Ah, it’s nice to see Jet Li is enjoying his retirement from martial arts films.
Technically, I guess The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is more of a "Rob Cohen product" than a "martial arts film"; it’s surely less physically taxing than, say, Fist of Legend, Hero or Fearless. It’s just dispiriting to watch one the great martial arts stars of all time cashing in on his past successes by contributing uninspired work to substandard American movies (where choreography barely matters because the fights will be over-covered and cut to shit).
What’s almost interesting about this is that Cohen evinced a solid understanding of how to stage and shoot a fight in his directorial debut, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. I haven’t watched that film in ages, but I imagine it’s still above average for an American martial arts flick (when compared to crap like Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds or The Medallion). Had Cohen not gone on to make a series of generic (if outrageously expensive) action extravaganzas, I might’ve been able to hold out a little hope for Mummy: Whatever being an agreeably entertaining piece of junk.
It is, however, important that you know Rob Cohen is blogging. And Stealth has not humbled him:
"As to the music: guys, trust me. Randy [Edelman] and I have done two classic scores (DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY and DRAGONHEART) that continue to be used in trailers and commercials a decade and a half later. This will be an original score with new themes, played by the London Symphony Orchestra recorded at Abbey Road Studios. There will nothing "synth paddy" about it. It will be massive, thematic, and pulsing. I have great respect for Al Silvestri but this is a new, re-booted “Mummy” and it will have the score to match."
I’d love to roast Cohen for this, but I own both of those soundtracks. That said, I hope Al[an] Silvestri has a blog. This could be an entertainingly depressing feud. (He’s had an up-and-down career, but his Beowulf score sounds like one of his best.)