It’s been seven years since the “The Mummy Returns” and nine years since “The Mummy.”
The series definitely rips some pages out of Indiana Jones’s playbook, but scores points for not taking itself too seriously.
Brendan Fraser plays the role of Rick O’Connell with a wink and a smile in between punches and shotgun blasts as a plethora of CGI creations dance on-screen.
The world probably didn’t need another Mummy movie, but we got one anyway in the campy-but-good spectacle “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.”
Although Fraser is back as O’Connell, Rachel Weisz does not reprise her role as his wife, Evelyn, and Maria Bello steps nicely in her place.
This time we find the adventurous couple in retirement, lounging around their luxurious mansion in England in 1946 but longing to relive the excitement of the past.
Rick takes up fly-fishing for relaxation but ends up pointing his gun in the water and warning the fish, “You can run but you can’t hide!”
When they are asked to travel to Shanghai to run an errand, the couple jumps at the chance.
Since Evelyn’s brother Jonathan (John Hannah) is running a club in Shanghai and the couple unexpectedly run into their son, Alex (Luke Ford), the gang is back together again.
Of course the film wouldn’t be a Mummy movie without one, so Emperor Han (Jet Li) awakes from a 2,000-year sleep to wreaks havoc on mankind and the O’Connell family.
Han cries out, “I will crush any idea of freedom,” in between breathing fire and running his now awakened undead army.
Lucky for the O’Connells, Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh) shows up to stop the ruthless Han.
Lucky for the audience too, as we are treated to some spectacular ballet-style fighting between the legendary stars.
There’s also a worthy Shakespearean love triangle backstory that helps set up the conflict 2,000 years later.
But the film isn’t perfect.
Alex seems in his early 20s and Rick looks like his brother rather than his dad.
And there’s a glaring lack of chemistry on-screen between father and son, but perhaps Alex is simply onscreen for some romantic tension with Zi Juan’s daughter, Lin (Isabella Leong).
Also being the second sequel in the series, some of the same old Mummy act becomes tiresome.
Rick even says, “Here we go again.”
Suffice it to say, you won’t leave the theater enlightened and you may lose a few IQ points in the process.
But I must say, I laughed, enjoyed the special effects and was entertained for almost all of its two-hour run time.
I’m just not certain the world needs a fourth Mummy film.
♆♆♆ out of ♆♆♆♆♆
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