“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” – Susan Granger reviews

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“Here we go again,” sighs intrepid adventurer Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser), turning his sights on China.

Two thousand years ago, the power-hungry Dragon Emperor Han (Jet Li), builder of the Great Wall, sought immortality. But he made the mistake of betraying a beautiful sorceress, Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh), who imprisoned him in stone, along with his 10,000 warriors.

Now it’s 1946 and Rick’s ambitious son Alex (Luke Ford) is excavating Han’s tomb, bragging, “It’s the greatest find since King Tut!” Coincidentally, the mysterious diamond that Rick and his wife, Evelyn (Maria Bello, replacing Rachel Weisz), have been asked to deliver to China holds the key to awakening the ferocious despot, who summons his long-dormant terra-cotta army.

Rick, Evelyn and Alex are joined by Evelyn’s brother Jonathan (John Hannah) who owns a nightclub, plus immortal Zi Juan and her daughter Lin (Isabella Leong), who not only serves as Alex’s love interest but possesses the only dagger that can kill Han. So the spectacular CGI battles begin in exotic Shangri-La with its irrepressible Yetis (a.k.a. Abominable Snowmen).

Director Rob Cohen (“The Fast and the Furious,” “Stealth”) makes a major mistake by casting Luke Ford as Brendan Fraser’s son. While it was credible that 39 year-old Fraser had a 13 year-old nephew in “Journey to the Center of the Earth: 3D,” he couldn’t be the father of the 27 year-old Aussie. Do the math. Plus, screenwriter Stephen Sommers has been replaced by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the creators of “Smallville,” who rip off the “Indiana Jones: Crystal Skull” father/son concept.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” is a noisy, frenetic, futile 4. It’s time to wrap this “Mummy” franchise.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.