Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Haven't these people heard of target practice?

I had tickets for another "sneak preview" movie last night. This time it was The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. I hadn't seen any of the films in the Mummy franchise, so I came into it without any preconceived notions. Let's see if I can get this right. The mummy-hunting couple, played by Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello, have retired to the English countryside. Their son is on an archaeological dig in China, and uncovers the tomb of an emperor which is brought unopened to a museum. In the meantime, mom & dad are pressed by the British government to return some bauble-thingy to the Chinese government "as a gesture of good faith" (?). Of course, when they arrive at the museum with the bauble-thingy, it turns out to be just the thing needed to release the cursed emperor from his tomb and bring him back to life (sort of). There are some sinister Chinese soldiers who want the emperor brought back to life so he can enslave the world, so they want the aforementioned bauble-thingy. Lots of fighting and gunfire ensues. Now, here's the thing: you've got SOLDIERS, for heaven's sake, plus mom & pop mummy-hunter-secret-agent-types -- and no one can manage to hit anyone else with the 10,000 or so shots they collectively fire. I would spend less time hunting mummies and trying to raise dead emperors, and a little more on target practice if it were me. You would think that would be obvious, wouldn't you?


So anyway, the bauble-thingy is employed and the emperor comes back to life, but he's still kinda encased in stone and not overly mobile. Turns out there's more stuff he has to do to become his fully-realized evil self. Of course, mom & dad and son mummy hunters, along with obligatory cute-but-mysterious Chinese girlfriend have to stop this from happening. Lots of perilous airplane rides, avalanches, Yeti interventions and sword fighting happens before we get to the conclusion.

The scenery is lovely, and the story is fairly easy to follow, even for a Mummy novice like myself. My only problem was the utterly predictable and overly sentimental characters. I really didn't like any of them, so I was actually hoping this emperor guy might get something evil going, but no dice. Oh well, I do love the "sneak previews", and I must admit, they are exposing me to all sorts of movies I wouldn't otherwise see.


Final Verdict for The Mummy: Two Gherkins, for some English scenery, and an eventful few hours

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