Monday, August 4, 2008

I Want My Mummy!

To Hell with those who gave a thumbs-down to the third installment of The Mummy. If I had a third thumb, I'd give it a three-thumbs-up!

Well...maybe a two-and-a-half thumbs-up will do. Rachel Weisz' non-reprisal of her character, Evy O'Connell, did take a toll on the movie. Her great chemistry with Brendan Fraser in the first two movies was among the reasons why the movie was such a hit, despite the tired plot of mummies being raised from the dead. Weisz as Evy was so pert, full of life, and quite naughty -- a perfect blend to Brendan's Rick O'Connell who was strong, stubborn, and somewhat trigger-happy. With Maria Bello taking over what Weiss had left, she came off as a bland wannabe with that thick fake British accent. I couldn't see any fireworks between her and Fraser, even during their more tender moments.

Nonetheless, it was worth my time and my 115 pesos to watch The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. It was just great to see the O'Connells going through their swashbuckling routine again after they defeated both the cursed Egyptian high priest Imhotep and the Scorpion King. This time though, our band of heroes are off to China to defeat a power-hungry Chinese conqueror who was brought back to life by his modern-day counterparts so they could "rule the world." (Yup, same old formula.)

Yeah...I know, I usual, the plot is just as flimsy as ever, but if you are going to watch The Mummy to make an in-depth comparative analysis of the film's veracity against historical events, then you'd better watch a documentary, Dude. Watch The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor for the following reasons:
1. Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. Spectacular martial arts and all those flying Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon effects. Need I say more?
2. Don't you guys wanna know what has become of Alex, Rick's and Evy's son? The kid turns into some kind of archaeologist himself who works on the dig in search of the Dragon Emperor. Obviously, he was successful. The only problem I have with Alex (played by Luke Ford) is that when he was still 10-years old in The Mummy 2: Legend of the Scorpion King, the kid was talking with a British accent. Many years later in The Mummy 3, he has turned into your all-American fluffy-haired boy. Was it those years in boarding school that did the trick? We may never know...

3. The Mummy 3 still keeps it coming in terms of slam-bang-wham action, and that's exactly what I was expecting.
4. Jet Li's character has managed to master the elements, but has yet to conquer the last frontier: death. It is this pursuit of immortality that turns him into the greedy monster that he is. Thus, you'll be seeing a formidable Jet Li spewing fire through his hands, controlling the elements, yadah, yadah, yadah. If there are Avatar: the Legend of Aang followers out there looking for a cinematic overview of Aang's live actions scenes in the upcoming movie, then this is where you can get the basic idea.
5. The legendary Yeti (three of them, to be exact) will figure prominently in the movie. Whether they're good guys or bad guys, just watch the movie to find out.
6. Watch out for the very last scene of the movie where Jonathan O'Connell leaves for Peru, a place where he believes "there aren't any mummies." Something tells me that this will give us an idea where the next Mummy movie will be set.
7. I have to admit: one simply has to admire the fact that many years later after the last Mummy installment, Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell still looks as yummy as ever. Maria Bello looks old beside him. I cringe whenever they do some lip-locking. Like I said earlier, no chemistry whatsoever. (Oh Rachel W., where are you when we need you?)
8. The CG battle between the fallen warriors who have been wronged by Jet Li's character and the terra cotta soldiers is something worth watching. It's kinda like a cross between Narnia and Night of the Evil Dead. It's great for laughs, too.
9. Fluffy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone does a cameo role as one of Jet Li's three-headed monster transfigurations. Woohoo!
10. Our heroes find the lost land of Shangri-la. (No, not the hotel!)

Unlike the last Indiana Jones movie which was one terrible letdown for me, I was not at all disappointed by The Mummy 3. It provided great entertainment, another round of laughs, a steady stream of edge-of-your-seat cliffhangers, action to the max, and great thrills. Never mind that the story is so loosely sewn together, or that the modern minions of Jet Li's character provide no great shakes at all
: The Mummy 3 still gives the audience what it wants: knee-slapping fun and action.

Watch, watch!