Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Cohen, 2008)

When you go into a film expecting bad and end up getting worse, you hope that actors as cool as Jet Li got a damn fat pay cheque for lending their talents to it.

I am known for enjoying some crappy films. I like big, dumb action and big, dumb stories, but the third installment of this franchise is both big and dumb but so devoid of character or fun that it fails in every respect.

One good thing about the film: Yetis. They're cute and I want one as a pet - however, I'm not sure this was intended, but heck, they should be glad that there was at least one creature to root for in the film.

The lack of chemistry between everyone in the film is one of its biggest problems. That there is more chemistry between John Hannah and yak he shares a seat with than between any of the other couples or pairings in the film says a lot. Maria Bello is a fine actress but is woefully wrong as Evie - there's an obvious reason Rachel Weisz did not sign on to appear again. There is zero chemistry between Evie and Rick, even once their 'passion' for each other has been rekindled by the spirit of adventure. Their son, who has mysteriously become an American, is subjected to an implausible and charmless love interested (who has so much potential to be a cool character it hurts to see her fall short).

The only real moment of chemistry is when Jet Li and the fabulous (but underused) Michelle Yeoh face-off in the one decent set piece of the film. For a film boasting two kung fu heroes, the action is particularly dull and stilted, on a small and large scale. Neither army is that impressive, no battle is enthralling; there is simply nothing on display to excite or entertain.

The dialogue is terrible, the acting worse, the score distracting...but the set design was quite nice. Set design, and some cute CGI yeti. That's all this film's got going for it.

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