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The Mummy Returns (2001)

A movie directed by Stephen Sommers

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Dashed Expectations

  • May 2, 2001
  • by
Pros: Great Specail effects.

Cons: Bad Pacing, little character development, many gapse in logic.

The Bottom Line: This is one Mummy that should have stayed Buried.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

The Summer movie season is back and with it comes a slew of big budgeted films all vying for box office dollars. The Summer movie season is also the time when a barrage of sequels are unleashed on the movie public, while some are good, most fail to live up to the original film in the series. Who can ever forget such classic flops as “Predator 2” and “Jaws 3D” that existed solely to milk money from the success of the previous films.
When the original “Mummy” opened with a $43 Million dollar weekend, a sequel was quickly put into production, as even if the sequel does 1/3 of the previous films revenue, with a built in audience from the first film, and overseas, cable, and video sales, sequels are almost sure bets to make more money for the film studios.
The “Mummy Returns” is the creation of Stephen Sommers who wrote and directed both films in the series. The film centers around Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn O’Connell (Rachael Weisz) who in the eight years since the first film, have gotten married and had a little boy named Alex (Freddie Boath) Evelyn is still always after the ever elusive Egyptian legend to excavate, while Rick is constantly worried about his wife, and watches over his family as a proud and loving father and husband.
Through an incredible opening scene filled with dazzling CGI recreations of Egyptian Kingdoms, the audience learns the story of The Scorpion King, played by WWF legend, The Rock. It seems that the King sold his Soul to Anubis to be spared to defeat his enemies, and as legend has it, can be reborn every 5000 years. It is also fated that whomever shall defeat the Scorpion King shall have control over his armies and shall rule the world.
Before you know it, Rick, Evelyn, Alex, and Evelyn’s greedy brother Jonathan (John Hannah) are caught up in the mix, as young Alex has the key to unlocking the Scorpion King and his Minions, and it must be removed at a certain place, and time, less Alex have his life sucked from him by ancient evil forces.
Almost as an afterthought, the bad guys, who were so obvious that they could have been wearing signs to show their allegiance, resurrect Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) and his long dead lover Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velasquez). In an attempt to defeat The Scorpion King and rule the world.
Despite a great opening scene and a great early battle set in a London Museum and a double Decker bus, the film quickly loses momentum and becomes very slow and deliberate. The pacing of the film was annoyingly slow, as we watch the various groups travel to the Golden Pyramid of the Scorpion King, in what is mostly very uneventful travel. There is little witty dialogue or character development during this time, and the majority of the scenes are filled with Rick and Evelyn mentioning how worried they are about Alex, and how they will find him no matter what.
Imhotep on the other hand is such a bland and dull character compared to his last incarnation, I guess being dead for thousands of years, reborn, killed and reborn again years later will do that for a guy. Imhotep actually spends time watching over, Alex and goes so far as to tussle the young boys hair, hardly the menacing figure that is supposed to be the embodiment of evil.
The film also had huge gaps in logic, such as Alex being able to leave elaborate Sand Sculptures in three locations to tip his parents off to his next destination, before being discovered. There is also the great mystery of how in the middle of the desert; a blimp pilot was able to repair his craft without any of the precious gas that he mentions is necessary to fix the craft. It seems that despite the blimp being a wreck all over the desert, the pilot is able to fix the craft and miracle of all miracles, arrive to save the day, just in the nick of time. The film also has a real lack of inspiration as the classic sand wall that was in the first film was recreated by the Mummy again, only this time, it is a wall of water. Time and again we see ideas repeated from the previous film, such as pillars falling like dominos just as the bookcases did in the original film. We also get to see Rick wear a very Indiana Jones style Fedora hat as he returns home from one his adventures, and fight Imhotep who is wielding a long bladed weapon, much the same way that Darth Maul and Obi Wan Kenobi spared in “The Phantom Menace”.
Perhaps the worst part of the film was the big climatic scene where the Scorpion King is reborn. Seeing the Rock’s visage on top of a giant scorpion body resulted in laughter from the audience rather than the desired concern for the good guys.
Perhaps one might say that I am being to harsh on the film as after all it is a Summer Popcorn movie and plot holes and lack of character development are to be expected in this type of film.
While this may be true, there is no excuse for insulting the viewers by having sequences that are designed only to showcase the fantastic effects of ILM without taking the time to explain the sequences that led to them, and following a logical progression. It baffles the mind, that young Alex executes a spur of the moment escape from a moving train, that just so happens to be in front of a site that his parents are heading towards, while not being able to see where he is when he escapes underneath the train, and has no idea if his parents are even alive, much less in hot pursuit of him.
There was also the badly executed scene where Rick, learns how he must face the Scorpion King, by looking at hieroglyphics that were so obvious one of the flesh eating beetles would have figured it out long before. The final insult for me was watching a character grasp and hold a large gold encrusted diamond while hanging from an airship. Let’s forget the fact that the object had to weigh at least 300 lbs. and that all hell was breaking lose around them,
In short, the film that had so much potential in the first thirty minutes, quickly became bogged down by slow pacing, lack of story, and a reliance on special effects rather than character development and original ideas.

