The Mummy (Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) preview

The first two “Mummy” movies (and the “Scorpion King”
spinoff), were imaginative, rollicking adventures in the tradition of Indiana
Jones, films that relied on special effects, plot twists and comic one-liners
to satiate the audience’s desire for moderately violent, old-fashioned escapist
fare that didn’t take itself too seriously. But this latest “Mummy” adventure
appears to take the latter too far, with the trailer featuring such ludicrous
and self-referential cliches as “Sorry pal, there’s a mummy on the loose!” and
“Good going dad, you’ve raised another mummy!”

The trailer contains several ominous warning signs
foretelling a potentially cool critical reception, namely the absence of
acclaimed actress Rachel Weisz (replaced by Maria Bello), the August release
date (traditionally an industry dumping ground for cinematic mishaps), a new
director and a shift in setting away from the exhausted landscape of Egypt to
the yet undisturbed mythological trove that is China. The film brings in
Chinese acting heavyweights Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li, who appears to be
continuing his transition to films more palatable to the family demographic.
Apart from these glaring shortcomings there is still hope, for as long as the
movie crams enough special effects, vast CGI armies, colorful villains, undead
creatures and adequately comedic lines into a modestly cohesive plot, it will
fulfill its sole mission to entertain. August 1.