The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Yeoh. Directed by Rob Cohen
Running Time: 112 mins
Rated: Rated M (action violence)
Brendan Fraser swept on to the screen in 1999 as Ric O'Connell, archaeology expert and adventurer, whose talent also lay in combating evil Egyptian Mummies who rose from the dead and threatened, well, everyone. This was Indiana Jones territory (and there hadn't been one of those films for more than ten years) but Ric and co were more than adequate, if lower-budget, substitutes. Rachel Weisz turned out to be a vigorous adventurer as well, though John Hannah as her dippy brother, was along for the ride and getting himself into danger. It worked so well that a sequel was desirable and inevitable, The Mummy Returns as did Fraser, Weisz and Hannah. And audiences were delighted.

After quite a while, here comes another sequel and just after Indiana Jones has turned up again. I don't know whether Steven Spielberg would be too pleased, but this third Mummy film seemed much more enjoyable than adventures in the kingdom of the crystal skull.

One of the difficulties for any sequel is that the novelty of the original has worn off. However, this time the action moves away from Egypt and Scorpion Kings to China and Dragon Emperors.

The prologue to this adventure takes us back to a ruthless ruler who wanted to be emperor and stopped at nothing to vanquish foes - and there are plenty of action effects to make this introduction to the film spectacularly exciting. But our emperor, played by Jet Li, wants immortality and summons a benign witch (Michelle Yeoh) to get the elixir of life. When she falls in love with his general, the wrath of the emperor descends and he and his computergraphic thousands of warriors do battle. But, he and his warriors are bewitched and buried and for millennia have just been waiting for someone to pour the elixir into his tomb and - the emperor mummy and the soldiers (bearing a remarkable resemblance to the Chinese terra cotta soldiers) will return. And that's just the prologue!

It is 1946 and Ric and Evy have retired to England while their now grown-up son, Alex, is not studying but, in fact, is in China, digging up and discovering