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Avg. Rating: 3.68
If you like non-stop action and great special effects then 'The Mummy Returns' is worth watching. Wrestling fans will be pleased to see 'The Rock' cast as the Scorpion King. Female fans of Oded Fehr, the Israeli actor, will be delighted to see him cast again as the dashing Egyptian horseman and fighter Ardeth Bay.
Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evie (Rachel Weisz) are married in this sequel and have a young son who does a good job of keeping the villains on their toes. Evie is supposed to be a reincarnation of Nefertiti, the Pharaoh's daughter. Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), the Pharaoh's high priest, and Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velazquez), the priest's paramour, are brought back to life to fight the Scorpion King and take control of the army of Anoubis, the dark god of the underworld.
Some movie buffs have expressed reservations about the historical inaccuracies in both 'The Mummy' and 'The Mummy Returns'. However, these inaccuracies are not offensive to Egyptian Culture. This movie is merely a work of fiction. Some scenes and dialogs may seem to be cliched. Several scenes are a rehash of 'The Mummy'. The characters in the movie jokingly admit to the 'same old end of the world' plot.
Even with all its cliches, this movie is worth watching.
Good effects, bad plot
The Mummy Returns had both its ups and downs. Unlike many horror sequels that break their own rules, (no the scream 3 commercial is not right). Imhotep returns from the grave a rotted carcass and has to absorb the organs from a bunch of riffraff thieves. The CG effects were pretty good, even through the CGI depiction of the Rock (his real name is Dwayne) looked pretty plastic and pitiful as the Scorpion King. There's plenty of action and the ending of Imhotep and Anuk-su-Namun is bittersweet irony. (The tears welling up in Imhotep’s eyes were a pretty nice touch)
When I said the movie didn't break its own rules, I lied.
Apparently, somewhere between getting stabbed in the belly by Rick and being squashed flat by the entirety of the Hamunaptra complex, Imhotep magically acquires telekinetic abilities. Instead of adding new powers to his already bloated repertoire of skills, the writers should have stuck to the original 10 plagues. And when did Rick get this magical new tattoo? In the first mummy movie there was no talk whatsoever of some mystical“warrior of light” fighting a half-man, half-scorpion freak, nor was there any mention of Rick’s tattoo. Instead of creating this artificial background for a character, A new character (possibly Rick and Evelyn’s son, whose name I can’t think of right now) should have been introduced as the mighty slayer of the Scorpion King. Yet another problem was the“matrixization” of the entire movie. You know what I’m talking about! All the fight scenes were in slow motion with lots of debris flying around, and while there was no dodging of bullets, the fight between Rick and Imhotep prior to the grand arrival of The Almighty Stone-Soup Cooking, Scorpion Eating, Eyebrow Cocking, Plastic Looking Scarred-Up Mess We All Know And Love As The scorpion king a.k.a. the rock was just kinda not normal.
It would also help if we were given a little backstory about the weirdo cult in the red robes who are convinced that Imhotep is their savior, and about the relationship between Ardeth Bay and the black guy with the really cool sword. I mean, the only thing that you see between them is the exchange of a few words that show them to be ancient mortal enemies, but nothing more is said. (...)
All in all, the movie was jammed full of actions and special effects, which kinda compensated for all its plot holes.
Excuse me. I need to go jump over some sacred stones now.
All I'm saying is...
...this could have been much better. Three years after the fact, I know many of us are in agreement that this sequel did not live up to the original, so instead of just bashing it, I thought I'd do a take on what NOT to do with a sequel:
1.) Do not sacrifice plot for action. After so many sequels that bombed because of this, the producers still fell for it anyway. Do you know what made "The Mummy" so awesome? The lure of all the ancient Egyptian lore and myth, which, when interspersed with action, brought the entire movie alive. We don't need more brawls and swordfights and self-consuming cities--we need more of the MAGIC.
2.) Don't reference the original more than twice. It's not as if we don't remember the books and the plagues and the happy romance. If anything, constant reflections insult us as an audience. It's another bad trap that sequel-makers fall into, and again, it happened here too.
3.) Don't wreck the memory of a beloved setting. Hamunaptra was chock-full of all that we as Americans want from ancient Egypt: vast treasures, sarcophogi, curses, booby traps, juicy mummies. And what did we see of it in the second film? Sand, teeming with people who couldn't even find it eight years before. Huge electric lights illuminating what once could only be seen by torchlight. Trucks, instead of camels! And some really strangely reincarnated Anck-su-namun. The moviemakers effectively ruined the magic of Hamunaptra, and they didn't have to. Shame!
4.) Never, ever, ever pull a stunt like a CGI Rock again. Could they not afford to pay him for the final scenes? Just imagine the heroic fight between Rick, Imhotep, and the Scorpion King--only all three are in the flesh! People would have been cheering in the theatre watching the Rock fight with Brendan Fraser and Arnold Vosloo. But noooo...let's pull CGI out of our butts for the eighty millionth time. Shame shame!
5.) Don't ruin the best moments of the film by shortening them. Were we too busy playing around with CGI Rock to choreograph a great fight scene between Anck and Evie? I think we might have been. I understand that having Anck shy away from fighting helped set up her not being brave enough in the end for other things, but even just extending the fight a little longer would have helped. Anck could have given her best in an extended fight but still lost, and then we could have watched her bravado melt away and become her undoing.
All that being said, there are some bright spots. The mummy himself, for one. And the character of Jonathan was as lively and funny as ever, thank goodness; Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) was even more campily serious and apocolyptic, and that was fun, too. Enough can't be said for Brendan Frasier, who IS the action hero of the the new millenium--handsome, funny, totally self-aware, and he puts his heart into everything completely.
I hope they make a third "Mummy." There's a lot left of ancient Egypt to explore, especially since in the time period of the movies not everything had been discovered yet. I think all the main characters would have to return, and that the plot with the most potential still remains that between Imhotep and Anck-su-namun. With all the money they have in Hollywood, the producers should be able to hire a team talented enough to write a movie as magical as the first.
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