On this day in Film History: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is one Mummy film too many (2008)

220px-The_Mummy_-_Tomb_of_the_Dragon_Emperor

On August 1st, 2008, Universal Pictures went one last round with The Mummy film series and released The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Unlike The Mummy and The  Mummy Returns, THIS Mummy film featured an ancient Chinese mummy (the first Emperor of China, to be exact) who is attempting to use his undead Terracotta Army to conquer the world. Of course, only Rick O’Connell and company can possibly stop him.

Personally, I didn’t see the need for a third Mummy movie, as the story had neatly tied up all the loose ends at the conclusion of The Mummy Returns. Besides, The Mummy is supposed to feature the Egyptian mummy Imhotep (that’s what the original 1932 film features after all), suddenly moving the action to China made it seem to me that the studio was slightly desperate for a new idea.

Not surprisingly then, although the film made decent returns at the box office, reception was largely negative (there really are only so many ways of doing a mummy movie before it gets old) and another sequel was cancelled and the series presumably ended.

Well, not really. Since this is the age of reboots, a rebooted version of the film series has been announced and will star Tom Cruise (it is currently filming and slated for a June 2017 release). Apparently, the 2014 Dracula Untold film was the start of a combined Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe (yes really, that’s the name for it) and The Mummy (2017) will be the next installment. I withhold judgement on the reboot until I’ve actually seen it, but considering I like the 1999 film very much (and it featured a Jerry Goldsmith score), this new film will have to do really well to impress me.

If you want to see a good Mummy film, watch the 1999 film and its sequel, but I do not advise watching Tomb of the Dragon Emperor unless you simply want to say you watched them all.

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*poster image is the property of Universal Pictures

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