The Mummy Returns

You can fault this noisy swashbuckler on any number of counts — unconvincing computer-generated effects, an excess of video-game-inspired fight scenes, some seriously derivative sequences — but give it this: It works its gilded butt off to give you your money's worth. More than two hours of frantic supernatural shenanigans, crammed with standard-issue...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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You can fault this noisy swashbuckler on any number of counts — unconvincing computer-generated effects, an excess of video-game-inspired fight scenes, some seriously derivative sequences — but give it this: It works its gilded butt off to give you your money's worth. More than two hours of frantic supernatural shenanigans, crammed with standard-issue mummies, chattering midget mummies, scary scarabs, moldering skeletons, supernatural dog soldiers of Anubis, pyramids, fighting girls, a flying galleon and the fearsome Scorpion King, to be precise. The year is 1935: American adventurer Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and spunky English Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) are married, and have a precocious son named Alex (Freddie Boath). They're based in London, but still spend most of their time poking fearlessly around Egyptian ruins — some people never learn. Their newest discovery is a golden bracelet that once belonged to the fabled Scorpion King (The Rock), a fearsome warrior who in the year 3067 BC sold his soul to Anubis, jackal-headed god of the underworld, for military might. Legend has it that the bracelet will lead the wearer to the Scorpion King's final resting place, beneath a golden pyramid in the fabled oasis Ahm Shere. The man who can raise the Scorpion King and defeat him in combat can command Anubis's hell hounds and rule the world. The O'Connells return to London with the artifact, followed by the usual malefactors, who plan to raise original mummy Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) so he can kick the Scorpion King's ass. In addition to picturesque incantations and supernatural hocus pocus, there's also a whole lot of reincarnation going on: Foremost among the old souls is slinky femme fatale Meela (Patricia Velasquez), who was once Imhotep's illicit lover Anck-Su-Namun, but Evelyn is also having vivid waking dreams about ancient Egypt. In any event, little Alex dons the scorpion bracelet and when it won't come off, the baddies kidnap him and make tracks for Ahm Shere. Rick and Evelyn must now rescue their offspring and save the world, aided by Evelyn's dissolute brother Jonathan (John Hannah) and desert warrior Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr), who's descended from a long line of mummy-whompers. Between this film and TOMB RAIDER, the modern market in archeological escapades is pretty well sewn up — in the company of Rick O'Connell (who's maturing into a kinder, gentler Snake Plissken) and Lara Croft, poor Indiana Jones is just another charming relic.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: You can fault this noisy swashbuckler on any number of counts — unconvincing computer-generated effects, an excess of video-game-inspired fight scenes, some seriously derivative sequences — but give it this: It works its gilded butt off to give you your mo… (more)

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