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With Comparative to the 1st Two Mummy Films
(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 41min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
December 23, 2008
December 26, 2008

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... is quite a bit darker ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Universal Pictures (presents), Relativity Media (in association with), Sommers Company, The, Alphaville Films, Giant Studios, Nowita Pictures, Sean Daniel Company
Distribution (US): Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Director(s): Rob Cohen
Producer(s): Chris Brigham, Sean Daniel, Bob Ducsay, James Jacks, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Chiu Wah Lee, Er-Dong Liu, Josette Perrotta, Marc Pitre, Stephen Sommers, Matthew Stuecken
Written by: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
1932 Screenplay: John L. Balderston
2001 Screenplay: Stephen Sommers
Cinematography/Camera: Simon Duggan
Music: Randy Edelman
Film Editing: Kelly Matsumoto. Joel Negron
Casting: Ronna Kress
Production Design: Nigel Phelps
Art Direction: Isabelle Guay (supervising art director)

This installment in The Mummy franchise is quite a bit darker in terms of evil and unholiness than The Mummy (1999) or The Mummy Returns (2001).

Long ago an evil Chinese king, Han (Jet Li), impervious to even assassins, defeated all the kings of the land and became Emperor. He had conquered all enemies under the sun ... except death. Han had heard of a witch, Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh) who knew the secret of immortality and sent General Ming Guo, (Russell Wong) his oldest trusted ally and advisor to fetch her.

When Zi Juan arrived and met Han, Han became amorous of Zi Juan and ordered that no man shall touch her; that she is his. Han found that Zi Juan did not know the secret to immortality but knew where to find it. So, Ming Guo and Zi Juan set out to fetch the secret. During their treks Ming Guo fell in love with Zi Juan and she with him.

Finding the secret in the oldest library known to the culture in an oracle of bones, a long lost collection of all the mystical secrets of the ancient world written on slats of bones, the pair returned to Han.

In appreciation of Zi Juan's success Han granted Zi Juan anything she wished. She wanted Ming Guo. Han granted her wish but Zi Juan knew Han would not keep his word.

Because of Han's jealousy of Ming Guo and her mistrust of his word Zi Juan used the oracle of bones to cast a spell on Han and his army instead of bestowing immortality on him. Han and all his army were doomed to eternity cast in bronze. Now Han is condemned to the world of the undead. If the curse is ever lifted, Han will rise from the undead and become the ruler of all mankind.

Moving up to 1945, retired Col. Richard "Rick" "Ricochet" O'Connel (Brendan Fraser) and wife, Evelyn (Maria Bello) are now lounging in their opulent estate in Oxfordshire, England. They have sworn off any more espionage and adventure. Evie's brother, Jonathan Caranhan (John Hannah) is now operating a night club in Shanghai, China. Alexander Rupert O'Connel (Luke Ford) is now in archaeology college, or is supposed to be. All are quite satiated with their new, comfortable lives ... until a government emissary comes with an offer.

Alex is busy digging up the Han ruins in the Ningxia Province when the emissary tempts Rick and Evie with another mission: to courier the Eye of Shangri-La to Shanghai. The Eye of Shangri-La, smuggled out of China in 1940, is supposed to point the way to the Pool of Eternal Life and contains an elixir that will wake the undead emperor and his army. Now, in 1947 the British government would like to return the Eye of Shangri-La to the Shanghai Museum as a political move of good faith to the post-war Chinese people.

Not being able to resist the challenge, Rick and Evie accept the mission. And since Jonathan and Alex are already in Shanghai they get pulled into the fray as well. From there the adventure gets underway. A couple tidbits without itemizing the plot and story. The Witch, Zi Juan is immortal and has a daughter, Lin (Isabella Leong) who is also immortal. Both are more than 2000 years old and have been guarding the Pool of Eternal Life in Shangri-La, protecting it from Han's followers placing the Eye of Shangri-La atop the crown of the pool which would wake Han and his army.

