The third film in the The Mummy series freshens the franchise up by setting the action in China. There, the discovery of an ancient emperor's elaborate tomb proves a feather in the cap of Alex O'Connell (Luke Ford), a young archaeologist and son of Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his wife Evelyn (Maria Bello, taking over the role from Rachel Weisz). Unfortunately, a curse that turned the emperor (Jet Li) and his army into terra cotta warriors buried for centuries is lifted, and the old guy prepares for world domination by seeking immortality at Shangri La. The O'Connells barely stay a step ahead of him (climbing through the Himalaya mountains with apparent ease), but the action inevitably leads to a showdown between two armies of mummies in a Chinese desert. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has a lot to offer: a supporting cast that includes the elegant Michelle Yeoh, Russell Wong, and Liam Cunningham, the unexpected appearance of several Yeti, and a climactic battle sequence that is nightmarishly weird but compelling. On the downside, the charm so desperately sought in romantic relationships, as well as comic turns by John Hannah (as Evelyn's rascal brother), is not only absent but often annoying. Rarely have witty asides in the thick of battle been more unwelcome in a movie. Rob Cohen's direction is largely crisp if sometimes curious (a fight between Fraser and Jet Li keeps varying in speed for some reason), but his vision of Shangri La, in the Hollywood tradition, is certainly attractive. --Tom Keoghbr>
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Universal Pictures The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor WS (Blu-Ray)Filled with spectacular action and sharp banter, THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR finds the dashing Rick and Evelyn O'Connell (Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello, who took over for Rachel Weisz) called upon for another world-saving adventure. Thefilm opens in 50 B.C., when the ruthless Dragon Emperor (Jet Li) seeks to conquer one last enemy, death, and become an immortal ruler. But when the Emperor betrays an obliging sorceress (Michelle Yeoh), he and his army are cursed to spend an eternity in statuesque limbo. Fast forward to 1946, when Rick and Evelyn are struggling to adapt to their self-imposed retirement. But the fates have other plans, and soon the O'Connells are crossing paths with their somewhat estranged son, Alex (Luke Ford). While enthusiastically carrying on the family's tomb-raiding traditions, Alex has unwittingly brought the Dragon Emperor back to life. With the world in peril, the O'Connells must overcome their differences to prevent the Dragon Emperor from gaining immortality for himself and his army. Along the way they're joined by a mysterious young woman (Isabella Leong), a wily pilot, and a trio of Abominable Snowmen. Jumping from Shanghai to the Himalayas to the Chinese desert, director Rob Cohen (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS) takes audiences on a breathless adventure that continues THE MUMMY's love of quick wits, close calls and big battles. The result is a spirited romp that proves evil is no match against a family united.
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