The Mummy Returns

Sir Not Appearing Much in This Movie
"I hate mummies."

The Mummy is one of the most enjoyable summer blockbuster films ever made. Sadly, the same cannot be said of its sequel, 2001's The Mummy Returns.

The first mistake the filmmakers made was actually calling this film The Mummy Returns. No one should've returned from the first film except for the main trio. This should've been a completely new adventure for them as they raced to prevent the return of the Scorpion King, not a rematch against Imohopt. There was just no need to bring back him as the main villain. His story was over and done with and did not need a second act.

Imohopt has little to do in this movie except work on his Sith Lord audition.
The main bad guy throughout should've been the Scorpion King, at then there would've been a decent amount of Rock in this movie. The filmmakers really showed a serious lack of foresight by completely wasting the Rock. True, back then he wasn’t the global megastar he is now, but it still feels like a major rip-off to be promised the Rock and get given so little Rock. He only appears in the prologue, where he fights a bit, screams thing we don’t understand at the gods, eats a scorpion and then disappears. When the Scorpion King shows up again for the third act battle, the Rock has been replaced by a CGI atrocity that will haunt your dreams until your dying days.

The first hour of the film is a jumble as it rushes to bring back Imohopt, restore him to full strength, reunite him with the reincarnation of his lost love, semi explain what the new plot is, introduce all the McGuffins and new characters and then have everyone chasing after each for the next hour. Almost no time is given to explaining just who the hell these new baddies are. Where did they come from? Why do they want to rule the world? Where did they find a reincarnation of Anck-Su-Namun? How is there even reincarnation of Anck-Su-Namun? How can she be reborn in body but not spirit? That's how reincarnation is supposed to works. And if she doesn't have her soul how does she have her memories?


Honestly, all the reincarnation stuff in this film is bad, especially what happens with Evelyn. Turns out she's the reincarnation of Nefertiri, the daughter of Pharaoh Seti I, who used to dress in skimpy clothes and fight her father's mistress with sai (why are they using Asian weapons in Egypt?) for his entertainment. This whole thing is ludicrous and feels like it was added simply as a means of making Evelyn suddenly more of a fighter so they could have the two girls fight in the third act. Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough, apparently Rick is some destined protector of humanity because of this tattoo he has.

But that isn't even the worst thing that happens with Rick and Evelyn in this movie. No, that would be their son, the deeply irritating Alex. You really should never give your heroes children. I can't think of a single franchise that was ever improved by saddling the heroes with a little kid. Alex is an annoying little runt who makes every scene he’s in a complete cringe fest. There was just no need to add this character, his role could've easily been taken by Jonathan. At least then he could've had something to do for most of the film instead of just stand around in the background while Rick and Evelyn chase after their annoying son and Ardeth talks to his bird.

The Shia LaBeouf of the Mummy franchise.
Notes and Quotes

--What fucking city is this? Who put this together? Was someone taking the piss?


--The film has a serious whitewashing problem by casting white English actors like Alun Armstrong and Rachel Weisz as Egyptians.

--The fact Imohopt didn't recognise Evelyn as Nefertiri shows that he really couldn't see shit in the first movie.

--Ardeth gets an expanded role in this film, but it mostly just there to deliver exposition and do action stuff.

--Thanks to the success of the first film, Sommers was given a far larger budget to play around with. Sadly, he felt this was best spent on throwing more and more CGI baddies at the heroes, which is how we ended up with this ungodly horror:

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
--The bad guys have a small army, so why do they hire three dumb crooks to recover the one item they need for their entire plan to work? They also never keep Alex under constant guard, allowing him to leave obvious clues for his parents to follow.

--The weapon the heroes needed to defeat the main bad guy is just something that they just happen to have the whole time which they brought along with them despite not knowing its real significance. If that wasn't enough, the villain's lair also includes instructions on the walls about how to use it to kill him. That's like the Death Star having SHOOT HERE TO EXPLODE over the exhaust port.

Someone obviously pissed off their decorator.
Rick: "You all right?"
Ardeth Bay: "This was my first bus ride."

Evelyn: "Alexander the Great sent troops in search of it."
Rick: "Great for him."
Evelyn: "So did Caesar."
Rick: "Yeah, look what happened to his career."
Evelyn: "And Napoleon."
Rick: "Yeah, but we're smarter than him. And taller, too."

Rick: "You want the shotgun?"
Ardeth Bay: "No, I prefer the Thompson."

One and a half out of four CGI atrocities that will haunt your dreams until your dying days.

Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well at least the Rock got a spinoff prequel out of this. Kinda liked it but it was deeply silly.

Billie Doux said...

I've never seen this movie. And I'm okay with that. Enjoyed your review, Mark. But then again, I enjoy all your reviews.

Mark Greig said...

Thanks, Billie.