The Mummy is back or should I say there is no mummy this time around. Yeah, truly The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor does not have any mummies in it. What it does have is an international star cast of Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, Michelle Yeoh, and John Hannah, but sadly no Rachel Weisz. It really does not make sense why this movie is called a mummy movie when there are no mummies in it. That does not mean that it is not a good movie or that it is not an enjoyable romp, it in fact is. It is just that the supposed mummy/mummies in the movie Jet Li and his entire terracotta army are cursed by a witch, Michelle Yeoh, and all of them turn into clay statues. Jet Li being an immortal cannot be killed (except by a special dagger) so Michelle Yeoh places a curse on him and if the curse is ever lifted and Jet Li awoken the usual yada yada takes place where he is given supreme power and will rule the world, the Chinese version of Imhotep from the first couple of The Mummy series.
The third installment in The Mummy series is sadly without Rachel Weisz being replaced by Maria Bello and is also without the series creator Stephen Sommers. Despite this the movie is the usual big budget Hollywood spectacle and is an enjoyable fare for teenagers and young adults. Just don’t use your brain too much and try to find reason or logic in the happenings for you will certainly fail. Just grab some popcorn and coke and kickback to enjoy more of The Mummy especially if you liked the first two movies in the series.
Coming to the story, Jet Li is the emperor of a part of ancient China and wants to rule the entire country of China and so ends up waging war and conquering all. He realizes though that one lifetime is not enough to fulfill all his ambitions so his quest to become an immortal and this quest leads him to a witch Michelle Yeoh who helps him in his quest to become an immortal and along the way also falls in love with the emperor’s main general Russell Wong. Jet Li promptly has Russell Wong killed and so Michelle Yeoh places a curse on him and his entire army turning them all into clay statues. A couple of millennia later, Alex the son of Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello, played by Luke Ford is carrying on the family tradition of hunting for mummies and ends up waking up Jet Li who promptly sets about completing his quest for immortality and world domination. It is now up to Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello to stop The Mummy, Jet Li and his entire army and they are aided in this adventure by their son Luke Ford, Michelle Yeoh, John Hannah and Isabella Leong playing Michelle Yeoh’s daughter and Luke Ford’s love interest. The cast is rounded off by Anthony Wong Chau-Sang and Jessey Meng who are instrumental in helping raise Jet Li so that they can be a part of his world domination team.
Jet Li once awoken is on a quest to find the Eye of Shangri-La, which will help him regenerate completely and give him total immortality. This leads him deep into the Himalayas and Brendan Fraser and company too tag along to stop him. They are helped out by Yeti, mythical Himalayan creatures, and also the enemies of Jet Li who are all buried under the Great Wall of China and are led by Russell Wong the ex-general of Jet Li who was killed for his affair with Michelle Yeoh. As expected good triumphs over evil and Jet Li and his army are vanquished at the ending after the usual round of special effects and the big budget Hollywood spectacle and oh yes Jet Li does turn into a three headed monster and a fire spewing dragon. While The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor does not break any new ground, it is still not a bad movie. It will however give you a sense of déjà vu and given the action, special effects and the chemistry between the O’Connell family members will be an entertaining time at the movies for fans of The Mummy series. The movie would have been better served by the services of Rachel Weisz and Stephen Sommers who were such an integral part of the first two movies in the series.