The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is the perfect example of a movie that had some really great elements, but the director Rob Cohen had no idea how to utilize them. This movie was awful. It's not even a movie that you can watch with your friends and laugh at because of its badness. The movie is an empty shell, which is void of any life whatsoever. I was hoping it would be good but it couldn't be! I thought it would at least be a fun popcorn movie, but it wasn't even that! I am shocked that Universal backed this thing. The money that was pumped into this film was a total waste.
As soon as the movie started with Rick O' Connell played by Brendan Fraser getting a hook in his face while trying to fly fish, I knew it was going to be bad. If you have seen the preview then you have seen the movie. The way the story is pushed forward is just ridiculous. I Love how Ricks son Alex who is supposed to be an archeologist carelessly sets up dynamite up to blow up the entrance to the tomb of Emperor Han. As soon as they are inside he and the others carelessly walk around the tomb setting off traps killing people. It's funny that Alex has no regard for human life, and can easily move forward with his findings after he killed a couple people he worked with because of his carelessness.
I hated the character Alex. He was a cocky, arrogant, asshole, with a bad attitude and he was the one person I wanted to see die. I honestly didn't care for any of the characters in this film. The filmmakers made Brendan Fraser who is the main character the comic relief, and he wasn't funny at all! They tried to make all his dialogue corny one-liners that just made the character look like an idiot. Maria Bello who played Evelyn was totally miss cast. She was terrible in the film, and she looked bad she kept slipping in and out of her fake English ascent. There was no chemistry between any of these characters. It's like they were reading their dialogue off cue cards on the set.
The director Rob Cohen didn't even utilize what he had with Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh! He had two decent actors that knew martial arts, and we end get a fight scene that looked like it was choreographed on set with no planning at all. There could have been a great story line with these two characters and we got nothing.
Lets see what else did the director have that he didn't take advantage of? Special effects! I thought they were half assed and awful looking. I could have swore the special effects in the first Mummy movie were better. These were like bad TV special effects.
It was frustrating watching this movie, because you see the budget of the film being burned in a fiery river of crap. A good director would have been able to take that budget, create a really cool story with good acting, a great script, and decent special effects! Why couldn't they put together a decent script and story? Was the movie rushed? It sure seemed like it.
Rob Cohen has proved himself to be a terrible director. I am really not excited to see what he ends up doing next. What's funny is as bad as this movie was Hollywood will still hire him to direct a few more crappy films.
There are people that will like this movie, there is an audience for it. And if you enjoy this type of movie then have fun. I just wish Hollywood would be a little smarter about who they bring in to put these types of movie together, because this movie could have been really good had they brought in better talent. Hell take a risk on some up and coming director that looks like he or she has a promising talent, instead of risking it on a guy that consistently puts out crap.
Whatever you decide to see always remember to enjoy your time at the movies even if it sucks, because you can always rant about it after, and ranting is fun.