2.5 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach


Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More The Mummy Returns (2001 movie) reviews
review by . June 26, 2008
Pros: fun, humorous, good adventure, endearing characters     Cons: slapdash CGI and an anticlimactic villain     The Bottom Line: Enjoyable but flawed...     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. "No harm ever came from opening a chest." ~Evie       "Yeah, right, and no harm ever came from reading a book. You remember how that one went?" ~Rick      Rick and Evelyn …
review by . November 16, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: DVD has outtakes! Whoohoo!     Cons: Some ridiculous CGI, dialogue     The Bottom Line: While not as great as the first movie, it makes for another great adventure in the land of Egypt     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. Because The Mummy was such a success, I guess its creators decided making a second one might not be such a shabby idea. Especially since all the actors were ready to get right …
review by . March 15, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
THE MUMMY RETURNS is a sequel to 1999's THE MUMMY. It is an Indiana Jones wannabe crossed with a classic horror flick and flavored with a dash of cutting edge special effects. The combination works brilliantly, bringing forth a modern action-adventure franchise full of Abbot and Costello self-parody.THE MUMMY RETURNS takes place 8 years after THE MUMMY ended. Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraiser) has married Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) and they have produced an extremely resourceful and witty son named Alex …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #112
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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Proving that bigger is rarely better,The Mummy Returnsserves up so much action and so many computer-generated effects that it quickly grows exhausting. In his zeal to establish a lucrative franchise, writer-director Stephen Sommers dispenses with such trivial matters as character development and plot logic, and charges headlong into an almost random buffet of minimum story and maximum mayhem, beginning with a prologue establishing the ominous fate of the Scorpion King (played by World Wrestling Federation star the Rock, in a cameo teaser for his later starring role in--you guessed it--The Scorpion King). Dormant for 5,000 years, under control of the Egyptian god Anubis, the Scorpion King will rise again in 1933, which is where we findThe Mummy's returning heroes Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, now married and scouring Egyptian ruins with their 8-year-old son, Alex (Freddie Boath).

John Hannah (as Weisz's brother) and Oded Fehr (as mystical warrior Ardeth Bay) also return from The Mummy, and trouble begins when Alex dons the Scorpion King's ancient bracelet, coveted by the evil mummy Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), who's been revived by... oh, but does any of this matter? With a plot so disposable that it's impossible to care about anything that happens, The Mummy Returns is best enjoyed as an intermittently amusing and physically impressive monument of Hollywood machinery, with gorgeous sets that scream for a better showcase, and digital trickery that tops its ...

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Director: Stephen Sommers
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 4, 2001
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Stephen Sommers
DVD Release Date: July 08, 2008
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
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"Dashed Expectations"
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