonathan said, “You guys are like a mummy magnet!!!“, shits happen and the adventure kick in.
I strongly want to state here that I miss Rachel Weisz in this movie. It’s not like her replacement Maria Bello was not good, but honestly, apart from the action scene, she failed miserably. I also begin to miss Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo). But knowing the fact that Jet Li would never do a martial art movie anymore after Fearless, I can forgive him for not doing much action on this movie. Beside, he doesn’t need to move much considering the fact he got his terracotta army and his 5 element magic. Jonathan (John Hannah) is as hilarious as usual, and Rick O’connell (Brendan Fraser) kinda feel out a little bit. Clearly he doesn’t have strong chemistry with Maria Bello. Alex (Luke Ford) kinda doesn’t represent the Alex that I know on Mummy Return but maybe he become like that after living separately with his parents. Who knows eh…child complex stuff.
Well…how should I say this. Happy? Not quite. Disappointed? Hell yeah. I guess the first mistake of this iteration is the exclusion of Rachel Weisz. The feeling of the tense to save the world also is not there. Compare this; an army of mortal (Medjai) vs horde of Anubis’s army and the undead vs terracotta army, which one brings more tense? Come on…nobody care if the undead been killed..they’re dead already. I also can’t stop myself from thinking, after all this thousand of years, Zi Yuan never care to really kill the Emperor…it took her 2000 years to try the kill. I don’t mind all the other small details because this is a fiction, it’s to be expected. But it seems, the production took that fact for granted; until up the point of keep reusing the old plot (eg: after thousand of years, the Emperor still have a follower that would do anything to resurrect him, even fighting yetis 😛 ). To conclude it all, out of 5 I gave 2.5. Enough said…
❗ This is a personal review, if you don’t agree with it, don’t bother yourself about it. Comment is appreciated though 😀