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:: The Mummy: The Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

There seems to be a lot of people who are willing to say that three (four if you include ‘The Scorpion King’) ‘Mummy’ films is one too many. It is quite obvious that those people haven’t seen ‘The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor’ because of they had they would know that the class of this film shows that there is still plenty of life left in the series yet.

‘The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor’ picks up several years after ‘The Mummy Returns’. Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his wife, Evelyn (Maria Bello) have retired from the spy game and he now spends his days attempting to fish while she sells books about their past adventures. Both secretly yearn for the tomb-raiding days so they jump at the opportunity to return an artifact to Asia despite the warning that this task is dangerous. While in Asia they meet up with Jonathan (John Hannah), who runs a nightclub, and their son, Alex O’Connell (Luke Ford) who has followed in his parent’s footsteps and is now a historian. He has recently discovered the tomb of the Dragon Emperor and after a betrayal by his mentor a Mummy is awoken and the old team reunite to put a stop to his world domination plan.

Director, Rob Cohen does a wonderful job lifting ‘The Mummy’ series to a new level with some brilliant special effects and using the skills of Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li to bring a heavy martial-arts-influence to the film; which in turn should guarantee a large box office return in the Asian market. Also impressive are Cohen’s epic ‘Lord Of The Ring’ style fight scenes. Screenwriters, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar also do a wonderful job with the scriptwriting. They move the story along well, but the one weakness is the necessiaty to really spell out jokes. The joke will be delivered and then really spelt out for anyone in the audience that didn’t understand it; this is definitely the case in the final scene… but don’t worry I won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t seen it.

The time difference between the last film and this one slides in fairly well. Brendan Fraser is ‘aged’ up for the role and Maria Bello makes the role of Evelyn her own; she actually manages to play the part with a lot more believability than Rachel Weisz ever did. The only weak link in the time-jump is the conclusion of the son: Alex O’Connoll. I could of bought the fact that he was a teenager, perhaps aged 15-16, but Luke Ford looks about 25-30 which made the story hard to swallow some of the time.

That does not mean that Luke Ford is not good in the film; exactly the opposite. He plays the part to the best of his ability and deserves the label of ‘star on the rise’. His on screen relationship with Brendan Fraser is exceptional and the two actors pull of a strained father-son relationship very well, they actually make this one of the most interesting storylines in the film.

‘The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor’ isn’t the disappointment that so many people have predicted. It slots into the series quite well, and the inclusion of Maria Bello lifts Brendan Fraser’s acting performance as well. One of the blockbusters of the year it even outshines the new ‘Indiana Jones’.