The film then jumps to modern times with an expose of the O'Connell's opulent home in Oxfordshire, England, earned as a reward for their actions safeguarding priceless artifacts in the Second World War. 13 years after The Mummy Returns, their son Alex is now 21 years old, and secretly conducting an archaeological dig in China, searching for the tomb of the Dragon Emperor. A British diplomat approaches Rick and Eve with one final task, taking the Eye of Shangri-La to the Chinese Government. Eve's brother, Jonathon, now owns a nightclub in China, the aptly named Imhotep. There they run into Alex, and the traditional father son spat ensues. As tempers cool, Alex offers to show his parents the exhibit he'll soon be opening at the very museum that the O'Connell's need to deposit the Eye.
While inspecting the sarcophagus of the Dragon Emperor, Alex's partner reveals a treacherous plan by renegades within the Chinese military to use the Eye of Shangri-La to resurrect the Dragon Emperor and establish China as the center of his new, worldwide, empire. As the emperor reawakens, he escapes, despite the best efforts of the O'Connells. Heading towards a remote monastery, the emperor takes the Eye of Shangri-La, which will unveil the location of Shangri-La, and the pool of immortality. It's up to the O'Connell's to stop him.
The visuals, acting, and story are all what you'd expect from the Mummy series. That is to say, great, sub par, and dumbed down, respectively. The plot is written more for the 10-14 year old demographic, so it seems a little slow for the older viewers. some of the plot points get to be a little excessive, especially when the yetis get involved.
Jet Li isn't nearly as impressive an actor when he isn't doing crazy martial arts stunts. Given his retirement from Wushu films after Fearless, this is disappointing. Brendan Fraiser is still the high point of the film, with his fly by the seat of your pants attitude of Rick O'Connell portrayed perfectly. I've already stated my issues with Maria Bello's job, and Luke Ford comes off as too whiny.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a mediocre film, sufficient for fans of the genre, but not for general audiences. The film is 114 minutes long, and was given a 31 on metacritic.
I give the film a 4/10.