The latest installment of The Mummy series comes
2 years after the original took audiences by storm. The story is
set ten years after the original where we find Rick O'Connell
(Brendan Frazier) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) living a storybook
life including, a large English estate, wealth, jobs they enjoy,
and a young son, Alex (Freddie Boath) who is strong willed,
intelligent, and precocious. Of course this ends quicker than
you can say sequel as the O'Connells are once again charged with
saving the world.
This time it's not just the mummy they have to worry about as
the movie starts with the story of the Scorpion King (The Rock)
who, 5000 years ago, prayed to Anubis to give him the power to
defeat his enemies in exchange for his soul. With the army of
Anubis he quickly defeats his enemies but no sooner than he does
Anubis claims his soul. This would pretty much end the sequel if
it weren't for those pesky loopholes the Egyptian deities are so
fond of. It seems that once every 5000 years The Scorpion King
can be reborn to conquer the world.
Enter The Mummy, Imhotep, (Arnold Vosloo), and enter he must
because it's a Hollywood production and big box office villains
are never destroyed even if it really looks like they were in
previous films. Imhotep's followers have reincarnated
Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velasquez) and plan to do the same for Imhotep
so he can be on hand to battle The Scorpion King and take
control of the army of Anubis so he can rule the world. With me
Back to the O'Connells, they throw a monkey wrench into the Imhotep's
plans once again when they find The Scorpion King's golden bracelet
which is actually a map to his temple and the key that awakens
the king. Alex being a curious child gets the bracelet stuck on
his wrist. Of course it can't be removed so Imhotep and his
followers must take the child with them. Now all the
O'Connells have to do is save their son, defeat The Mummy,
destroy The Scorpion King, send back the Army of Anubis, and
save the world.
A very over the top story has to be matched with some over
the top visuals. For the most part the special effects in The Mummy Returns are quite
good even if they are a tad repetitive. If you enjoyed the
effects in The Mummy you'll see virtually all of them
again with a few new ones some of which work while others don't.
Notable among the good effects were the pygmy cannibals who
inhabited the oasis around The Scorpion King's temple. Perhaps
the single worst effect in the film was that of The Rock as the
undead Scorpion King which looked like it belonged more in an
early 90's video game rather than a multimillion dollar
While the special effects were good and the plot had
blockbuster written all over it the writing was awful. The
dialog was thin and unimaginative and the story was weak. While
this is a work of fiction it would have been nice to take a
break from the action to develop the characters a bit more. For
example, Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) is the leader of a secret
society whose membership numbers thousands. In the sparsely
populated desert every male member of a family must be part of
this secret society. How secret can it be then? It would also
have been nice to feel that the O'Connells actually cared about
their son. Throughout the movie they fight to get him back but
it just doesn't feel right. It also would have been nice if they
could have figured out a way to show that Rick and Evie cared
about each other in some other way than constantly embracing at awkward
Another notable downfall was the final battle between Ardeth
Bay's society and the Army of Anubis. Outnumbered and attacked
by the undead legions of Anubis' army they suffered no
casualties. The movie is purely fiction but let's not get ridiculous.
Did they run out of fake blood or were they trying so hard to
get that PG-13 rating that they couldn't afford a body or two?
The Mummy Returns borrows heavily from other movies. Perhaps
the best part watching the movie was pointing out the direct
rips. See if you can identify elements taken directly from Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Indiana Jones, and African Queen.
While the action is fast paced and plentiful and the effects
are decent the lack of good dialog and a meaty story makes the
film over all just passable. If you haven't already seen The
Mummy Returns wait until it comes out on DVD. If you just
have to see it in the theater don't expect much because The
Mummy Returns just doesn't deliver. Let's hope that director
Chuck Russel gets it right in the third movie of The Mummy
series, The Scorpion King, which will be a prequel to The
For more information about The Mummy Returns visit
Universal Picture's official website for The
Mummy and The Mummy Returns.
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