The Mummy – Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
(Aka The Mummy 3)

The Dragon Emperor aka Han the First Emperor of China conquered all of his enemies, most buried under the Great Wall of China. He also mastered the five elements, but the one thing he could not conquer was death. He sought the help of the witch Zi Yuan who he told his second in command General Ming no man was to touch. But the pair fell in love. The Emperor agreed to let them be if Zi Yuan gave him the secret to immortality, however knowing that he would betray them she instead curses him and flees.

It’s 13 years after the events of the second film and Evelyn and Rick are bought out of retirement by the British Government. They are entrusted with the ‘Eye of Shangri-La’ a most precious treasure, which is to be returned to China as a good faith gesture. However their arrival in China is expected by some not so agreeable characters who use the stone to resurrect The Emperor Han from his curse. Once awoken his soul mission is to bathe in the water of Shangri-La to become immortal and then get his Terracotta Army to cross the Great Wall of China and become invincible!

The Mummy - Zi Yuan Michelle Yeoh Rick and Evelyn - Brendan and Maria

What to say? I really enjoyed The Mummy and The Mummy Returns both for different reasons, The Mummy was unique at the time, a great and memorable film, The Mummy Returns was fun and full of action and adventure. After watching it’s predecessor I went into Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with high hopes, maybe too high? I was disappointed to be honest, the film was fun to an extent, but it was definitely lacking. I’d just like to point out first of all that Jet Li was absolutely superb as the bad guy, I’ve never seen him play a role as well as he did this one, so hats off to him for his performance.

Jet Li Dragon Emperor Han

Michelle Yeoh was fantastic as the witch Zi Yuan. Brendan Fraser and John Hannah on top form again.It was the new cast to the O’Connell family that disappointed. First of all I was one of the few people I knew who was a ‘Mummy’ fan that was willing to give Maria Bello a chance. Most of my friends said they should have written Evelyn out of it. But I was adamant that Evelyn stay, I said to everyone that brought it up, I’m happy they brought in another actress because I really don’t want her written out as dead. However within the first 20 minutes of the film I was eating my words. Kudos to Brendan Fraser who managed to act in the scene at the start of the film with just the two of them, because her acting was lacking to be blunt. I don’t like to be harsh and to be fair I blame her poor acting on the fact that for the whole movie she was trying to sound like Rachel Weisz and it just didn’t work, it was terrible.

The other new addition Alex O’Connell, now older and out in the world on his own, was nothing special. He wasn’t terrible but as a leading man he should have had more charisma and more appeal. To be honest I preferred the younger Alex portrayed in the previous film ‘The Mummy Returns’

Dragon Emperor and Rick Fight Rick and Alex Ready to Fire

The whole China setting was absolutely stunning, but no matter how beautiful it was I couldn’t get over the fact that I was watching a film called ‘The Mummy’ and my head kept telling me it should be set in Egypt. With the changing of the setting and our leading lady, plus the loss of Ardeth Bey and Imhotep and the rest of the Egyptian cast the film lost the great atmosphere it had in the first two films. As a stand alone film it would have probably seemed better, but when it had the two previous films to be compared to it ends up sinking into the shadows.

It wasn’t a terrible film, it just wasn’t great in my opinion. I am glad I saw it, as I mentioned Jet Li in particular was superb in it. But it’s not a film I’ll run out to see again anytime soon. Maybe wait until it’s out on TV or maybe until a 3 DVD box set is released.

I would have realistically given it 2.5