Directed By Rob Cohen
Starring Brandon Frasier, Maria Bello, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Luke ford
So, I didn’t expect much form this new Mummy film but I hoped for some fun escapism. The first film was exactly that. The second film wasn’t good, but it had some fun moments and the charisma of the actors managed to carry that film. The Scorpion King was a spinoff film that was actually a fairly good placeholder for another Conan film. So, this third installment of The Mummy franchise could have gone either way.
So, in this installment our adventuring couple is living the good life and they are completely bored. Their son, now a young man, has taken up their mantle chasing treasure all over the globe instead of going to college as he is supposed to be. Once his parents learn of his misadventures they head to China to save him. Within moments their boredom is assuaged and they are off for fun and excitement.
This all sounds good but the movie is full of horrible dialogue, flat acting, bad special effects, and a weak story. Jet Li, who once said he’d do no more of these period action flicks, is back as the villain and has very little dialogue and no good action scenes. His poorly CGI’d double has some scenes but he himself gets very little to do. Michelle Yeoh does get more character development and some dialogue but unfortunately much of the words she is given to say are poorly conceived.
Maria Bello is someone I have really liked in movies such as The Cooler and A History of Violence but here she is absolutely terrible. Oddly, she’s typically more attractive in film than she is here. More importantly, she saddled with a horrible accent and a totally annoying demeanor which are the fault of the character she is playing and the prompting from director Rob Cohen. It has to be those issues because she’s typically a great actress. Brandon Frasier is charismatic but he just feels uncomfortable in a role he created two films ago.
Part of the problem with this film is the family dynamic. With all the things that could be complained about the last Indiana Jones film, Spielberg/Lucas did a fine job with the family dynamic. It all comes off as forced and annoying here. The father and estranged son setup is so clichéd it’s annoying. It would have been more fun, and suited Frasier’s character better, had he and his son actually brought out the worst in each other and made the adventure even more exciting.
I wanted to at least mildly like this movie and I really tired but at the end of the day the only real compliment I can give it is that it features a tight running time.