The Mummy : Tomb of the Dragon Emperor arrives in theatres right at the end of Hollywood's 2008 Summer Blockbuster Season. The film is directed by Rob Cohen better known for making XXX, Dragonheart and The Fast and the Furious. Stephen Sommers who directed the previous two Mummy films, produces this one.
The good thing about the film is that it brings back Brendan Frasier in the lead, as Rick O'Connell. If you have seen the first two films, you will know why it is so crucial that he plays the lead role. He is the landmark in a Mummy film when it comes to comedy, timing, expressions, everything. Rachel Weisz makes way for the flat, but funny and expressive Maria Bello. John Hannah as Jonathan is once again a treat to watch. We have a new mummy. An Asian mummy - Jet Li plays Emperor Han, with style! He singlehandedly leads through the film. There's just something about Jet Li that makes me pay attention to his every move. Whether it was The One or Cradle to the Grave or Fearless, Jet Li is amazing. That being said, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor lacks the urgency that the first two Mummy films had. The special effects are not as good as the previous ones. The cast additions, namely Michelle Yeoh, never really impress. The one hour and 45 minute film doesn't seem that long, solely because it fails to get you involved. The narrative is a huge let-down.
However, given the fact that it is a Mummy film, it is fairly enjoyable, although the first one is the best of the series, then the second and now this. They leave us with the promise of a fourth installment, which I will most definitely watch because anything to do with mummies is fun! Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is B-grade stuff, and the makers probably knew that when they made it. It is harmless fun, with a lot of bad jokes at the wrong time. Then again, that is what makes a Mummy film so special. Definitely worth a watch, especially if you liked the previous two.