Last night I dragged my husband to see Mummy 3. I had read a few reviews that panned the movie, but I really liked the other two. See? I obviously don't have very high expectations. Then I thought, "hey, lots of other people have seen the movie and how bad can it be?"
I think the premise had some promise. I enjoyed the idea that the setting was in China. I like that Alex grew up to be an adventurer. That's a no brainer. I attribute the suckiness of these two movies to two main problems and maybe a minor third.
Problem number one: the story was HORRIBLE! This movie is an excellent example of a potentially intriguing (please remember I have low standards) plot that was ruined! The writer obviously had no brains when writing Rick and Evie's dialogue and the reintro to their character was BORING. Note to writers, just because you have no brain, don't assume the same for the audience.
Problem number two is the actor who played Alex. I saw people in Dr. Who fan flicks at Yokohama WorldCon (science fiction convention) that had better on-screen charisma than this fella. Keanue Reeves may be the king of dead delivery (I may never recover from laughing at some of the lines uttered in Speed-- and not because they were meant to be funny) but at least the man has on-screen charisma. One reviewer was exactly right when he wrote that Alex (Luke Ford) looks to be the same age as his dad. Kudos to Brendan Fraser for looking hot. Anti-kudos to the casting agent. Anyway, Ford had no visible chemistry with the other actors and none with the audience.
Minor problem number three has to do with Evie and I don't know if it's only a writing problem or acting. I'll give Maria Bello the benefit of the doubt since I honestly think that she didn't have a lot to work with. The Evie of this movie seems to be like she had a personality transplant. I found myself wondering, "Who are these pod people and what happened to the characters I used to really enjoy?" Sadly, that applies to the Rick character as well. Shame on the editor for including the stupid fly-fishing bit.
The special effects were nice. I expected that. I have sat through some pretty crappy movies because of special effects (I'm looking at you here, Transformers). The yetis were kind of fun but annoyingly superfluous. Jet Li was good but his special effect of being covered in clay didn't really transfer visually as well as the Imhotep did. But how bad does the story have to be before you don't really care about SFX? Well, now we know the answer, don't we.
I'll tell you the one part of the movie I thought was good-- Michelle Yeoh. I think she is a great actress and really enjoyed any movie I have ever seen her in. For me, she was the only really authentic character of the movie. Maybe it's because she wasn't really bogged down with crappy dialogue so she could really shine.
I'm kind of sad that Michelle Yeoh seems to get mainly action movie roles. Granted, she is really, really good at it. I loved her in Sunshine 2057. It's got some action, but she's not a kung-fu hero in this movie. She was just a great actress.
Final summation: Mummy 3-- don't waste your time or money. It's not even good enough for me to fold my laundry to.