DVD Review: ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ (Blu-ray)

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Directed by Rob Cohen
Starring Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, Luke Ford, Michelle Yeoh
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: December 16, 2008

I admit it – I’m a Brendan Fraser apologist. What can I say? I like the guy. He’s just so damn”¦ likable! I can watch him in pretty much anything and enjoy it. School Ties – Check. Monkeybone – Check. Blast from the Past – Check. George of the Jungle – Check. Encino Man – Guilty. So I look back on the release of The Mummy with fond memories. It was a funny, adventurous rollicking old-school action flick that remembered what made such films work — it was fun. And Fraser captured that sense of “gee whiz” fun playing Rick O’Connell. When The Mummy Returns came out it was disappointing, but not awful. It felt more like an excuse to try to set up a franchise for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson than it legitimate continuation of the series.

So it was with a healthy dose of skepticism that I popped in the Blu-ray of the newest entry into this series — The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. And all I can say is – Brendan Fraser tried. He really, really tried”¦ and I’m sure he’s sorry.

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Lighten Up! ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ Is Not So Bad
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Before I get into this piece, let me be clear that Universal does not pay me to be kind to their Mummy franchise. I wish they did, cuz I’d have quite a bit of cash right now. I’m simply a fan of the movies.

When I was at Comic Con last weekend, I found out that none of my fellow movie bloggers was looking forward to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. I was the only one, as I happen to be a great fan of Universal’s The Mummy franchise (starting with the first one from 1932). At the Con, I made it a point to get back to the big Hall for the Universal panel, which would have the cast from the third Mummy movie.

My friend and fellow movie blogger David Chen sat in front of me as a clip was shown of the Yeti attack sequence. It was CGI-heavy and had a few corny bits of dialogue. When it was finished, David stood up, turned to me with a horrified look on his face, and then without a word, walked out of the hall.

I’ll admit, at that moment, my anticipation of the film started to dissipate, but I wasn’t going to let such a tiny sample of a 2-hour movie influence me. I read some of the early reviews of the film, the majority of which were incredibly negative. I started to wonder, How bad could this movie possibly be? But, I still had every intention of seeing Mummy 3 and judging it for myself.

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