I wonder what director Rob Cohen thought when he set out to make this film, because watching it was a most nightmarish experience for this reviewer!
We have had two Mummy films before, with lots of sand and desert and special effects and the blond Brendan Fraser playing Rick O Connell (a most spurious and contrived reworking of the Indiana Jones character), so what do you do for the for the third film of the series?
You put in a Masala mix; throw in everything that you have got and hope it works. So you have Yetis, you have an ancient shape shifting Chinese emperor played by Jet Li, a good witch played by Michelle Yeoh (was the director paying tribute to Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or was he attempting to create a similar film?) along with the hero and the heroine (ostensibly middle aged and retired from the profession of saving the world from Mummies) and their strapping son, and the elixir of Immortality: all of this set in the Himalayas, Shangri La, Shangai, and England in the 1940’s. You also have the mandatory special effects and crude attempts at comic relief thrown in.
Unfortunately the film just sinks into a morass, and never rises above it. I had hopes from both Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, but the director leaves them with nothing to do. Jet Li is too wooden faced or clay faced to make a villain, Michelle Yeoh has about ten minutes of screen time. The big climax is flaccid and looks like a lousy video game that you unfortunately cannot switch off.
The action set pieces are highly contrived, and have nothing new to offer in terms of stunts or visuals, and the fight between Jet Li and Brendan Fraser is to put it simply, most doltish.
Imagine Jet Li being defeated by Brendan Fraser in hand to hand combat, ha ha!
It is high time the producers stopped raising the Undead Mummies, to extort money from the living! Will someone put a curse on them for all eternity?
This article is by guest author Anand S. Anand lives in Pune and is a Miscellaneous Culture Vulture. He is deeply interested in music, food, books, films, and intelligent women. He views himself as a Falstaffian figure, who does his best to indulge his appetites.
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The O Connell family has to stop an Ancient Chinese emperor from coming back to life and ruling the world.