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In the Far East, trouble-seeking father-and-son duo Rick and Alex O'Connell unearth the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin -- a shape-shifting entity who was cursed by a wizard centuries ago.
I understand that this is a popcorn film and it's been made solely for entertainment. I don't mind these movies and many times prefer them to anything else. But I guess I hope to get at least something original because watching repeats are not on the top of my list for entertainment. And watching Mummy 3 was like watching the same episode of Friends for the 3rd time.
Mummy 3 and the Mummy series in general are the Triple-A film series to the major league Indiana Jones series. It's almost as talented but it just doesn't carry the same charm and expert direction as Indiana. It's like they try too hard to make us laugh and excite us that it's actually becomes a turn off.
Watching Mummy 3 is kind of like being on a date with someone who you want to like but the person is just too nervous and worried to actually be themselves, so you can never truly know who they are and what they are capable of. Not to say that some parts of this film aren't exciting and funny, but most times it falls on the being side of being lame. And it's a shame because you can tell that there is a lot of talent in this film.
This time they take almost the same plot from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (which wasn't the Last Crusade and I'm sure this series isn't either), where there is the search for immortality as the bad guys are after it and so the good guys must stop them.
And that's the problem. The good guys VS the bad guys. The Dark Knight has told the filmmakers this summer that audiences want another edge to the movie watching experience. No more are we interested in such blatant black and white conflicts. We know life doesn't work that way, so we don't want to see it in movies either.
The film, directed by Rob Cohen ("The Fast and the Furious") who takes the franchise's reins from Stephen Sommers, opens the film with a terrific short film about ancient China to set up the movie and it by far the best part. I would recommend people to just watch the first 10 minutes of Mummy 3 and then scamper out of the theater to watch The Dark Knight across the hall. As soon as Brendan Fraser's face appears in 1946 England, the movie goes down hill never to return upwards again.
Not to say it's Brendan Fraser's fault. He's stuck around for this franchise film while his previous co-star Rachel Weisz decided against it. So they replaced her with another terrific actress in Maria Bello. But this bothers me and I wonder if it bothers others too. This is not the same face. Evelyn O’Connell was created by Weisz not Bello, so you just can't believe her or this film in general. It's the classic tale of an actor taking you completely out of the film because they aren't just realistic enough. It's not Bello's fault at all, but the producers and production company for making this film without it's original star.And if that wasn't enough, it was hard for me to believe that the two lead characters (Fraser and Bello) would have themselves a grown son. It reminded me of a soap opera where the child grows too fast and is almost as old as his/her's parents. Brendan Fraser (39 in real life) has a face of a man in his 30's, so how can he have a son in his mid-20's?
Final note: Jet Li playing the evil emperor is solid with the script and character he was given. It's a one dimensional written character that he almost brought to two dimensional status.
2 stars out of 4 for Mummy 3