|“||A New Evil Awakens...||”|
–Tagline, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is an adventure film released in 2008. Produced by Universal Pictures, it is the third and final installment of the studios’ remake Mummy trilogy.
In ancient China, a brutal and tyrannical warlord unites the country's kingdoms into an empire and becomes the Dragon Emperor. He orders the construction of the Great Wall of China to bury and curse his dead enemies, eventually learning power over the traditional Chinese Wu Xing elements of fire, water, earth, wood and metal. The Emperor soon grows fearful that his death will end all he has accomplished and summons Zi Yuan, a sorceress who is said to know the secret of immortality. She seemingly casts a spell on him in Sanskrit, before he executes General Ming, his trusted friend and Zi Yuan's secret lover. He stabs Zi Yuan with a dagger, but having foreseen this event, she immolates and imprisons the Emperor and his soldiers in clay, turning them into the Terracotta Army, and flees.
In 1946, Alex O'Connell, Rick and Evelyn O'Connell's son, and his archaeology professor Roger Wilson locate the Emperor's tomb. Though attacked by a mysterious woman, they succeed in bringing the coffin to Shanghai. Meanwhile, the British government entrusts the O'Connells to take the Eye of Shangri-La (a huge pear-shaped gemstone) back to China. However, they learn that Wilson works for a rogue military faction led by General Yang, who had provided the financial backing of Alex's expedition. Yang believes that the Dragon Emperor is the one who can lead China out of the chaos following World War II and plans to resurrect him using the Eye, which contains the Elixir of Life. They open it, but it accidentally lands on the statue of the carriage driver, which is revealed to actually be the Emperor's mummified body. He accepts Yang's service but kills Wilson and escapes, despite the O'Connells' attempt to stop him in a pursuit.
Along with Evelyn's brother Jonathan Carnahan, the O'Connells and the mysterious woman, Lin, travel to a stupa in the Himalayas that will reveal the path to Shangri-La when the Eye is placed on top of it. With the help of Yetis summoned by Lin, the group hold off Yang's soldiers but the Emperor discovers Shangri-La's location. Alex attempts to trigger an avalanche. The Emperor throws a sword at him, but Rick shoves Alex aside and is stabbed instead. Lin takes the group to Shangri-La, where Zi Yuan still lives and heals Rick's wound. The group discovers that Lin is Zi Yuan's daughter, both rendered immortal due to the power of Shangri-La's waters. As Rick heals, Alex and Lin have grown attached to each other, but Lin refuses due to her immortality, unable to bear falling in love with Alex only to watch him grow old and die, just as Zi Yuan mourned for General Ming.
The Dragon Emperor and General Yang eventually arrive and attack them in Shangri-La, and the Emperor bathes in the mystical waters, which not only restores his human form and youth, but also allows him to shapeshift. Transforming into a dragon, he kidnaps Lin and flies back to the tomb, raising his Terracota Army, and gives a speech declaring his intention to conquer the world before sending his soldiers to go past the Great Wall, after which they will be invincible. The O'Connells and Zi Yuan pursue their foe to the Great Wall where Zi Yuan sacrifices her and Lin's immortality to create an undead army from beneath The Great Wall, led by a revived General Ming. As Alex rescues Lin, Zi Yuan fights the Emperor and is mortally wounded, but secures the dagger. Zi Yuan gives the dagger to the group before dying. Meanwhile, the Emperor goes into the Great Wall to use his elemental powers to negate the undead spell. Rick and Alex attack him while Evelyn and Lin fight and kill Yang and Choi. The Dragon Emperor gains the upper hand over Rick, but Rick and Alex manage to stab him in his heart with the broken dagger, killing him and defeating the Terracotta Army. Ming's army briefly celebrates before turning into dust, and disappearing into the air.
The O'Connells and Lin return to Shanghai, where Lin and Alex start a relationship, while Jonathan decides to move to Peru with the Eye of Shangri-La, as he wants to go somewhere with no mummies, only for credits on the screen to reveal that mummies were recently discovered there.
