Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The (Blu-ray Review)14 Dec, 2008 By: John Latchem
Box Office $102.3 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 two-DVD set, $39.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for adventure action and violence.
Stars Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Luke Ford.
Though the main setting has been relocated from Egypt to China, this third installment of the updated “Mummy” franchise isn’t much of a departure from the original two.
The mummy this time around is China’s Emperor Han (Jet Li), who is cursed by a witch (Michelle Yeoh) after he betrays her lover.
The script cleverly ties into Chinese mythology by explaining the curse as the origin of the famed terra cotta soldiers, described as a massive army awaiting to be reawakened by their emperor to conquer the world.
The movie has all the staples of the “Mummy” series, including a drawn-out backstory and a massive battle between armies of the undead (which begs the question of how armies of the undead can actually kill each other).
The loaded home video versions should satisfy fans of the franchise. Extras include some interesting deleted scenes and a lot of good behind-the-scenes footage that mostly focuses on the Chinese setting of the film.
Director Rob Cohen (taking over for Stephen Sommers) uses his commentary to discuss his love of Chinese culture and history, and how his Buddhist faith influenced his conception of the film.
The Blu-ray version adds to this line-up a nice trivia game that runs through the movie, picture-in-picture featurettes, and a fun “Know Your Mummy” feature that demonstrates how certain scenes are similar to previous “Mummy” movies.