The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (Universal, 2008) D: Rob Cohen, w/ Brendan Fraser, Jet Li. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NN
There's a moment in director Rob Cohen's lacklustre commentary when he points out his favourite cut in the movie. It goes from a hand pinching a nose to an explosion. "I love the exploding head," he says. What exploding head? Even knowing it's there, I can't see it until I work the frame-by-frame function and it appears for about 1/10 of a second. This pretty well sums up what's wrong with Cohen's directing: everything zips by too quick for clarity.
That's a pity, because this instalment of The Mummy franchise is loaded with gorgeous locations, sets and props, from ancient China to 1946 Shanghai to Shangri-la. The two-disc edition has eight making-of docs telling you how they did it.
The movie itself delivers lively action and light humour. Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello and Luke Ford are likeable as the good guys, while Jet Li as the world-beating emperor back from the dead and Michelle Yeoh as his sorcerous nemesis give the movie what little weight it has.
EXTRAS Director commentary, deleted scenes. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.