Thursday, August 07, 2008


The yak yakked!As I said in my review of HELLBOY II, the action-adventure romantic-comedy is one of the hardest genres to pull off. It demands a disciplined approach to plotting and the ability to keep the audience engaged in an emotional story despite all the whistles and bangs of the set-piece action sequences. In short, the director needs to be a master of technology, action, comedy and bring it all together in a coherent whole. When adventure movies work, they are about as much fun as you can have at the cinema. They exploit the scale and the group participation that you can only get with a packed house on opening night in a really big screen. I defy you to enjoy anything more than the opening night of HELLBOY II or, back in the day, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC or THE GOONIES. INDIANA JONES 4 should've given us that thrill but it didn't.

THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR certainly isn't in the class of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and it owes those movies a debt of gratitude for set pieces in Shanghai and scenes at archeological digs. But THE MUMMY series, of which this is the best yet, certainly ticks all the right boxes for an entertaining, undemanding night out at the cinema. The movies have a lot of energy, exciting chase scenes and exotic locations, and for the most part roll along at a rapid pace throwing a good few laughs along the way.

In this episode, Rick and Evy are disgruntled with boring post-war married life, and take up the Foreign Office's offer to deliver a precious jewel to Shanghai. It turns out that the jewel will help resurrect an ancient Chinese emperor and his Terracotta Army - artefacts that Rick and Evy's son Alex just happens to have excavated. So follows much running, leaping, flying, wise-cracking and romancing.

The obvious glitches are the casting of a boy who looks way to old relative to his parents, and the fact that Maria Bello, fine actress though she is, being unable to pull off an English accent. It's also a bit frustrating to see Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh in a movie but no awesome martial arts sequences. However, this is more than compensated for by Brendan Fraser's trademark gusto, and John Hannah's ability to make cheesy lines like "My ass is on fire: spank my ass!" funny.

THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR is on release in Argentina, Chile, Hong Kong, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Mexico, Panama, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the USA, Venezuela, Egypt, France, Iceland, Indonesia and the UK. It opens this weekend in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Sweden and Japan, It opens next weekend in Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia, Japan and Israel. The movie opens in September in Australia, Greece, New Zealand and Italy.

No comments:

Post a Comment