Friday, January 16, 2009

The Mummy: Insert Meaningless Title Here


I realized when I was searching for the above image that I had forgotten the name of the movie. I watched the film about two hours ago. Is there a better commentary than that?

But I guess I'll give it a shot. THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR commits a few venial sins and a major mortal sin. Let's start with the mortal, because it's so severe.

If you've seen the first two installments in the series, you'll remember that the stars are Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. In this movie, the stars are Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello. The two main characters in the first two film are Richard and Evelyn. In this one, the two main characters are Richard and Evelyn. You see the problem? Here's the deal. I like Maria Bello. I'm a fan, seriously. If Rachel Weisz didn't want to be in this one, that's cool. Go ahead and cast Maria Bello. BUT CHANGE THE BLOODY CHARACTER! They could have easily killed off Rachel's character and introduced a new one. Instead, they took Maria Bello (who looks nothing like Rachel Weisz), died her hair brown, have her a bad British accent, and assumed we either wouldn't care or know the difference. It just plain laziness, that's all. It's lazy.

Now I know you're probably screaming at the computer screen "WHAT ABOUT KATIE HOLMES/MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL IN THE BATMAN MOVIES? HUH, BARBER? WHAT ABOUT THAT?" Simple answer. It was relevant to the story. In THE MUMMY: TotDE, there's no plot relevance. It would not have made a lick of difference to change the character.

Now on to the venial sins. First, like every other dying franchise, they add a kid (see Growing Pains and Rugrats for examples). Fraser and Bello meet up with their unmanageable son Alex who is following in his father's footsteps as an Indiana Jones retread. The kid is dumb. The kid adds nothing. Lose the kid.

Next sin - Jet Li. I hope he got a really, really big paycheck for this. It's just embarrassing.

There are a couple of positives. The Yetis were kinda cool, the field goal scene notwithstanding (although it might be worth seeing the movie just for the field goal scene). Brendan Fraser is decent. It's a big fan of his, and he doesn't just mail it in (and yes, that is the highest compliment I'll give the movie). Also, there's a decent battle scene that's an undead army fighting a terracotta army. That's about it.

2 Abominable Snowmen out of 5.

8 comments:

Phil Breedlove said...

OK, flesh this out a bit for me, or give me a link where you referenced it in a Batman review:
Now I know you're probably screaming at the computer screen "WHAT ABOUT KATIE HOLMES/MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL IN THE BATMAN MOVIES? HUH, BARBER? WHAT ABOUT THAT?" Simple answer. It was relevant to the story. In THE MUMMY: TotDE, there's no plot relevance. It would not have made a lick of difference to change the character.

John Barber said...

Oh, I'm just referring to how they changed actresses in BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT without changing the characters. It works there, but not in the crapfest that is THE MUMMY 3.

the hamster said...

i only liked maggie gyllenhaal in STRANGER THAN FICTION. and i only liked katie holmes in WONDERBOYS. they haven't made sequels yet to either of those.

myleswerntz said...

Katie Holmes is cuter than puppies in a bowl of pudding.

Maggie Gylenhall, I could do without. Though her sleeve of tats in STRANGER were pretty great, and made her more than mildly good looking.

Sean said...

Just to clarify, when I said "I like THE MUMMY" I meant the first movie. I never saw the second or third installment. I just assumed they were awful. Kudos to you for sitting through them all, though.

My word verification: "chili"

John Barber said...

I think Sean is on to something here. We should all post our word verifications with every comment.

undacer

myleswerntz said...

we used to do that on Sean's site (RIP) for a while, providing definitions of our verifications.

barica--the capital city of Inebriatoria.

the hamster said...

arrotagi - those too proud to admit that sometimes, just sometimes, the worst cinema is the best