At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.
Centuries ago, the evil Emperor Han was cursed by the sorceress Zi Yuan who transformed him and his army into mummies. In 1946, the explorer Rick O'Connell and his wife Evelyn O'Connell are invited by the British government to take a relic, the diamond "The Eye of Shangri-La" to China. The ancient stone is capable of resurrecting the Emperor Han and of pointing the way to Shangri-La and the eternal pool of life. When the couple reaches China, they meet their son Alex O'Connell, who has discovered the tomb of Han, and Evelyn's brother Jonathan Carnahan. The O'Connells are betrayed by their friend Prof. Roger Wilson, who is associated with General Yang. Yang wants to serve Emperor Han, so he resurrects the mummy and they head for Shangri-La. The guardian of Han's tomb (and Zi's daughter) Lin tells them that the only ways to destroy Han are to prevent him from reaching Shangri-La or by stabbing his heart with a cursed dagger.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Almost all of the technical crew from the Montreal filming location had custom made dog-tags with either "Foundation Soldier" or "Terracotta Warrior" and their names. The whole crew decided to do so after documentary filmmaker Todd Matthew Grossman and a few other crew members had some done for fun. See more »
Before the Himalayan fight scene, when Rick and Alex are comparing weapons, Rick pulls out a Colt 1873 Single Action Army. He refers to this gun as "The Peacekeeper." The correct term is "The Peacemaker." See more »
Long ago, a mythic battle between good and evil played out in ancient China. The country was torn by civil war, with many kingdoms struggling for land and power. But one king had a ruthless ambition to make himself emperor by the sword.
See more »
The Universal Studios logo doesn't stop as normal, instead the title fades out from the revolving globe and the camera begins zooming in over the Atlantic Ocean and hovers over China as an on-screen graphic is shown displaying the separate feudal states of China around 350 BC, each labeled in Chinese characters. The dividing lines disappear and then the Chinese characters all merge together into two characters that then change to the English word: CHINA. See more »
I almost didn't see this in the theater due to all the bad reviews. What changed my mind was Roger Ebert giving it a rare positive review. Since I agree with Ebert more than most critics, I decided to go see it.
I have to say that none of the reviews or comments I've read tell the whole picture, IMHO. Neither Ebert's praise nor other critics' pans are entirely appropriate. Lets' start with the basics... "The Mummy" was a modern retelling of a 30's "B" monster movie with up to date FX. It wasn't great drama, but it was a rousing thrill ride that capably did its job of entertaining you if you weren't too picky about plot, etc. The two sequels have continued this tradition. I'd rate this as inferior to the original but slightly superior to "The Mummy Returns".
Much has been made about the casting of Maria Bello in the role originated by Rachel Weisz. While I'm not a Rachel Weisz fanboy, she is a very capable actress and I just don't believe Ms. Bello was up to the role. There is simply no chemistry between Bello and Brendan Fraser. There are basically only two legitimate reasons to make a sequel: 1) either there are loose ends to tie up, or 2) people really like the characters and want to see more of them. Each film in the Mummy franchise ties up its own loose ends, so the producers are risking commercial suicide to change the characters in any significant way. If they couldn't get Rachel Weisz, they should have been much more careful in recasting the role. There's very little physical resemblance between the two actresses, and Ms. Bello simply doesn't seem to have the acting chops to carry it off. That unfortunate casting choice casts a pall over the whole enterprise - but not enough to sink it.
Some have criticized the film because they don't believe that Brendan Fraser looks old enough to have a son Luke Ford's age. That's arguable (all of the holdover cast is starting to show their age - especially John Hannah) but, again, it's not a deal-breaker.
OTOH, the secondary roles are excellent. Michelle Yeoh and Isabella Leong are excellent while Jet Li gives another great performance as the evil emperor. Luke Ford is somewhat bland, though, and doesn't appear to be a good candidate to carry the franchise into the future.
The CGI FX are generally excellent but nothing we haven't seen in the first two films. The exception to this are the yetis! With only a few minutes of screen time, they pretty much steal every scene they're in. Where the FX do seem lacking is in imagination, scale, and scope when compared to the previous two films. Perhaps that's because more of the action in the previous films took place in dark, claustrophobic settings, while here many of them are in brightly lit sunlight. The battle scenes in particular suffer in the inevitable comparison to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Was this film made principally to milk the franchise? Almost certainly, but then so was "The Mummy Returns". But that doesn't mean it fails on its own terms. It is entertaining and supplies much of the same appeal as its predecessors. If you can watch it on those terms and if Maria Bello's casting isn't too disappointing to you, then go see it - you may have a good time. I did.
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