... or it's the "in" thing to bash. I'd put forward that Ebert tends to enjoy films, and with me he has a ~80% hit ratio.
By the time I saw it yesterday, the Tomato Meter had it at 9%. Honestly I don't know why it got torched so badly, it was pretty much 100% exactly what I expected based on the previews. A fun, mindless romp mixing eastern and western mythology and some (sometimes poor) humor and some decent special effects. I don't remember much of the first 2 movies, but I guess they had a "deeper" more epic storyline, and of course Rachel Weisz is so much better than Maria Bello. FYI, this one has definitely moved completely away from the Imhotep mummy-based adventure. Other than that, I'm not sure what the expectation was, but it seems to me it's just getting bashed for the sake of bashing. And like X-Files, I think following too closely behind Dark Knight is again a detriment; in X-Files case it was a bit too serious/heavy handed, and in Mummy's case, probably too light-hearted. Just as X should have come in the winter, I think Mummy would have been much better received in a spring/March type release.
Now granted I'm a bit biased because I'm Chinese and any time you throw in Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh in the mix, I'm just happy to see them on screen. There's also a new young Chinese actress I wasn't familiar with playing Yeoh's daughter who was pretty cute. On a side note, I watched the recent DVD release of "Tai Chi Master" featuring Jet Li and Michelle the night before, and while they both are clearly younger, they sure don't seem to have aged much in the last 15 years. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing Michelle in particular and thought she did a decent job with the material she was given. Plus she still looks cool in a fight and she had some nice outfits that added nicely to the visual element inthe martial arts sequences. Sorry another diversion, I just had to mention how many times I saw wires in the Tai Chi Master movie mentioned above lol.
Couple of other notes: I don't know why there's so much nitpicking on the son's age. Brendan Fraser looks like he could be in his early 40s (it feels like forever since I saw him as that frozen caveman) and the son is pretty cute-ish, looks like he could be in his early 20s. Certainly if you bought Sean Connery as Harrison Ford's dad, it shouldn't be that much of a deterrent. I did find it interesting that Brendan had a gratuitous shirtless scene (looking damn fine I might add) but the son did not. Odd.
Anyway, if you've seen the previews, you pretty much know what you're going to get. The entire "story" is pretty much summarized in the trailer. If it looked fun to you and you aren't too picky, you'll probably have a good time at this movie. If it looked annoying, well, don't bother then. For what it's worth, my 11yo niece claimed she liked the movie more than Wall-E and I even heard some audience applause at the end of the movie. My personal favorite line in the film: "you speak Yeti?"