we go again"
Alex O'Connell (Ford) has left college to pursue the family business and
is on the verge of revealing his biggest find, the tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Han (Li) and his terracotta army. The find has also drawn out the Emperor
followers, led by General Yang (Chau-Sang) and he wants to wake him from
his eternal sleep and bring back order to the chaos that has engulfed China
since the end of the Second World War. As Evelyn (Bello) and Rick O'Connell
(Fraser) arrive in Shanghai on a diplomatic mission and to see Evy's brother
Jonathan (Hannah), Alex reveals his find to his parents just as General
Yang's troops attack and in the melee the Emperor is awaked and the O'Connell's
have to face another Mummy again.
return of the man with the hat and the whip has seen his main contenders
also return to the silver screen but can the third 'Mummy' movie take on
the leader of archaeological adventure movies?
return of 'Indiana Jones' in 2008 has trigger rival studio to cash in on
the rival franchises that filled the gap before the return of the greatest
screen archaeologist. First we had the return of Nicholas Cage's Benjamin
Gates in Disney's 'National Treasure: Book of Secrets' and now we have the
return of probably the most successful 'Indiana' imitator, 'The Mummy' franchise.
in the same time frame and mixing ancient tales, reincarnation and a slight
mix of horror, 'The Mummy' movies played on the classic Universal monster
movie of the 1930s but also 'borrowed' many of the traits that made the
'Indiana Jones' movies so successful. 'The Mummy' and 'The Mummy Returns'
were based in Egypt, with the O'Connell's fighting Imhotep, the ancient
but powerful Mummy who could bring about the end of the world. The third
adventure sees the franchise movie to China to fight a different kind of
Mummy, one that can shape shift into any of the mythological creature and
control the elements of earth, wind, fire and ice but this change has also
brought some unwelcome changes to an already successful formula.
first major change is in casting. With the always-excellent Rachel Weisz
been unavailable to return as Evy O'Connell, the decision was made to replace
the British actress with American Maria Bello. While Bello is a very good
actress in her own right she is not the right actress for this role. For
one, she cannot do an English accent and two she doesn't have the screen
presence or charm of Weisz. The casting of an English actress would have
made more sense. The second big change is in director. Stephen Sommers has
moved on to be replaced by Rob Cohen, best known for 'xXx', 'The Fast and
the Furious' and 'Daylight' but he doesn't really know how to capture the
charm that the first two movies had. While the action sequences and the
visual effects are handled with skilled, the moments between the O'Connell's
and the supporting characters are not as natural as they once were. Minor
problems also surface in the casting of Alex O'Connell but this is more
to do with setting the film in 1947. Luke Ford looks far too old to be the
O'Connell's twenty-two year-old son and with the first film set in 1924,
both Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello do not look like they are in their late
forties, early fifties, which they would be if the timeline were correct.
If fact, Brendan Fraser looks no different to what he did in the original
1999 movie. The series over-reliance on CGI is also a hindrance, with creatures
that Jet Li turns into looking awful and the Yeti's looking extremely computer
The short comings aside, 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' is still
a fun romp, simply because of the fights between Brendan Fraser, Jet Li
and the always-astonishing Michelle Yeoh, as immortal Chinese witch Zi Juan.
This is what these movies are all about and while the Chinese setting is
not as good as the Egyptian one, if you switch your brain off and don't
expect a life changing experience, the third 'Mummy' movie does entertain.
Blu-Ray disc presents the movie in High Definition wide screen 2:40 up to
1080p, with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound. This shows how good the visual
effects are during the battle sequences.
DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen 2:35 with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Deleted and Extended Scenes (10.45 mins/BD High Definition)
Entitled 'Secret lovers', 'Conversation in Shanghai', 'Night in the Himalayas',
'Tea time: Yong and Choi', 'Motorcycle grenade toss', 'Female fight in cog
room', 'Emperor reassembles' and 'Jonathan and Maguire at Club', these deleted
or extended scenes suffer from the lack of a commentary track or introduction
to explain why they were removed, especially as some scenes are very good
and FX heavy.
Making of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' (22.49 mins/BD High Definition)
Director Rob Cohen, producers Stephen Sommers, Sean Daniel and Bob Ducsay,
costume designer Sanja Hays and stars Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello take
you behind the scenes of the eighty-nine day shoot for 'The Mummy: Tomb
of the Dragon Emperor'. Looking at the combat training, set building in
Montreal, Canada and in China and the change of style from the previous
two movies, this is a very good behind the scenes featurette.
City to Desert (15.44 mins/BD High Definition)
Director Rob Cohen, producers Stephen Sommers, Sean Daniel and Bob Ducsay
and stars Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Jet Li, Anthony Wong
and Michelle Yeoh talk about filming in China and creating the enormous
sets for the third Mummy movie.
of the Terra Cotta Army (13.33 mins/BD High Definition)
Director Rob Cohen, producers Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay and stars Brendan
Fraser and Jet Li talk about mixing in historical facts with the fantastical
story and creating a CGI
Li. A Call to Action: The Casting Process (4.44 mins/BD High Definition)
Director Rob Cohen, producers Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay and stars Brendan
Fraser, Maria Bello, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Luke Ford and Isabelle Leong
talk about their characters and what it is like working on a 'Mummy' movie.
for Battle with Brendan Fraser and Jet Li (10.41 mins/BD High Definition)
Director Rob Cohen, fight coordinator Mike Lambert and stars Brendan Fraser,
Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh and Maria Bello talk about creating the fight scenes
for the movie.
Li: Crafting the Emperor Mummy (8.00/BD High Definition)
Director Rob Cohen and producer Bob Ducsay are joined by the visual effects
team to talk about creating the Terra Cotta Dragon Emperor and making a
CGI Jet Li.
Crafting New and Supernatural Worlds (8.34 mins/BD High Definition)
Director Rob Cohen, producers Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay, production
designer Nigel Phelps and stars Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Luke Ford and
Michelle Yeoh talk about the huge sets on the soundstages in Canada and
Commentary with Director Rob Cohen (Blu Ray & DVD)
The man at the helm provides an interesting and fact filled commentary for
'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor'. He talks passionately about Chinese
history and his love for the subject, injecting a fantasy story into historical
facts and working on an established franchise. This is a commentary worth
Universal's unique High Definition way of watching the movie. With 'Scene
explorer', 'Know your Mummy', 'The Dragon Emperor challenge', 'Visual commentary
with director Rob Cohen' and 'Picture in Picture' featurettes for key scenes,
this highlights how good the Blu-Ray format really is.
Connect your Blu-Ray player or PS3 to the internet and enjoy extra interactive
features for 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor'
Blu-Ray treatment for 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' is one that
fans of the film should really enjoy. The featurettes cover every aspect
of the film's production and the commentary track is an added bonus but
it is the excellent U-Control, which was pioneered by Universal on HD DVD,
that makes this an excellent example of how to do a Blu-Ray package.
DVD is also very good, having all the same featurettes as the Blu-Ray version
but you do miss out on the excellent U-Control and BD Live.
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