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Fri August 1, 2008
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
At least Fraser is getting work.
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
I am beginning to think that after the superior Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull this year, the summer fantasy-thriller genre ought to be mummified not to be reawakened for years. At least, that's how I feel about The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. As a knock off of the Jones adventure, it doesn't resurrect well.
The O'Connell family discovers the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin, not at all a nice guy and potentially a world dominator if he's revived. Cursed by a fetching wizard eons ago, the shape-shifting tyrant is waiting for a clueless archeologist to wake him up. Just as Jones is joined by his son, ushering in a new generation of family archaeologists, so Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) is joined by his son Alex (Luke Ford) as a tomb raider. Both sons have dropped out of college but carry on the swashbuckling of their dads.
But the mummy boys just don't have the acting chops of the Jones boys, nor do they have a chance with a lame script that raises from the dead the clich?s of serials from years ago and yesterday, or at least they sound like them (upon seeing an army of the undead--Rick O'Connell: "So these are the good undead guys, right?").
Although the CGI is impressive, as in all these summer adventures, it's all too much too fast, the cutting so quick the images can't even be appreciated for their artistry.
The upside is that a limited Brendan Fraser continues to get work (recently Journey to the Center of the Earth). For the rest of us, mummification may be the only escape from bad movies and world wars.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com