The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Movie Poster Image

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor



Violent action sequel should've stayed buried.
  • Review Date: July 29, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The emperor is obsessed with world domination. Alex lies to his parents about attending college. Characters betray each other. Rick jokingly calls two Chinese people "Ying" and "Yang." The O'Connells act like their lives are only bearable when they're involved in some dangerous adventure.


Lots of action violence and implied gore: faces melt, a man is about to be quartered, several shots of near decapitations, limbs are dismembered, bodies are stabbed and shot. Huge Yetis appear as scary CGI panther-like creatures. There are hordes of skeletal warriors (a la Pirates of the Caribbean).


Evie appears in a nightgown to seduce her husband. Rick makes a joke about "inspiring" his wife in the bedroom. Two or three passionate kisses. A couple seems about to make love, but they're clothed.


Words include "bastard," "ass," and "rot in hell."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Clubgoers drink champagne and cocktails; a character swigs straight from a liquor bottle; a couple has wine for dinner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this third installment in The Mummy series has plenty of action violence, which may be a big draw for kids. Only a few of scenes are actually gory -- faces melting off, men about to be decapitated or dismembered -- but most of the battle scenes involve explosions, sword fights, guns, and hand-to-hand combat. Be prepared for the vast hordes of skeleton warriors; they could be quite scary for younger viewers. There's relatively little swearing, although hero Rick does refer to two Chinese soldiers as "Ying" and "Yang." In addition to a few kisses, a woman appears in a long negligee, and two characters appear about to make love (passionate kissing lying down).

What's the story?

In the third film in the Mummy franchise, Rick and Eveyln O'Connell (Brendan Fraser and Maria Bello, who took the role over from Rachel Weisz) are living a life of bored luxury in 1946 England -- until they're asked to personally escort a priceless crystal back to China. They don't know that their 21-year-old son, Alex (Luke Ford), is also in China on a dangerous expedition, instead of in college as they believed. Soon after they meet up, all three O'Connells must try to stop the crystal from awakening the ancient terra cotta army and its ruthless leader, the Dragon Emperor (Jet Li).

Is it any good?


The first two Mummy movies were far from action masterpieces, but when you compare them to THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, they seem like Oscar contenders. Without director Stephen Sommers at the helm and Weisz playing Evie, the new movie lacks the central chemistry that made the first two films charmingly bearable. Although it's always a pleasure to see Li and Michelle Yeoh (who plays a witch who cursed the emperor and his army to their stone tombs) show off their considerable martial arts skills, the action sequences are cribbed from parts of The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean (note to action directors: undead skeleton armies are officially passe).

Although the battle scenes are what most moviegoers crave, that's no excuse for sloppy dialogue and poor acting. Why young newcomer Ford thinks a pseudo-Bronx accent peppered with his native Aussie cadences is what the son of a rich American and his educated English wife would sound like is rather misguided and continuously annoying. Fraser, meanwhile, who's proved that he's adept at more than a popcorn blockbuster, phones in a performance so blah that it's hard to believe his character was likable in the first two films. There's no doubt that this movie will attract young audiences desperate for more high-decibel, CGI-heavy violence, but it would've been so much better had this particular Mummy not been unearthed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether sequels are generally as good as the originals. Can you think of any that are? Does it matter when, as in this case, one of the main actors doesn't come back? Also, the bulk of the film is set in China: How is Chinese culture represented? How does that depiction relate to the time period in which the movie takes place? Did you learn anything about Chinese culture?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 31, 2008
DVD release date:December 15, 2008
Cast:Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello
Director:Rob Cohen
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:adventure action and violence.

This review of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was written by

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Kid, 10 years old August 9, 2010

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byjcpilot August 29, 2010

Not the best movie, but ok. for 10 and up.

The only concern I would consider is the violence and scary scenes. No bad language to speak of. As far as quality, nothing like the first two Mummy movies. Has gone down hill
Kid, 9 years old December 15, 2009


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