Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer (movie #29)

I was a little skeptical about this movie at first, and with good reason, I think. I love Maria Bello, but part of what made the previous movies work so well was the chemistry of the supporting and main cast, and without Rachel Weisz, I wasn't sure hoe the movie would fare. In the end, I think Maria Bello takes on the role and makes it work (and there's even a nod at the beginning that shows that the filmmakers are in on the joke and they know that this isn't going to be the same character without Weisz, so I was placated by that).

There's lots of action here as the O'Connell's college age son manages to dig up another mummy, and of course forces conspire to raise the mummy from its sleep and let it wreak havoc on the world. The special effects are cool as always. The dragon looked a little too CGI-tastic for my tastes, but other than that, the movie had some cool effects up its sleeve. The prologue giving the backstory of how the evil emperor came to being is perhaps the best part of the movie (and we get to see someone get drawn and quartered (each of their limbs tied to a different horse, and then the horses set free to run in different directions, tearing the person into pieces) which is a horrible way to die, but I gotta say, it's a cool kill scene nonetheless). Also there are some surprising creatures I didn't expect to see in this movie...I won't spoil it for you, but I like how the movie incorporates folklore and fantastical creatures into its plot. Some people probably found it cheesy, but I dug it.

This movie was a little clunky and awkward, but the characters made everything more enjoyable so I was able to ignore the movie's shortcomings. Jet Li gets to play an evil ancient emperor, and he does a good job being evil and menacing and creepy. I love Michelle Yeoh and so I was happy to see her getting a juicy role in this movie. As far as I'm concerned, the worst actor in the bunch was Luke Ford as the son, and I could have kicked the writers in the face for some of the dialogue these poor actors had to say,but everything worked out. If you can ignore the flaws, this is an exciting and fun movie.

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