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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.88%
Worth A Look: 3.92%
Average: 7.84%
Pretty Bad: 35.29%
Total Crap47.06%

4 reviews, 27 user ratings

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Mummy, The: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
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by William Goss

"Next Time, Just Keep It Under Wraps"
2 stars

I shouldíve known better than to give any movie that promises one three-headed dragon and three one-headed yetis (yeti?) the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, donít worry, those creatures do make their due appearances in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the long-awaited-but-barely-anticipated continuation of the cheesy adventure series. Transplanting the action from the Middle East to the Far East, Rick OíConnell (Brendan Fraser, shouting through the motions), his wife Evelyn (Maria Bello, because Rachel Weisz knew better), and their son Alex (Luke Ford, assisted by some fuzzy math and a shifty accent) combat the resurrected Emperor Han (Jet Li) and his terra cotta army.

Gone is the giddy throwback nature of the first film, replaced by innuendos abound, yak vomit, one numbingly chaotic car chase, and enough warring skeletons to make one hope that Ray Harryhausen isnít rolling in his grave (wait a secondÖ really?!). I mean, why bother hiring the retired-and-then-some Li if he is to be too often replaced with his computer-generated likeness before a hurried climactic tussle between the likes of him and an ancient witch played by Michelle Yeoh? Remember when that combat used to be in and of itself cause for entertainment?

Alas, itís the nature of any amount of Hollywood bull once it meets the proverbial China: all that remains in its wake is a lighter wallet and a hefty amount of embarrassment. Sure, letís have Emperor Han control all the elements (save for facial hair), why not. Better yet, he can transform into various creatures at will, such as the dragon mentioned above or a furry, horned whatsit that may or may not have been lifted from a test screening of Where the Wild Things Are.

Weíre even treated to the sight one abominable snowman turning to another after punting a puny foe and making a touchdown gesture (yeah, no, not making that part up). Itís a cheap joke, and all the more, it was apparently cheap enough that director Rob Cohen among other privy minds had no problem coming up with that shot, writing it, animating it, and including it without a single individual stepping in and pointing out just how moronic a gag it is. Didnít Edmund Burke once say that all that was necessary for the triumph of suits was for good men to do nothing?

In the greater scheme of things, Cohen gave some zip to the zooming cars of The Fast and the Furious, before that Universal franchise itself grew dominated by effects above excitement, but whatís more disconcerting is that even portions of his Stealth, in an equal flurry of decibels and pixels, unfolded with more coherence that the car chase and fight scenes offered here. Sure, practical effects for the undead are tough to come by, but if weíre to be subjected to digital wizardry, donít show us just anything we havenít seen before (see: Yeti). Without context or characters worth giving a damn about, the flashiest flair falls flat time and time again.

And so the farce continues, of this film and of the studio system at large, proving after a summer of less-than-insulting fare that it can be just as loud and dumb as ever before. Apparently, the return of the first filmís modest B-movie pleasures is too much Ė or maybe too little Ė to ask for, and thusly, back are the arbitrary plot deadlines and so-called spectacle that made the second film such a chore to sit through. If thatís going to be the case, then the Mummy franchise is one probably best left buried for, say, the remainder of eternity and the good of all mankind.

Unless weíre talking about a yeti spin-off, of course.

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originally posted: 08/01/08 17:00:00
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User Comments

3/05/12 Silkworm A mish mash of nothingness 1 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles I want to kill someone this movie was so bad 1 stars
3/13/11 Monday Morning It sucked, but it was a good suck. 2 stars
5/02/10 bob The acting was horrendous, especially Brendan Fraser. 2 stars
8/13/09 Daniel Kelly Saw this last year in the theater and was horrified. A solid candidate for 2008's worst. 1 stars
3/08/09 g. crap 1 stars
3/02/09 KingNeutron Not the same without Rachel Weisz, but we did get a couple of good laughs 3 stars
1/14/09 Anonymous. worth a look for people wanting to see the entire trilogy...the first one was the best. 3 stars
1/05/09 sood action and effects but to silly and cartoonish to be effective action movie fan 2 stars
12/27/08 TreeTiger Extremely bad movie... 1 stars
10/01/08 Danny Eh, not bad....Rachel Weisz's presence is sorely missed 4 stars
9/25/08 john lame 1 stars
9/14/08 Bender Susan, who cares? Lets drink alcohol and play ping pong, and have a hangover. 5 stars
9/03/08 Alexandru Totir Good adventures summer movie, not brilliant. But they should stop this series here. 4 stars
8/17/08 Margeaux Two thumbs down! 2 stars
8/10/08 Susan the lack of rachel weisz was glaring, maria bello was poorly cast, ok popcorn fare 3 stars
8/06/08 joe nothing good to say about this mess. dark knight mops the floor with this 1 stars
8/06/08 L. Slusarczyk Why do they keep making sequels? Good for teens only! 2 stars
8/06/08 Eloise Carlson I loved this movie, Brendan Fraser is as hot as ever. 5 stars
8/04/08 ebert man this is awful. take the series back to egypt and bring back weisz 1 stars
8/03/08 clown waste of time and money. bello is a horrible addition 1 stars
8/03/08 jimmy no quigley, this movie is terrible. there's not a single good thing about this 1 stars
8/03/08 Quigley Not terrible but definitely not good. 3 stars
8/02/08 johnnyfog Al Gough and Miles Millar? Aren't those the fucktards who created Smallville? 2 stars
8/02/08 mike absolutely horrible. I kept falling asleep. the mummy series is offficially dead after this 1 stars
8/02/08 Me bite me it was fun 5 stars
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  01-Aug-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 16-Dec-2008


  DVD: 16-Dec-2008

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