As an added bonus following is a scoring data comparative of the three Mummy films: 44 out of 100 (1999); 50 (2001); 38 (2008). Each film earned R-13 status (final scores of 54 and below out of 100). Each earned an investigation area score of zero in Wanton Violence/Crime and Offense to God making the scoring earned by the findings in of those investigation areas clearly equivalent to most R-rated films (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database of films. Little more needs to be said.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
The violence content of this film is leaps and bounds into the envelope of violence of most R-rated films. Sword play to kill. Graphic warfare battles. Firearms/gunfire to kill. Graphic mutilation of flesh with what looks like blower-fired incineration of the flesh from the inside of the body to then solidify into what appears to be glowing bronze. Fiery coals of matter erupting though facial and other body flesh. Decapitation. A beheaded horse running with what looks to be a smelting furnace looking down its open neck. Icabod Crane was frightened when looking down the neck of the headless horse he rode. I suspect many kids will find hightmare fodder in this film. There is a l-o-t more to the violent behaviors and imagery to this film. Please look to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a full accounting of the content. [Prov. 16:29, 3 John 11, Prov. 3:31-32]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 34 out of 100
Seventeen times the three/four letter word vocabulary was used, mainly by Jonathan. One euphemistic use of the most foul of the foul words was used. [2 Tim. 2:16-17, Eph. 5:4, Col. 3:8] But other than profanity, the only impudence/hate found was Alex's arrogance against his parents. [Exod. 20:12, 1 Peter 5:5]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 74 out of 100
In terms of sexually immoral behavior and/or imagery, this film presented a man and a woman making out in bed ostensibly for intercourse, statue nudity, a couple sexual invitations and innuendo, a crotch hit and a camera angle/pose to force the viewer on private parts. However slight these matters may seem on the surface (to the adult), their reach into the moral development of the young can be deep and devastating. [Eph. 4:19, 1Cor. 6:18, Col. 3:5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 47 out of 100
Booze, drinking, lust for drinking and drunkenness were quite prevalent. the American College of Physicians has something to say about such content in films for the PG-13 age stratum.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has found that exposure to booze and drinking in and as entertainment emboldens the viewer, in particular the middle school age stratum, the PG and PG-13 age stratum, to challenge the law and experiment with alcohol.

Though the ACP study used R-rated films since it was believed R-rated films contained the most drinking, the focus is on the influence of exposure to alcohol in and as entertainment regardless of the film rating. Besides, the ACP researchers were not aware of R-13 which defeats the assumption that R-rated films present the most drinking and drunkenness. A finding by Harvard University agreed with our R-13 finding, *four years after our finding*. As a sidebar note, consider this, too. The MPAA is apparently going to consider all films with smoking in them as R-rated, clearly announcing without trying that smoking in and as entertainment is indeed a negative influence. If so, why not make R-rated any films which present booze and/or drinking and/or drunkenness? [Eph. 5:18] We incorporated smoking into a film's scoring distribution long *before* the MPAA. Even other film rating websites have plagiarized our methodology. Might that imply others are following our lead? That we are doing something right?

Within the ACP study population of 4544 middle school students (90% were under fourteen years old), the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • 16% for those with partial restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • four percent for those with complete restrictions.

    Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    Matters incorporated by this investigation area were thick and bold. Much use of unholy power. Witchcraft, especially calling the use of the witch and witchcraft "good" [Isa. 5:20], spell casting, the use of human blood to conjure evil power, unholy resurrections and much more. We are not to entertain such unholy matters at all, folks. Magic, or majik by some, is not something to play with. Jesus used "magic" to heal the sick,, raise the dead, make the lame walk and the blind see but His "magic" was from the father. Witch magic is not. It is not the magic or the user that determines its holiness or unholiness. It is the source of the "magic." If the power is not from God, it is evil. [Rev. 21:8, Acts 13:10]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 70 out of 100
    While many deaths were portrayed, two murders and one suicide were portrayed in this film. Murder by ripping off arms and legs and murder by witchcraft, Suicide by sword. Granted, the suicide was sacrificial but such is not something to be flippant with such as in and as entertainment. Most children of the target age group are not capable of fathoming the gravity of such a decision. Especially since Dr. Nelson, a university psychology department head, Dr. Gilliam, a practicing counselor and our own Director - Child Psychology Support, Mr. Kossor each agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old child to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality or to fully anticipate the consequences of his/her actions. [Prov. 28:17, Ex 20:13]


