112 min. Rated PG-13

Directed by Rob Cohen

(The Fast and the Furious, xXx, and Dragonheart)

What a dumb movie. But really, did we need another Mummy movie? REALLY? You know a film is doomed when one of the lead characters is re-cast because the original knew it wasn't very good, and didn't want to do the movie. I feel a tad sorry for Maria Bello, who is one of our finest working actresses. Thank god this wasn't her first film, or it might have been her last.

It's Far East Asia, and an adventure (or shall I write) trouble-seeking father and son, set loose the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin, who happens to be a shape-shifter, and who was of course cursed by a wizard hundreds of years ago. Naturally, with the help of a few friends, and wannabe mystical warriors, our heroes must conjure the unnatural to save their skins... again... and again.

You'd think that even the visual effects would be better the third time around, and they just aren't. We've seen CGI armies do battle now for over 15 years, and it's almost as if Universal wanted this to be released then as well.

The wonderful Michelle Yeoh, who is completely type-cast now doing the same roles over an over, again (although she does it with great bravado) is nice to look at, especially when she's high flying with a sword in her hand. Same goes for Jet Li, who is always cool, and a joy to watch kick some ass. Yet when you see them fight you'll think all too clearly to yourself, "Haven't I seen this before?" Sure, if we didn't have the dozens of great martial arts flicks since the genre's re-birth with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, this might have been more impressive. But after a few seconds or so, you can just yawn and say, "where we going after this?" Hey, the sound is high quality...

Dead CGI armies battling more dead CGI armies; you've seen it all before. The film suffers from a bad script, re-tread and hollow performances, silly one-liners, and of course being released the same time as The Dark Knight. But the films ultimate curse ... was being made in the first place.

D-

Mummy 3 Stars:

Brandon Frasier, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Maria Bello, Luke Ford, & John Hannah

If you enjoyed THE MUMMY RETURNS (2001) ... DOOMSDAY (2008)... BEOWOLF (2007)...UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION (2006) ...you MIGHT like Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.