The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
In 1946, adventurer Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and wife Evelyn (Maria Bello, replacing a wisely absent Rachel Weisz) come out of wealthy retirement to help their grown son (Luke Ford) put down another mummy—this one of an ancient Chinese emperor (Jet Li, somewhere under the makeup and CGI) out to conquer the world with his terra-cotta army. With its premise oddly echoing Hellboy II, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar’s script is cheap tricks and lame banter, stealing from other movies while reminding us how much better they were and how lousy this one is. Rob Cohen’s clumsy direction (along with Kelly Matsumoto and Joel Negron’s sloppy editing) botches the action scenes. Through it all, Fraser, Bello and an underused Michelle Yeoh all stolidly maintain their dignity; other actors are less fortunate.