Review: The Mummy 3

Just a quick review here of a franchise that I absolutely loved way back in 1999 when Stephen Sommers directed a film that had all the hallmarks of lameness but somehow pulled off a miracle that created one of the most fun summer blockbusters I’ve ever enjoyed in a long time. For me, ‘The Mummy’ franchise brought me popcorn movie entertainment not experienced since the glory days of ‘Indiana Jones’. It was fun, full of comedic chemistry between the actors and full of fantasy adventure that wandered the four corners of the world. But then something happened….

Stephen Sommers left and embarked on other interests (remember ‘Van Helsing’, which I think was a BIG mistake) and then Rachel Weisz followed suit that ignited the departure of all magic that made ‘The Mummy’ films so entertaining. But those Hollywood executives thought that there might still be some life yet in this rotting celluloid carcass and proceeded to make 'The Mummy 3' and hire Rob Cohen, a director that is noted for this action flair ('XxX' & 'The Fast & The Furious') to re-awaken the magic that was alive almost a decade ago. Brenden Fraser remained loyal to this franchise (as in many ways I think this is his baby) and injected new star power by introducing Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh into the mix.

The result? Bad. When something is dead, just let it be dead. Being a fan, I was actually looking forward to this one but I was completely let down. I knew it was going to be somewhat dumb (aren’t all popcorn movies dumb nowadays?) but this one….this one just tests your tolerance level to new heights.

The problem I have with this film is the same with all other films of this type, such as ‘National Treasure’: the action is very so-so and uncreative (which is unlike the other ‘The Mummy’ films in my opinion) and whenever there is a problem that needs some serious problem-solving methods, the solution just pops out of nowhere (and this is very true for those ‘National Treasure’ films). I mean, just when some brain cells are needed to be called upon, out pops a character with the solution or someone does something accidentally that solves the problem. I mean, this is no new issue but when it happens again and again (i.e. ‘Mummy 3’) then it gets blardy annoying.

Another problem I like to shout at is why in the world Rob Cohen shoots his action sequences in close-ups, especially in those hand-to-hand combat sequences, and especially when you have Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh? I mean they are professional martial arts actors, the action would be lovely as always to be seen in its entirety and not in close-ups which is confusing and at times nauseating. A truly wasted opportunity to admire those two skilled martial artists in action I say.

Now for another problem. The special effects. I know the special effects in the previous ‘The Mummy’ films are not in the realms of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but is Rob Cohen taking the mickey with us? Some scenes in the films are terribly fake and I do not say this often but I have to say it anyway: it was absolutely pathetic. It was so bad, it was to the point of humiliation to the franchise and I had to laugh at the quality of it. During the part that involved a ‘Yeti’ monster, it was actually insulting that such a disgrace was shown to an audience.

After leaving the cinema, I felt absolutely distraught that such embarrassment is connected to ‘The Mummy’ franchise. This is exactly what ‘The Phantom Menace’ did to the ‘Star Wars’ saga. It humiliated it with all that Jar Jar Binks nonsense. ‘The Mummy 3’ was supposed to be a simple, escapist fantasy fare that is broadly fun and enjoyable. But it turned out to be a torture, a punishment of sorts. If you are a fan of the past ‘The Mummy’ films, this is a crashing disappointment that can push one to the verge of suicide. If you are not a fan, then I guess there still some points in this film to enjoy from, but I would still recommend giving this a miss. Save the cash and re-watch ‘The Dark Knight’ again, you will still at least get some return on your investment instead of the folly that is ‘The Mummy 3’…

Verdict: 4 / 10

Reviewed By: Raymond Choy

From the Corner - A Musical Companion

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones