The Mummy Returns (2001)
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Review Date: May 02, 2001
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writer: Stephen Sommers
Producers: Sean Daniel, James Jacks
Brendan Fraser as Rick
Rachel Weisz as Evelyn
John Hannah as Jonathan
Hmmmm, I'm just not sure. I think it has something to do with the Scorpion King, an ancient warrior of some sort, preparing to rise from the underworld in order to wreak havoc on the world, but Imhotep, the mummy dude from the original film, wants to get to him first, so that he could grab his army of followers and use them to take over the world himself. Uuuuh, yeah, that's it...I think. Anyway, all the while, our faithful hero friends are also caught up in these very same misadventures, but this time around, they've added a son to the mix. Honestly folks, I ain't 100% on the plot because it got a little boring for me as the characters went on and on about "so-and-so is such-and-such and if we do this-and-that, they will rise from the underworld and do that-and-this..." Yawn.
Before you read my review, know full well that I totally dug the original MUMMY, loved its campiness, loved its effects, loved its originality and loved its action and humor. I didn't take it too seriously and enjoyed the hell out of it! I was hoping for much of the same with this movie, but unfortunately I didn't get that, despite, well...much of the same! Let me explain. Some of the elements such as campiness, action and special effects are back here and pretty solid, but what's lost within is a comprehensible story, any originality whatsoever and believable situations. This movie just contained one too many roll-your-eyes and "give me a break" moments for my taste. I mean, I don't mind a little farfetchedness in all popcorn fare, but when the word "MacGyver" springs to mind during a screening, you know that's a bad sign. But this movie had other problems, too. Its story is packed with too much mumbo-jumbo with even more time given to explain the most inane "curse" and "underworld"-related notions to the audience. I mean, doesn't the screenwriter realize that folks don't go to see movies like this so that they could verify historical fact? I don't need to know every detail about everyone's past history, unbelievable reincarnation fantasies and such. I mean, was there really any reason to make Rick O'Connell, our hero, more than what he was already? An ass-kicking, one-liner delivering tough guy with a great smile! The back-story on him was just plain stupid.

And pooh to all who make mention of the Rock and his relation to this movie. The dude is literally in two minutes of this film. He "sorta" comes back in the end, but it's one of the most obvious CGI dealios that you've ever witnessed. Again, I don't mind CGI in a popcorn movie, but in the case of the Rock and his "transformation" in the end, is there any reason why they didn't use his real face? I mean, he looked like a video game! Took me out of the film completely. Okay, so I'm spending way too much time complaining about this movie, so allow me a moment or two to concentrate on some of the stronger elements still present in this go-around. First of all, the mummy effects are still pretty awesome. Yes, I totally dug the kickass action sequence with the double-decker bus in London and enjoyed the heck out of those little pigmy dudes. Very cool. I also liked the big battle scene during the film's conclusion, although it was a little too reminiscent of the one at the end of THE PHANTOM MENACE. All of the actors were also very good, especially John Hannah, who thankfully continued his barrage of funny one liners in this one, and kudos to the little kid, who added such much needed pep to the film. Other than that, the scarabs are still the same (although they're actually scorpions, you can't really tell the difference), the sandstorm sequence is redone this time around but with water and the photography in the film is eye-catching, but not unlike the original. It's a sequel, man...not a remake! But I digress.

Alright, so I might be a little harder on this film than some others that I see, but that's because I was actually really surprised with the first one, and wanted its sequel to give me more surprises, cooler effects and a fun story to follow. But alas, t'was not to be as this film only offered me sporadic moments of enjoyment. All in all, I would still kinda recommend that you see this movie in the theatres, but don't worry if you miss it and catch it on video instead. Some of the effects are still very cool, a couple of action sequences are pretty awesome and a few one liners were funny, but the mucked up story line filled with hokum just didn't cut it for me. Dang!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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