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen whether for good or evil. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • 3 John 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil [violent, immoral, debaucherous - all sin] but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
  • Prov. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence. [These verses speak to having violent desires and thoughts as well as violent behaviors. So, don't let the violence seen conjure violence in your heart nor let your heart be drawn into the "He got what he deserved" trap.]
  • 2 Tim. 2:16 - 17 But shun profane [ungodly] and vain [empty, useless] babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker...
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (injurious speech, slander in this use), filthy communication [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene] out of your mouth.
  • Exod. 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, ...
  • 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise [in humility as the elders who have charge over you], ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud [huperephanos {hoop-er-ay'-fan-os}: an overweening estimate of one's means or merits, despising others or even treating them with contempt, haughty], and giveth grace to the humble.
  • Eph. 4:19 Having lost all sensitivity, they [the sinful] have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
  • 1Cor. 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
  • Col. 3:5 Put to death [mortify, deprive of power, destroy the strength of], therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers [the NIV calls it "magic arts" which includes those who practice evil magic including witches, warlocks, wizards, sorcerers, spiritists, diviners, necromancers, etc.], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Acts 13:10 You [Elymas, the sorcerer; practitioner of the magic arts] are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?
  • Prov. 28:17 A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death; let no one support him.
  • Ex 20:13 Thou shalt not kill. (NIV) You shall not murder. [Suicide is murder of the self.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    The Mummy: tomb of the Dragon Emeperor (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • sword play
  • knife killing - defensive
  • short and long warfare battles with killing, repeatedly
  • graphic mutilation of human body and what looks to be blower-fired incineration of human flesh, repeatedly
  • fiery coals of matter erupting though facial and other body flesh
  • reckless gunfire
  • action violence, repeatedly, of varying intensities
  • firearms for defense
  • decayed body
  • death by acid, by arrows and by blade
  • many skeletons and decayed bodies
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • gun battles, repeatedly
  • attempted murder by blade
  • military armament
  • firearm threats to control
  • knife threat
  • decapitation
  • beheaded horse running with what looks to be a furnace inside the horse
  • multiple beheadings, blade swings seen heads falling not seen
  • intense warfare with killings, repeatedly
  • animal attacks
  • attempted murder, blade impalement
  • kidnapping
  • intense warfare sequence, twice
  • crushing death, twice

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 34 out of 100
  • 17 uses of the three/four letter vocabulary
  • son's defiance of father/mother and arrogance toward them
  • one euphemism of the most foul of the foul words

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 74 out of 100
  • man and woman making out in bed, ostensibly leading to intercourse
  • statue nudity
  • sexual encounter invitation, twice
  • camera angle/pose to force viewer on private parts
  • innuendo re: sexually immoral behaviors
  • rude gaze
  • crotch hit

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 47 out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • bar, repeatedly
  • lust for drinking
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • army of the undead
  • army of the undead evaporating into dust
  • unholy power over the elements
  • seeking a witch to gain immortality
  • lust for immortality
  • human blood to cause unholy change
  • unholy resurrection
  • evil power, repeatedly
  • witch and daughter with immortality
  • animated undead man, repeatedly
  • graphic flesh incineration and mutilation, repeatedly
  • projecting fireballs
  • undead beings, repeatedly
  • unholy power to make ice cycles to kill, to control snow and to repel human body
  • portraying a witch as good
  • miraculous healing by magic water
  • seeking revenge
  • humans as immortal (2000 years old)
  • levitation, repeatedly
  • shape shifting, repeatedly, from undead man to huge beast to kill
  • unholy power to raise the dead
  • additional shape shifting
  • witch incantation, repeatedly
  • unholy power to start fire

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 70 out of 100
  • murder by ripping arms and legs from body
  • murder by witchcraft
  • suicide by sword

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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