Monday, December 22, 2008

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) Film Review

Plot Summary - Action adventure tale, set in post-WW2 times, following a couple of adventurers, the O'Connells (Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello) on their latest Mummy caper. Acting as couriers, they carry the "Eye of Shangri-La" (this huge diamond thing) to Shanghai, China, and encounter their twentyish son Alex there, a young explorer who has skipped out on college and following in mum and dad's footsteps, has discovered the tomb and sarcophagus of an emperor of ancient China. This emperor (Jet Li) was originally cursed by a beautiful "witch" who he sought to give him the secret to immortality, and now some bad guys want to awaken the emperor and put him back in power, 2,000 years later. Well, soon enough the emperor's mummy is on the loose, wreaking havoc on the streets of Shanghai. And he's not exactly a normal guy - the curse left him basically melting and burning over and over again, he has super powers, and he can also morph into various creatures, such as a three-headed dragon. Our group heads to the Himalayas to find Shangri-La, and the emperor is heading there too, with the "Eye of Shangri-La" to make himself immortal (the thing he always dreamed of, ya know). A big battle between the emperor's "terracotta" army and an army of skeletons rounds things out.

Review - Okay, here's some of the stuff you'll see here - abominable snowman creatures, a rip-roaring avalanche, a fire ball throwing emperor, a sea of flying arrows, all sorts of battles with our heroes facing ridiculous amounts of danger and death at every turn, yet coming out with nary a scrape (well, almost), you even see the famous Shangri-La itself. Far-fetched? Definitely, but it could have been fun - yet I found myself somewhat bored watching this film - too much non-stop action, too little story. This film struck me as a sort of b-list version of the Indiana Jones films - similar in style, but not as good. The special effects, are, as usual in films made lately, extremely well done - perhaps more effort on the plotline, less on the effects would have helped?! Father and son look more like brothers, by the way - young looking Brendan Fraser, as dad. Rating - 6/10 stars

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