Move over, Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser is poised to take your place as the reigning action star, with not one, but two contenders for the popcorn-munching flick of the summer. And if Fraser isn’t man enough for you, how about some high-voltage action with Vin Diesel or Jason Statham? No special effects needed — these guys have the muscle to get the job done.
“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Luke FordDirector: Rob CohenStory: Explorer Rick O’Connell (Fraser) is back for a new adventure. This time he heads to China to battle the fabled Terracota Army and a resurrected Han emperor (Li), who is accidentally awakened by Rick’s son, Alex (Ford). Bello steps in for Rachel Weisz as Rick’s wife, Evelyn.One to watch? No. Fraser really said it best when telling RottenTomatoes.com how it didn’t matter who played Evelyn — that basically anyone could play her. He tellingly added about his own role, “Rick O'Connell could be played by ... you tell me.” That's exactly the problem with this cookie-cutter series of films. At least action fans can look forward to seeing Li do his martial-arts thing. Director Cohen (“The Fast and the Furious”) takes over for Stephen Sommers. Web site: http://www.themummy.com/ Release date: Aug. 1
Starring: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane, Natalie Martinez, Jason ClarkeDirector: Paul W.S. AndersonStory: Based on the 1975 cult favorite “Death Race 2000,” this film jumps ahead to the year 2020. Statham plays one of a group of inmates who are forced to race each other on the track in a deadly game set up by the prison guards. Allen plays the prison warden. One to watch? Turn off your brain, add popcorn. Director Anderson (“Resident Evil”) told SciFi.com, “It's not a straight remake at all. … And it’s set further in the future, so the cars are even more futuristic. So you've got cars with rockets, machine guns, force fields; cars that can split apart and re-form, a bit like ‘Transformers.’ Cars that become invisible. It’s got some really cool stuff in it.” It seems kind of silly, but the 1975 original is surprisingly fun in a self-parodying kind of way. Web site: N/ARelease date: Aug. 22