Released: 4th May 2001
Directed by: Stephen Somers
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo
Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz return in the follow up to the hugely successful ‘The Mummy’. The story takes place 10 years after the original; Rick and Evelyn are now married and have a son, Alex. All have just discovered the bracelet of Anubis. Once back home in London Alex puts the bracelet on which attaches itself to him. Meanwhile the mummified body of Imhotep is recovered and taken to the British museum to be resurrected. He has unfinished business with the O’Connell’s and plans to defeat The Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson) and take control of his army. In the process Alex is kidnapped. Rick and Evelyn go to find their son, release the bracelet from him and stop Imhotep rising The Scorpion King and his army.
The main difference between this sequel and the original is that it’s turned into a full-blown action flick. The horror aspect from the first film has been abandoned here and is replaced with larger than life special effects. These include a huge battle involving the Army of Anubis and mummies running around London. Exciting to watch but it ups the ante on silliness. Some effects on the other hand are poorly executed, the main focus being The Scorpion King with Dwayne Johnson’s head been digitally created. It’s laughable and cheap looking which is a shame considering the efforts made in the first movie. With a slightly bigger budget behind him director Stephen Sommers has used an excessive amount of computer wizardry, creating the most obscene creatures and unimaginable scenarios. It’s all in the name of fun but it lacks the darker tone that was present in the original.
‘The Mummy Returns’ tries to add more depth to the story of the first film. We now have Evelyn having flashes of her past life, a past life that involved Imhotep and his lover Anck Su Namun. It adds confusion, seems unnecessary and could have been more straightforward. It’s not the best-written script but neither was the original. It’s increased in action, humor and comes across brainless but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable.
The great thing about this sequel is that the entire original cast return. John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr and Patricia Velasquez join Fraser and Weisz. They all still have great chemistry and they have fun with their roles. Newcomer Freddie Boath (Alex) and Dwayne Johnson add to the new cast members. Boath is relaxed in his role and has great interaction with John Hannah. Johnson doesn’t have much to work with but this movie set him up for a film career.
Stephan Sommers has fun with the material even though it has lost some of its charm. It’s action packed and over-the-top but it’s a hell a lot of fun.