The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

(Netflix Streaming, August 2015) I really liked the first Mummy, sort-of-liked the second one but bad reviews had me stay away from this third installment.  Now that I’ve had a time to spare in checking it out myself, I can only congratulate the initial reviewers for taking the bullet early on, because there’s no way around it: Thei third Mummy has almost none of the chamr of the first two insatlments.  Rachel Weisz, easy one of the best tigs about the first film, bowed out and has been replaced by Maria Bello, who is OK but, well, not the ame.  (Even the film acknowledges this in a rare turn of wit.)  Otherwise, the film does torture itself to fit into the Mummy mold, which may have been tolerable if the film had more than a mediocre scene-t-scene narrative rhythm.  There is, simply put, little reason to keep watching this third Mummy – the action sequences feel rote, the dialogues are ordinary, the actors go through the motions of a dull script.  John Hannah is sympathetic but can’t save the film.  Neither can the spectacular Michelle Yeoh.  Nor can the rather interesting special effects rescue a story that feels familiar from the first narrative beats.  No, there really isn’t much to love here even if you happen to go along for an average action-movie ride.  There practically nothing left of the magical ingredient (fun? Charm? Self-awareness?) that made the first two films so compelling.  What’s left is ennui.

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