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Film: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) is the third movie in The Mummy Trilogy.

In Ancient China, the tyrannical Dragon Emperor was once united the kingdoms under his rule after he acquired magical powers. After betraying the woman who helped him, he is sealed away, seemingly for good. In 1946, the O'Connels go on an archeological survey in Shanghai when two members of a rogue military faction release the Emperor to use him to reunite the wartorn country by any means necessary.


This film provides examples of:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese dub of The Dragon Emperor uses "Memories" by Manami Kurose as its image song.
  • Annoying Arrows: A Rain of Arrows is fired at the undead army. They spend a couple minutes pulling them out then get back to the fighting.
  • Anti-Villain: The Dragon Emperor's living minions Yang and Choi. Their country has been locked in a vicious civil war for years, and it seems like the only man who can unite China is the one who did it in the first place. Made especially so by their very heroic deaths: Choi trying to pull Yang out of machinery while he yells at her to save herself.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Evy and Rick, first with rifles, then pistols, then swiped swords, until eventually they're exhausted, leaning back to back to keep each other standing up.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Michelle Yeoh's character manages to catch the Emperor's sword thrust. She then lets go and sacrifices herself to grab the cursed dagger from the Emperor's belt.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jonathan arrives at the final battle to take on the Emperor's terracotta army with a pair of WWII planes.
    Evy: Jonathan certainly knows how to make an entrance.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When the Emperor's Terracotta Warriors shoots a barrage of arrows into an opposing army of heroic skeletons. While this naturally had no effect on the already dead targets, one of the skeletons accidentally knocks another one's head off with his shovel. He then goes to say in perfect and completely unsubtitled Chinese to his comrade "Oh sorry! Sorry! Your head's over here."
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Terracotta warriors versus a skeleton army.
  • Elemental Powers: The Emperor, and they make sure to establish that he uses the Chinese, rather than Western, elements.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Rick to Alex.
    Rick: Alexander Rupert O'Connell, you get on the back of this horse, this instant!
  • Genre Blindness: Jonathan shouldn't have openly stated he was moving to Peru because there were no mummies there.
  • Genre Savvy: When leaving the museum, Rick mentions that the emperor will get stronger the longer it takes to put him down, chalking his logic up to, basically, that's how mummies work.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During the chase sequence in Shanghai, Jonathan has this priceless reaction to his burning backside:
    Jonathan: Ah! My ass is on fire! My ass is on fire! Spank my ass. Spank my ass!
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: A bisected soldier is briefly seen crawling after Rick in the final fight.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Zi Yuan (who had already sacrificed her immortality to raise General Ming's army) allows the Emperor to mortally wound her with his sword in order to get back the dagger that can kill him.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When we meet Maria Bello as Evy, she refers to a character in her novel based on her and Rick's adventures as being "a completely different person."
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Alex and the 2,000-year-old Lin fall in love. She later gives up her immortality to spend her life with him.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The counter-undead raised to fight the Dragon Emperor.
  • Pretty in Mink: There are a few fox wraps, in addition to the winter coats in the mountains.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Rick when gunning down the Emperor's troops at the Great Wall.
    Rick: I! [bang!] Really! [bang!] Hate! [bang!] Mummies! [bang!]
  • Really 700 Years Old: Lin.
  • Rain of Arrows: Fittingly used by the terracotta army, but they abandoned the strategy when they remembered their opponents were undead.
  • Sequel Hook: The movie ends with John resolving to move to Peru. As he drives off, Mummies were later discovered in Peru appears on the screen. Though considering the timing and that no further movies have been made, this may just have been reinforcing Jonathan's status as the Butt Monkey.
  • Spanner in the Works: The people who sealed the Emperor away put his mummy in a statue, the idea being that anyone who tries to raise him would instead raise a eunuch, which was in the coffin as decoy. This plan almost works... till the mummy raising water is accidently splashed on the emperor's statue.
  • Taken for Granite: Probably the most horrific origin story of the Terracotta Warriors ever conceived. Explains why every face is unique...
  • Tempting Fate: Jonathan states that he's moving to Peru after selling his bar to a Russian pilot, and states that at least that place doesn't have mummies. A narrative quote then appears stating that after his arrival, mummies were discovered in Peru.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Dragon Emperor throwing his sword at Rick. Although being able to make it fly around on a whim it probably helped.
  • Observation On Originality: The film merrily hits every action/adventure movie trope right on the mark. Nothing in the movie is a surprise, but it's not a bad film for it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yang and Choi. They resurrected the Dragon Emperor only so they could end China's civil war.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Lin, once she realizes that she's in love with Alex. Her mother took care of that problem.