Sam made us promise that we’d go and see a movie after the UPCAT last Sunday. We promised but there was a problem about which movie to see. Alex had been waiting for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor ever since she read about the third Mummy film. The Dark Knight was Sam’s choice. I was more than willing to see either having enjoyed the two previous Mummy films and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.
Straight from lunch at Teriyaki Boy, we proceeded to the Eastwood City cinemas. The Mummy was showing in three out of four cinemas. But the last two screenings in Cinema 1 featured The Dark Knight. After much whining, Speedy said we would watch The Mummy first then The Dark Knight afterward. There would be a three hour lull between the two, Sam said we could just browse the shops and that really made me nervous because “browsing” with Sam can get very, very expensive, if you know what I mean. So, between The Mummy and The Dark Knight, the girls and I had our hair trimmed. Way, way cheaper than window (sic) shopping. What little waiting time was left was spent in pet shops.
Oh, but I’m moving forward in time much too fast. I should tell you first how I kept dozing off while watching The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. I don’t pay much attention to film reviews especially before I go and see a movie because I like watching movies with an open mind. In the case of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, I should have paid closer attention to critics’ and moviegoers’ reviews. Damn, it was bad. I love Jet Li but even Jet Li couldn’t save the movie for me. It was bad.
To start with, I don’t know where the mummy was in the film. The Dragon Emperor and his army were turned to stone, and they stayed that way for centuries, not because they were mummified but because of a spell (curse?) cast on them. The dialogs were bad, the humor that characterized the two previous Mummy films was lacking and, worse, the chemistry between the characters just wasn’t there.
I’ve seen Maria Bello before in Butterfly on a Wheel and she’s not a bad actress. But she was terribly miscast as the replacement for Rachel Weisz as Evelyn. She did not exude the casual sensuality and hilarious cluelessness of Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn. She appeared stiff, formal and so, so out of place. Even the antics of Evelyn’s brother, Jonathan, lost their bite. Only Michelle Yeoh made some impact.
The cinematography was terrible. I don’t understand why the director wanted the fight scenes zoomed in, losing much of the background and the mood. In fact, some shots were so closely zoomed in that heads were getting chopped off on the screen.
Then, there’s the presence of the Yeti. My goodness, my mouth fell open. Yeti?
The two previous Mummy films were by no means cinematic masterpieces but they were a lot of fun. I must have missed several minutes of the third Mummy because I dozed off at least six times but I could still follow the plot every time I woke up. Why? Because there was very little plot. Even if you only get to see the first and last 15 minutes of the film, you’d still manage to catch the teeny-weeny plot.
Poor Alex, she waited so long for the movie and she was probably more disappointed than I was.
What you don’t want to miss is The Dark Knight. Damn, Heath Ledger was great. Jack Nicholson was a fantastic, albeit cartoonish, Joker but you have to see Heath Ledger in this film. And, just as Batman Begins tried to humanize Batman, The Dark Knight tries to do the same thing for Joker and Two-Face. No spoilers. Just see it. :)