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The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (12A)

PUBLISHED: 15:15 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 24 August 2010

(L to R) Alex O'Connell (LUKE FORD) explores with colleague Wilson (DAVID CALDER) in an all-new adventure that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas:

(L to R) Alex O'Connell (LUKE FORD) explores with colleague Wilson (DAVID CALDER) in an all-new adventure that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas: "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor."

Copyright: © 2008 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (12A) www.themummy.com Every so often you come across a film so bad that you begin calculating how many starving people in Africa the production could have fed. With an estimated budget of $145,000,000 and t

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (12A)

www.themummy.com

Every so often you come across a film so bad that you begin calculating how many starving people in Africa the production could have fed.

With an estimated budget of $145,000,000 and the price of rice standing at $1,000 per ton in March 2008, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor could conceivably have fed 5,800,000 people with 25g of rice for one day.

Or to look at it another way, 15,890 could have survived on the same portion of rice every day for a year.

What has this got to do with a film review I hear you ask?

Nothing is the answer.

Nothing except highlighting the futility of some Hollywood films that show no invention, no plot structure and that are completely bereft of any redeeming qualities.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor continues the franchise that apparently no one was calling for.

Set in 1946, the film sees the return of adventurers Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn O'Connell (Maria Bello, replacing Rachel Weisz).

Called into action by His Majesty's Government, the pair are soon off to China to deliver an ancient artefact to the Chinese Government.

Once their they bump into their college dropout turned archaeologist son Alex (Luke Ford) who is about to display his latest find - The Dragon Emperor.

A double cross soon wakens the emperor from his slumber who then sets upon becoming whole again, wakening his terracotta army and ruling the world.

A desperate dash across China via the fabled Shangri-La amid meetings with Yetis ensues until a final battle between good and evil is played out in the desert.

While the first two Mummy movies were far from excellent, they were a lot of fun.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the third in the franchise.

Lazy, pedestrian, poorly acted and snooze inducing would be the more kind labels to attach to this mess.

Fraser is likeable and manages to just about keep his charm in the lead role as he shoots pistols and leaps onto horses.

The good will is stretched to the limit though with eternal references and quips to the other films and how he is fed up of facing Mummys.

Bello, as his wife, has none of the charm and femininity of Rachel Weisz, who played the role previously and comes across as nothing more than a nice looking, yet very annoying, idiot.

Their once English son Alex now has an unexplained American accent and looks more like a younger sibling of the pair than a son while other characters, such as Evelyn's brother Jonathan (John Hannah) are completely underused and bereft of any sense of purpose.

As a story it does not know what to do, flitting quickly from one set piece to the next while possible good fun points such as a trio of yetis are woefully misused and ultimately forgettable.

In a year when we have the bar of action movies raised to new heights by The Dark Knight as well as having the return of a certain Dr Jones, The Mummy appears as little more than an overblown lump.

Kids may enjoy some of the set pieces but this offers nothing new in a franchise that is as dead as the main villain.

alex.wellman@archant.co.uk

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