ain't your mommy's Mummy movie! It's nice to sit back and be
transported to a world of complete make-believe once in a while.
The Mummy Returns did just that. This is not a
serious FILM; it is a movie; and a darned good one at that.
Mummy Returns relentlessly spews special effects at you
like a double barrel assault weapon right from the start. By
the end you're practically dizzy from the continual flurry of
clever, if not 'been there, done that" style, of computer
generated mummies, goblins, bugs and fight scenes.
seemed as if they were trying desperately to recreate the magic
the 1st Mummy
/ Brendan Fraser smash hit had with this bombardment of
effects and music. Perhaps they thought by confusing us with
lots of visual treats we wouldn't notice the gaping plot holes.
get me wrong. TMR deserves three stars for it's special
effects movie-making techniques alone. The action is great, the
scenery is great, the story, in theory, is great. But the (predominantly)
returning cast is just blasé, delivering corny jokes and
who's looking for Oscar material here? It's "Action Flick
101" with sexy actors, beautiful actresses, a cute kid,
and that mandatory Raider's of the Lost Ark action-movie-music
(triumphant yet foreboding) blasting through the Dolby system.
As stupid asTMR gets at times, it's worth it's weight
in Egyptian artifacts of pure gold!
there's what I call the Sinbad Effect (The storybook
sailor, not the comedian). Those wonderfully B-movie, velveeta
cheesy characters just too fake to believeeven
with the state of the art computer gizmos of our era! The best
example is the Scorpion King himself with his colossal Sindbad-esque,
1/2 man 1/2 scorpion body. But, as campy as he is, he's sure
to have the slightest of arachnaphobes sweating profusely in
their theater seats. Shudder.
Mummy Returns story goes... The O'Connells, an archaeologist
(Rachel Weitz) and ex-bandit (Brendan
-steaming hot- Frasor) , who met in the last movie, have
bred. They now include an adorable, precocious 8 year old son,
named Alex (Fred Boath).
happy family is excavating, in Egypt. Here they believe they'll
find the diabolical Scorpion King's golden bracelet, which happens
to command the underworld Army of Anubis.
The bracelet is extremely gaudy, in a WWF accessory looking
way, but, he who possesses the trinket can call upon these minions
and rule the world. Armageddon.
not just let it stay buried in it's sandy grave for the next
5000 years? Ah, well, Mrs. Evi
O' Connell has been obsessed, suddenly, with finding it. She's
been riddled in her dreams. Fed vivid images of a past life
and an insider's knowledge of the evil bracelet's hiding place.
the O'Connells are quite awake and just centimeters from that
in the Valley of the Dead, we find shady characters resurrecting/unearthing
the menacing half-fleshed- twice dead-already-original- movie-mummy
priest Imhotep (sexy, smoky, South African Arnold Vasloo) from
his grave (Well, from an Alien prop the producers got
at cost at the Universal auction, at least!).
Imhotep, played by sexy silky smooth Arnold Vasloo, seemed all
mellowed out and less hell-bent on evil deeding and mayhem than
in The Mummy one.
is greeted by another old cast member, Anck-Su-Namun Ramalamadingdong
(Patricia Velazquez). She is his soulmate mistress and his ancient
Pharaoh's ancient murderous wife. Ankie has been reincarnated
to serve him. Isn't
Now all Imhotep needs is the Scorpion King's bracelet,
the O'Connells have just parlayed, to lead him to The Scorpion
King's Golden Pyramid, and awaken / rule the Army of Darkness,
oops, I mean Army of Anubis!
Immie, and his merry band of cutthroat followers, go! Straight
to the O'Connell's who have just returned to London with the
young Alex, playing around in the antiquities, accidentally
gets the bracelet stuck on his arm. Kids...
The tacky trinket wastes no time in showing it's magical powers
to the lad. It begins by pointing out various Egyptian landmarks
like some beyond- the-grave holographic viewmaster.
Imhotep must abduct the child with the bracelet and head for
O'Connell's holy friend, Ardeth Bay (Oded
- handsome in a manly, swarthy way - Fehr), joins in the
pursuit. Off we all travel from ruin to ruin with the O'Connell
clan always one step behind.
We are never given an adequate explaination for this bizarre
multi-ruin excursion across Egypt First to Karnac then
to Hamunaptra. For some reason the Scorpion's all-telling bracelet
will only show one stop at a time. Can you say plot stretching?
Who cares, it's fun!
I forget to mention the young Alex O'Connell has been informed
by the helpful Imhotep that the pretty gold bracelet on his
arm plans on sucking the life out of his little body if he doesn't
get into the SK's Golden Pyramid by sun up on the 7th day?
both parties, nearly simultaneously, arrive at the Oasis of
Pygmies upon the 6th day at dusk.
they find the illusive Scorpion King's Golden Pyramid. Ah, but
getting throught the Oasis isn't going to be so easy. There's
these creepy pygmy guards that attack in a bloody frenzy to
deal with first!
Alex make it into the pyramid by sun up? Can the
O'Connells stop Imhotep and the Army of Anubis? Will the Scorpion
King be victorious? Will Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun settle in
a small westside pyramid for two and have a little mummy of
their own? Most importantly, will Brendan Fraser keep aging
of TMR's scenes actually had me laughing out loud - not
where the screenwriter had planned, I'm sure! For one, the evil
Scorpion King's army, resurrected from the grave, looked like
rabid greyhounds. Even at seven feet tall they looked high-strung
and wimpy. Reminiscent of the silly feminine storm troopers
in Star Wars Episode One.
the horrid little Muppet-esque "guards" of the Scorpion
King's Golden Pyramid - the pygmies. They were just stoopid!
It's not humiliating enough to this would-be world dominator,
The Scorpion King, that he's half arachnid, but he's got to
have these bazillion evil Muppets guarding his tomb? I bet he's
got "Imhotep Evil Army" envy!
has everything you expect in your blockbuster summer movie;
a swashbuckling leading man, sassy gal pals, a precocious offspring
and a barrage of bad guys that you acn hoot at as they are inevitably
crushed in brilliantly, if redundant, choreographed fight scenes
by our heroes!
be ready, there are so many leading characters and such a deeply
woven storyline, intermingled with fancy Egyptian words, that
at times you'll be lead so far off the camel trail, you may
forget why you had to stop in Hamunaptra or Karnac enroute to
the Pigmy Oasis at the Golden Pyramid.
can spend hours at the official
Recommendation: Crumpets and Hummus drizzled with lemon
and olive oil...
Brendan Fraser, Racel Weitz, Arnold Vasloo, Patricia Velezquez,
John Hannah, The Rock and Fred Boath.
Directed By: Stephen Sommers