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HomeGamingThe Mummy 3 is the only Oscars 2023 catchup movie you need

The Mummy 3 is the only Oscars 2023 catchup movie you need


The 95th Academy Awards are a week away, giving curious movie fans some time to catch up with the nominees — most of them available to stream now. But as usual, the contenders tend to be a bunch of serious stories. If you need a break from watching graphically gruesome trench warfare in Netflix’s No news from the Western Frontin which Brendan Gleeson performatively mutilates herself The Banshees of Inisherinor rich people throw up en masse Triangle of sadnesshere is a palate cleanser for you.

Brendan Fraser is a strong favorite to win this year’s Best Actor Oscar for his sad role in The whalewhile Michelle Yeoh is the hot favorite for Best Actress for Everything Everywhere Everything at once. So why not take a few hours to watch the only movie they’ve ever made together? 2008 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is immediately available on streaming services.

Photo: Universal Pictures

Admittedly, you won’t see Yeoh tenderly stroking Jamie Lee Curtis’ face while wearing floppy, disturbing hot dog finger gloves. Or Fraser symbolically taking on another’s sins in another biblical metaphor by Darren Aronofsky. Dragon Emperor is the kind of movie that didn’t even deserve the attention of the Oscars in 2008, before the The Best Picture category has been expanded to generate public interest in the awards by making way to the top of the list of nominees for mega hits such as James Cameron’s avatar. It was tragically snubbed understandably overlooked by the Academy, but it’s still a pretty fun time today.

And it’s even more fun in light of the interactions Yeoh and Fraser have had together on the prize circuit: Fraser Hugging Yeoh in tears at the Critics Choice AwardsGeez Fraser to the drag Everything everywhere group photo at the SAG Awards, those two gushing about each other’s projects on the A24 podcast after both ceremonies. (Yeoh says she wants to give director Darren Aronofsky a big hug for getting Fraser back into acting.)

Champagne Collet & OBC Wines celebrates the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards

Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh and the Everything Everywhere Everything at once celebrate at the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards in January
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Champagne Collet & OBC Wines

The third film in the popular Mummy franchise did not do as well at the box office as the previous twobut it was still a respectable $400 million hit, and it plays just as lighter and way more meta than The mummy And The mummy returns. Fraser is back as floppy-haired international adventurer Rick O’Connell, though Maria Bello replaces Rachel Weisz as his wife Evelyn. Their adult son Alex (Luke Ford) kicks off the undead this time by digging up an ancient Chinese emperor (Jet Li) who has been cursed by the immortal sorceress Zi Yuan (Yeoh). When a handful of devoted cultists resurrect the Emperor, Zi Yuan and her equally immortal daughter Lin (Isabella Leong) join forces with the O’Connells to stop him.

The only really sad part of it Dragon Emperor is that Yeoh and Fraser barely share any screen time. As a martial artist and magician, Zi Yuan spends most of the film on mystical projects, while Rick spends his time running around with guns, swords and improvised weapons, battling cultists and trying to stop them from completing various tasks on their way to the Emperor New reviving, breaking Zi Yuan’s curse on him and reviving his immense CGI army of terracotta soldiers. On their recent appearance of an A24 podcastFraser and Yeoh really don’t have any joint memories of the movie to share – aside from both talking about how exciting it was to work with Jet Li, and what a sweetheart he is in real life.

Michelle Yeoh in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor fights with a sword against an ancient warrior in studded armor as he crosses a desert in the background

Image: Universal Pictures

But for fans of mildly wacky action thrillers along the lines of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Raiders of the Lost Arkand (most obviously) the first two mummy movies, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is an underrated good time. It’s fast-paced and friendly, full of family banter and big, high-energy chases and fights, courtesy of The Fast and the Furious And XXX director Robert Cohen. Fraser is totally on board in his charming boyish action star mode. (It’s never really plausible that Alex is Rick’s son; Fraser is only about 13 years older than Luke Ford, and looks a lot younger as he grins his way through yet another Errol Flynn-style stunt.)

Yeoh gets to show off her acting skills as well as her martial arts skills in this film, with her side plot revolving around her close, supportive relationship with Lin and with Lin’s father in the first flashback sequence. It’s just a small echo of what Yeoh gets to do as a character in Everything Everywhere Everything at once or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragonbut it’s still more dimension than she gets in many of her fight films.

But perhaps the most charming and distinctive thing about it Dragon Emperor is in the relationship between Rick and Evelyn, who have clearly reached the point of boredom (and openly sexually frustrated!) between world-hopping and mummy-fighting adventures, and who end up seeing this latest foray more as a get-your-groove-back couple’s outing than a rescue crisis . The first Mummy movie leaned on the horror of dealing with an undead creature and its supernatural minions. At this point in the series, the franchise was pretty much about charismatic people hanging out and doing noisy gun-focused drills together. It’s a happy, cheerful time-waster — for Fraser and Yeoh as well as the rest of us.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is currently streaming on Hulu and Tubi and can be rented or purchased on Amazon, Vuduand other digital platforms.

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