The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a 2008 American adventure film and sequel to The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001). The film stars Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Luke Ford, and Jet Li, and was released on August 1, 2008 in the United States.
The film was directed by Rob Cohen, written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and produced by Stephen Sommers (director of the previous two films), Bob Ducsay, Sean Daniel, and James Jacks. This film departed from the previous Egyptian setting.
In ancient China, Han, a brutal and tyrannical warlord, unites the country’s kingdoms into an empire and becomes The Dragon Emperor. He orders the construction of the Great Wall of China to bury and curse his dead enemies. The Emperor’s mystics teach him supernatural mastery over the Five Elements.
Years later, he begins to grow fearful that all he has accomplished will be lost upon his death. He hears of a sorceress, Zi Yuan, who is said to know the secret of immortality and sends his henchman, General Ming Guo, to bring her to the palace.
When Ming finds her, they fall in love. After she seemingly casts a spell on the Emperor in Sanskrit, a language he doesn’t understand, he has Ming executed and impales her with a dagger. Revealing that she has foreseen these events, Zi Yuan immolates and detains the Emperor and transforms his army into the Terracotta Army, and the sorceress flees.
In 1946, archaeologist Alex O’Connell, Rick and Evelyn O’Connell’s son, locates the Emperor’s tomb with the financial backing of archaeology professor Roger Wilson.
Three assistants are killed and Alex is attacked by a mysterious woman, but succeeds in bringing the Emperor’s coffin to Shanghai. Meanwhile, the British government entrusts the O’Connells to take the Eye of Shangri-La back to China.
Wilson is actually a member of a rogue military faction led by General Yang and his deputy, Choi, who see the Emperor as the one who can restore order and greatness to China. The mysterious woman from the tomb, Lin, attacks the mummified Emperor in his coffin, which turns out to be a decoy.
By accident, the magical fluid within the Eye lands on the statue of the carriage driver, revealing itself to be the Emperor’s actual body. The Emperor is revived, trapped in his terracotta undead form…
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Reviews [click links to read more]:
” …Emperor relies heavily on special effects to divert the audience’s attention from the film’s misplaced and scanty humor, action sequences, and dialogue. An example of all three: a yak vomiting on someone’s face, an Abominable Snowman using a human as a football to kick a field goal, and Bello’s Egyptologist character proclaiming.” CineSnob