- Brendan Fraser … Rick O'Connell
- Maria Bello … Evelyn O'Connell
- John Hannah … Jonathan Carnahan
- Luke Ford … Alex O'Connell
- Jet Li … Han
- Michelle Yeoh … Zi Yuan
- Isabella Leong … Lin
- Anthony Wong Chau-Sang … Yang
- Russell Wong … Ming Guo
- Liam Cunningham … "Mad Dog" Maguire
- David Calder … Roger Wilson
- Jessey Meng … Choi
- Tian Liang … Li Zhou
- Albert Kwan … Chu Wah
- Alison Louder … Woman in Bookstore
- Marcia Nasatir … Russian Princess
- Emerald Starr … Man in Bar
- Helen Feng … Nightclub Singer
- Stella Maryna Troshyna … Brunette at Imhotep's
- James Bradford … Butler Jameson
- Daniel Giverin … Benjamin Fry
- Jacky Wu … Assassin #1
- Binghua Wei … Assassin #2
- Guo Jing … Assassin #3
- Ken Tran … Yang's Soldier #1
- Allan Yuk-lun Chou … Yang's Soldier #2
- Fernando Chien … Yang's Soldier #3
- Mac Jeffrey Ong … Yang's Soldier #4
- Chris Mark … Yang's Soldier #5
- James Mark … Yang's Soldier #6
- Mike Ching … Yang's Soldier #7
- Darryl Quon … Yang's Soldier #8
- Alex Chiang … Yang's Soldier #9
- Paul Wu … Yang's Soldier #10
- Larry Lam … Yang's Soldier #11
- Brian Ho … Yang's Soldier #12
- Vi-Hung Luv … Yang's Soldier #13
- Phong Doan Huy … Yang's Soldier #14
- Kyle Burnett Cashulin … Mad Dog’s Pal #1
- Charles Esposito … Mad Dog’s Pal #2
- Michael Scherer …Yeti #1
- Scott Taylor … Yeti #2
- Kham Tri Vixaysy … Chinese Digger #1
- Don Lew … Chinese Digger #2
- Freda Foh Shen … Narrator
- Regis Attiow … Mystic #1
- Tony Wai … Mystic #2
- Yungstun Wu … Mystic #3
- Xiang Guangxu … Mystic #4
- Cong-Quyen Lam … Mystic #5
- Vic Armstrong … Dancer in Nightclub
- The idea of the emperor and his army is based on the real-life Qin emperor Qin Shi Huang, who was buried amidst thousands of crafted and fired terra cotta soldiers, called the Terracotta Army, dated at latest to 210 BC.
- In September 2006, director Joe Johnston was originally offered the helm by Universal Pictures, who intended to start filming early in 2007.
- The film was shot in Montreal and China.
- Principal photography started at Mel’s Cite du Cinema in Montreal.
- Chinese cultural advisers aided director Rob Cohen in order to depict the Qin Dynasty language and ceremonies.
- The crew frequently had to halt in and near Shanghai when soldiers marched. The setting of the desert battlefield was actually a training facility for the Chinese army that was leased.
- The visual effects were done by two Los Angeles-based VFX houses.
- The pool of water resembling diamonds took Rhythm and Hues 11 months to complete.
- The award winning A.I software Massive which was used on Lord of the Rings was used to create the undead battle scenes.
- Design company Imaginary Forces created the opening title sequence and end titles. To portray an "accurate and historic China," they turned to calligrapher T.Z. Yuan for ink brush writing.
- John Debney provided additional re-scored material for most of the bigger action sequences.
- Brendan Fraser and John Hannah are the only actors to appear in all three Mummy movies.
- Brendan Fraser, who plays Rick, was born in 1968, and Maria Bello who plays Evelyn, was born in 1967, while Luke Ford, who plays their son Alex, was born in 1981 and is only 13 years younger than Fraser and 14 years younger than Bello.
- After the car chase through Shanghai, Alex O'Connell (Luke Ford) says that he was "willing to go on a little faith" for his actions upon awaking the Emperor. Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) had spoken the same line in the first Mummy.
- Alex leaves a clue in the sand during the climax. Alex did the same thing as a boy in The Mummy Returns.
- The movie was released on DVD on December 16, 2008.
- The soundtrack was released on July 29, 2008.
All appearances are considered first appearances. For character appearances see the "Cast" section.
- Imhotep (Mentioned only)
- Monastery of Turfan
- Qin Province
- Great Wall of China