The Mummy Trilogy
The first Mummy movie of the trilogy was undoubtedly a triumph. Fraser was at his most adorable and raffish, and he was ably supported by Rachel Weisz as the gorgeous Evelyn and John Hannah as her brother and sidekick. Add into the mix Oded Fehr as the mysterious desert rider and clearly Universal Pictures had a hit on its hands.
Director Stephen Sommers hadn’t done a lot before he unleashed this blockbuster - his 1998 thriller Deep Rising threw a lot of sea monsters at its star, Treat Williams, and not much else, and mainly he had been busy with new adaptations of Disney flicks like Jungle Book. But he was in his element capering around Egypt with Fraser and the gang. It was a great romp.
The Mummy Returns was even better. Here was Evie in her former life in ancient Egypt fighting Imhotep’s lover Anck Su Namun, and the Rock looking severely CGI’s as the Scorpion King - wow! Of course the kid was annoying, what movie kid isn’t? - but it was business as usual with fabulous settings, loads of action and oh yes - we mustn’t forget Shaun Parkes’ hilarious turn as the dirigible pilot, Izzy Buttons.
In The Tomb of the Dragon Empire, something went awfully awry. Maria Bello tried so hard and even managed a creditable British accent, and was certainly beautiful and of the right vintage, but - she wasn’t Rachel Weisz. She lacked Rachel’s adorable sweet diztyness, and robbed us of the chance to see Rachel play all those great scenes.
On the plus side, there was Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh together, and that was enough to smother my disappointment. Any woman is going to come off second best to Michelle Yeoh anyway, unless she is blessed with the Weisz personality. To see Li and Yeoh on screen together almost made up for the disappointment of not seeing them as Lu Bai and Shu Lien, the ill fated lovers in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon - and it was even more interesting because she rejected his advances. A strong woman, indeed.
While watching the whole trilogy ends with somewhat of an anti climax with the Mummy’s Tomb, it is nevertheless still a great way to spend a rainy day, with plenty of popcorn, loads of action , Jet Li and Brendan Fraser. What more can you ask?
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