The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Cecil B. DeMille must be spinning in his grave. When he produced his Bible epics, he would advertise "With a Cast of Thousands!" and actually had to hire a thousand extras for the scenes. These days, a clever computer programmer can achieve the same effects with a good Computer Generated Imaging program.

CGI has done two things: 1) It has provided many recent epics with a cast of thousands, and 2) it has raised the bar for the audience. Sorry, but this particular cast of thousands in this particular movie was strictly ho-hum... Isn't it funny how quickly we adapt to CGI effects and STILL need more in order to be dazzled?

Terra cotta soldiers and skeletons aside, the most interesting thing in this movie to me, was how naturally Brendan Fraser (two previous "Mummy" movies and "Dudley Do-Right") adapts to playing a father to a twenty-ish young man! His wife is now played by Maria Bello ("The Jane Austin Book Club" and "A History of Violence"), who seems to relish her action scenes. Luke Ford ("Kokoda" and "The Black Balloon") is their impetuous son. I was delighted to see John Hannah ("Amnesia," "Sliding Doors" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral") reprising his role as Fraser's drunken, cowardly brother-in-law, supplying some badly needed humor to an otherwise overly earnest cartoon.

Jet Li ("Kiss of the Dragon" and "Romeo Must Die") makes a terrific villain, unfortunately we only see him briefly minus the terra cotta shell his character wears through most of this silly epic, while Michelle Yeoh ("Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Tomorrow Never Dies") brings maturity and finesse to her two-thousand-year-old character.

There will be no plot synopsis, because in my view, there was no plot. All martial arts, CGI, and blowy uppie stuff.