Now for those of you avid readers of this site, you might think that I hate life (due to the fact that I am always whining about it). I don't hate life. I just think it could be so much better. With this in mind then, comes The Mummy 3 (I refuse to repeat the stupidly long title over and over again).
The fact that I enjoyed the first incarnations
of the Mummy series.......hold on....Okay, so I liked the first one, but the Mummy Returns lost points due to the inclusion of the bratty child in it named Alex. Along with that, the Scorpion King (played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) was only in it for 10 minutes at the end.
Despite the lessening appeal of the Mummy Returns, I had high hopes
for Mummy 3. Rob Cohen
had been brought on board as director replacing Stephen Sommers
. This sounded like a safe bet considering he was responsible for The Fast and the Furious and xXx. At least we could get some action (perhaps not so many neons and no Vin Diesel
cameo). Okay, these movies were not exactly welcomed with open arms critically, but the paying public loved them. I am continually being reminded by a friend that the Fast and the Furious was a highly paced and greatly enjoyable ride. I just thought it was about a thug and a pretty-boy driving cars with lots of neon and ignoring women (in a completely heterosexual way).
So, the Fast and the Furious and xXx were fast paced, so you'd think that Mummy 3 would not have a problem with pacing right? Wrong! In fact after an achingly long prologue
kills a lot of people, lusts after Michelle Yeoh (who wouldn't) and gets transformed by chocolate, I was about to give up! Admittedly, the sets are excellent and the Universal logo is used to full effect
After what seems like an age we get to see Brendan Fraser
in a role that no-one else could play.....but..hold on.... Despite looking good for his age (he's 40 in December), the movie portrays him as a reluctant doddery old fart! This is not good. However he does fit back into the role that we know and love him for. Unfortunately he has to share screen time with a constantly changing accented woman and his annoying offspring. Did you notice I didn't moan about John Hannah? He's always good comic relief.
Maria Bello replaces Rachel Weisz (who apparently had a problem with the idea that her character had a grown up son). Bello initially shines with her first scene playing to the audience toying with the fact that she is completely different. This scene (like many others) is incredibly good and works well. Unfortunately as the film progresses (or deteriorates) so does her accent. Unfortunately being placed in a role where Weisz and Fraser had excellent chemistry, she does not even come close. I'm surprised they tried to cast an "Evelyn O'Connell at all. Maybe Evelyn could have died between Mummy 2 and 3. That might have made the movie darker, but would have deserved applause for being so "bold".
Then we have the introductory of the older Alex (Rick and Evelyn's son). What an annoying little smart arsed runt (being played by Luke Ford)! It seems that the Mummy 3 has gone all Indiana Jones on us and decided that Fraser is too old and too expensive to continue the Mummy franchise. STOP IT NOW! In fact it would have been better to have had Alex and Evelyn killed by the bad guy at the very beginning.....after the prologue. Perhaps they could have been flattened by a sarcophagus. That would have been funny!
The characters of Evelyn and Alex seem to have changed somewhat from the Mummy and Mummy 2. What happened to the academic prowess of Evelyn? Why has Alex lost his very posh and annoying voice from Mummy Returns? Where's The Rock when you need him? Why has Imhotep been turned into a nightclub? Why is everyone calling stone statues: "mummys"?
As with most Jet-Li
and Michelle Yeoh movies, the fighting is suitably choreographed. Unfortunately their fight scenes weren't long enough. They also completely overshadow and embarrass the other actors in the piece with Fraser, Evelyn and Alex (along with a girl named Lin) looking suitably shambolic in the fighting department.
The fact is that the Mummy 3 is not a mummy film at all! It is not even a Jet-Li
movie! The pace is way off an the sound just doesn't encompass the magnificence of intended scenes. Why on earth anyone hired Randy Edelman to compose this when his credits boastfully include 27 dresses, Balls of Fury and Underdog! Underdog? They would have been better hiring a chimp with a xylophone!
With tighter editing, a different score (by, say a talented musician), the killing off of Eve and Alex, this movie would have rocked! I can't explain how disappointed I was as just a few tweaks and this movie could have been the best in the series.
As I said before: I don't hate the Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. I just wish it couldv'e been better! It seems that Rachel Weisz made the sensible decision when jumping ship. Such a shame really. I had hoped for so much more!
Rating: 2.5 out of 5