I'm going to make this a quick one. Stacy and I went to see the latest Mummy movie with a couple of good friends this Friday.
It had its moments, to be sure. The action was good. The plot was solid. The storyline was good, even though it had a few holes. I loved the Yeti. However, the dialog felt very forced. We're supposed to buy into these characters, Evelyn (Maria Bello) and Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser,) our intrepid heroes from the first two movies, fifteen or so years after the second movie. Their son has grown and is now estranged while the two try to enjoy their golden(?) years in retirement. This relationship is not the focus of the movie, and perhaps that is one reason it fails so miserably. I had no investment in the conflict between them. We came in during the middle of it with only vague reasons behind the split. The eventual reconciliation suffered for the lack of characterization. I could even have taken Rachel Weisz's almost criminal absence from the movie if Bello was better written. She lacked the chemistry that Weisz and Fraser steamed up the big screen with in the first two movies. Shes' pretty, not a bad actress, but she was set up to fail.
Relationships make up a large portion of the movie: the relationship between the O'Connells with Evy's brother, Jonathan (John Hannah,) thrown in for comic relief, the relationship between the Dragon Emperor (Jet Li,) his lieutenant (Russell Wong,) and the witch (Michelle Yeoh,) the relationship between the witch and her daughter (Isabella Leong,) the relationship between the O'Connell lad, Alex (Luke Ford,) and the witch's daughter. It was a bit much, especially with the trite lines and weak dialog. I was very disappointed with that aspect of the movie.
Other inconsistencies sprinkled throughout the movie were all the more glaring with the failings in the characterization and script. As far as summer movie eye candy, it fits the bill. As far as the Mummy series goes, I'd call this the weakest of the bunch, and that's including The Scorpion King. It's the tail end of the blockbuster season. If you want your eye candy before it ends (and don't intend to see the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars,) then I'd recommend this movie. Otherwise, wait for video, you won't be as disappointed.
I give The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor five out of eleven bat-imposter corpse freakouts on a scale that I just made up that doesn't mean anything.
Okay, maybe the movie suffered in my estimation for being the first movie I've seen since watching The Dark Knight in friggin' IMAX. Not much could stack up well to that experience.
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