First things first. The Mummy in The Mummy – Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is not a Mummy at all! I hate to spoil the fun but an evil dude solidified into an earthen mould by a sorceress’ curse is not a Mummy. But of course, the franchise is all about Mummies and digression was a no-no so the makers decided to go for the same old buried-centuries-ago-will-wreak-havoc-when-resurrected saga, this time set in China (maybe there just so that they can add some Kung-fu stuff methinks). The story/plot can be read here.
Brendan Fraser reprises his role as ex-Legionnaire, ex-Spy (so we’re told) Rick O’Connell, and it seems as if he signed on just for some dough and garner some noticeability in the pursuit of becoming the next Indy. Gone are the dry wit and imprudent manners; instead we have a guy who’s torn apart between playing a hero and a father. Cute Cute Rachel Weisz doesn’t reprise her role as Evelyn and instead we’ve Maria Bello who is more motherly than archaeological-ly. John Hannah does return as Jonathan and elicits a wee bit lesser laughter and guffaws than before. Completing the O’Connel the family is grown-up Alex, played by Luke Ford, quite plastically I must say. Jet Li is the titular Dragon Emperor and is commendable. But all of his dialogues are in Mandarin (subtitled in English) which kinda takes away the menace somewhat. Of course, one can’t expect a long-buried Mummy to be well versed in English. But if the Sorceress Zi-Juan – played by Michelle Yeoh – can effortlessly speak English, I don’t see why the Emperor can’t!
Action-wise, the chases are the same as in Mummy Returns, the bus chase sequence replaced by a ‘horse-chariot plus truck’ chase sequence with too much of fireworks in the background. There is a long-drawn castle fight set in the Himalayas with, would-you-believe-it, Yetis as the saviors!!! Climactic battle is all-CGI; the only highpoint being Li and Yeoh’s sword battle which lasts for too less a time to be awe-inspiring. Rest of the movie is all cliche-ridden and repetitive. And there are bloopers galore! Discussing them would mean putting up unsightly spoiler alerts and hidden text so I’ll let them be! Maybe you can tell me some of the wtf! moments of the movie in the comments.
I’d categorize this one as Kitsch [a term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an existing style]