I’ve often talked about The Mummy on this site, because it was the movie that made me start loving movies. If I could guess, The Mummy has been mentioned in about two or three different articles. But as much as I talk about this entertaining film, I never talk about The Mummy Returns. This film takes place around 10 years after the first film. Once again, taking us on an action-packed adventure, as another Egyptian dig causes the awakening of two mummies. Now when I first saw The Mummy Returns, I was about 11 years old, and I loved it. However, this is one of those movies that you love when you’re young, but lacks the re-watch factor when you get older. My Dad and sisters never liked it much, and often said it wasn’t as great as the original, but what sequel has ever been better than the original? After a recent watch on Netflix, I finally understand what my family truly dislikes about the film.
In The Mummy Returns, we find our heroes, the O’Connells (Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz) going on another dig down in Egypt. Within minutes, our characters our pushed into an action sequence that almost kisses our beloved characters goodbye. All of a sudden we are transported to the city of Hamunaptra, as we find that a group of people have devised a plan to resurrect Imhotep, as he is the only one that can take on the Scorpion King. So now we’re transported back to the O’Connell’s home as they return from their trip. But this time, those people who were in Hamunaptra just seconds ago, are now here in London. But it is the annoying son, played by Freddie Boath, that decides to put on the bracelet of the Scorpion King, thus “bringing about the next apocalypse”. Once again, another action scene… The constant back and forth of this editing starts to become clunky. It also lacks a theoretical timeline. It’s as though one set of characters is here one minute, and then thousands of miles somewhere else in the next scene. But as clunky as the editing was, it is the overuse of CGI that grates on me.
When it comes to CGI, I can’t fully blame the production team. How could they have known that within 10 years, the film would end up looking ridiculous, because CGI cannot hold up through the test of time. CGI is everywhere in The Mummy Returns. This film gives George Lucas a run for his money. The first fight between Evelyn and the “bad guys”, is extremely bad. There is one scene in particular when Evelyn is doing a back flip to avoid being attacked. All you see is a guy looking, and Evelyn, who looks rather cartoony, doing this backflip. But no scene is more cringe worthy than that of the epic battle between Imhotep, Rick, and The Scorpion King.
See, The Rock was at the start of his acting career with this film. All people knew of him was what they had heard from The Rock’s days in wrestling. Remember that famous line, “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?” Then The Rock would give his signature one eyebrow raise, and proceed to kick his opponents ass. Surely they can’t put his signature look in the movie. Oh, nay nay, I say. They can, and they did! It wasn’t bad enough that The Scorpion King’s body looked like 2-year-old ground beef, or a poorly designed scene from a video game. No, they had to make this scene as cheesy as possible. During the fight scene, The Scorpion King, looks at the camera and raises his eyebrow. Just in case you were too stupid to understand that The Rock was playing The Scorpion King. This would not be the last we saw of The Scorpion King, as he would get his own movie in the coming years, which ended up flopping at the box office.
I know I give The Mummy Returns a hard time, but I actually enjoy it. I feel like I can make fun of it now, because I was that kid who truly adored it. The action scenes, though full of CGI, are fun to watch. Not to mention the witty banter that continues from the original film. Though at one time in my life I would have given this film an A++++++, I can’t find it in me to do that. As nostalgic as this film is, it will forever remain full of problems.
The Mummy Returns
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and John Hannah