The third film in the The Mummy
series freshens the franchise up by setting the action in China. There, the discovery of an ancient emperor's elaborate tomb proves a feather in the cap of Alex O'Connell (Luke Ford), a young archaeologist and son of Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his wife Evelyn (Maria Bello, taking over the role from Rachel Weisz). Unfortunately, a curse that turned the emperor (Jet Li) and his army into terra cotta warriors buried for centuries is lifted, and the old guy prepares for world domination by seeking immortality at Shangri La. The O'Connells barely stay a step ahead of him (climbing through the Himalaya mountains with apparent ease), but the action inevitably leads to a showdown between two armies of mummies in a Chinese desert. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
has a lot to offer: a supporting cast that includes the elegant Michelle Yeoh, Russell Wong, and Liam Cunningham, the unexpected appearance of several Yeti, and a climactic battle sequence that is nightmarishly weird but compelling. On the downside, the charm so desperately sought in romantic relationships, as well as comic turns by John Hannah (as Evelyn's rascal brother), is not only absent but often annoying. Rarely have witty asides in the thick of battle been more unwelcome in a movie. Rob Cohen's direction is largely crisp if sometimes curious (a fight between Fraser and Jet Li keeps varying in speed for some reason), but his vision of Shangri La, in the Hollywood tradition, is certainly attractive. --Tom Keogh
Taking off the wraps once more, but this time the action moves to China for round three of the Mummy adventure. For 2,000 years the ruthless Chinese Dragon Emperor (Jet Li) and his vast army of warriors have been frozen in time, cast in clay, waiting for their moment to rise again. When young archaeologist Alex O'Connell (Luke Ford) is duped into bringing the ancient warlord back to life, he soon realises he has to call in the only people he knows with experience and knowledge of how to battle the undead - his parents, father Rick (Brendan Fraser) and mother Evelyn (Maria Bello). As the emperor attempts to re-unite with his massed warriors and finally fulfil his dream of world domination, Alex and his family, along with mystical, high-kicking sorceress Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh) and a rival cast of undead, have to pull out all the stops to keep the evil tyrant from achieving his ends.