Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
Reincarnation: what’s the Bible say? Answer
BIBLICAL BURIAL SITES—Have the burial sites of any people in the Bible been found?—Answer
Dragons and dinosaurs—discover how they are connected
“The Mummy” (1999)
“The Mummy Returns” (2001)
“The Mummy,” “The Mummy Returns,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Bedazzled”
“The Forbidden Kingdom,” “Hero,” “Fearless”
“A History of Violence,” “World Trade Center,” “Payback”
John Hannah, Luke Ford, Isabella Leong, Michelle Yeoh, Russell Wong, Liam Cunningham, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Albert Kwan, Tian Liang
“xXx,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “Dragonheart,” “Stealth”
|Producer:||Chris Brigham, Sean Daniel, Bob Ducsay, James Jacks, Josette Perrotta, Marc Pitre, Stephen Sommers|
“A New Evil Awakens.”
“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” takes place around 20 years after the last film. It a two hour special effect extravaganza filled with mummy battles, Yeti, and lots of violence, but little in the way of character development. In fact, we are teased into believing that a romance is going to develop between Alex O'Connell female heroine Lin, but the film then ends with this story line apparently dropped or forgotten.
The film does return most of the original cast, except for Rachel Weisz who was absent due to pregnancy. She is replaced by Maria Bello, an American actress. The film does have a little of the humor of the first film, but only a little. Like “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull,” it introduces a son into the picture as the next generation of archaeologist/adventurers, but his character is never fully developed, so much of the chemistry from the first two films is gone.
Morally, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” once again pushed the PG-13 rating, in terms of violence, but one reason it can retain the rating is because of the “fantasy” nature of the violence. For example, the Dragon Emperor appears to start bleeding, but upon closer inspection it is mud rather than blood. He is transformed into a clay statue. This takes place with many soldiers, and it is rather gruesome, as is the scene where one character explodes. Once again, it is molten lava rather than blood that we see, so this somehow makes it more “acceptable” for a PG-13 rating.
Of course, there is plenty of realistic violence as well from Rick O'Connell accidentally sticking a flycasting in his neck to a scene where a man is about to be torn limb from limb (the camera cuts away). Add to this the decapitation and death of hundreds of animated mummies and it is clear that this is not for young children. Sexually, there is a brief sex scene early in the film, but no nudity. We also see Rick O'Connell apply cold ice to his crotch after a fight. Language wise, there are a few bad words, and in one instant one of the characters shouts, “there is no call for bad language,” but this does not stop him. I did not hear any f or s-words, however. In one case, the mummy is told to burn in hell, which we presume he literally will do, for the Bible does not support the occultic legends espoused in this film.
The occult is obviously present, as in the other films. It is played out in adventure form and not taken seriously, but children need to understand that “it is appointed for men to die once and then comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There are no immortal mummies or undead creatures awaiting magic powers to resurrect them. Only Christ can resurrect the dead and the wicked will rise only to destruction and judgment (John 5:29).
Plotwise, the story seems intriguing. The Dragon Emperor and his Terracotta army are raised to conquer the world. If the Dragon Emperor reaches Shangri La he will become immortal. If the army passed the Great Wall of China, they too will become immortal. Our heroes must stop them. That is basically it. The story never really develops beyond this.
This movie obviously made some changes from the first two films. For one thing Rob Cohen replaces Steven Sommers. A quick look at Cohen's resume, however, shows only one memorable film (“Dragonheart”) and this film is nothing like that one. Perhaps that is the fault of the script. It has a promising idea but nothing seems to go anywhere. In one scene Alex O'Connell comments on his father's plan saying, “that seems a little short on details!” Unfortunately, so was the script. Fans of special effects laden action films will probably enjoy this one, but if you are expecting something like the first mummy movie, then you best wait for home video.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.