|Star:||Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, The Rock|
|Cert / Year:||12 - PG13 / 2001|
In ancient Egypt a great warrior called the Scorpion king (The Rock) does a deal with Annubis to lead his armies in a war of conquest, in return Annubis gets his soul. Fine except for that fact that Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), now married to Rick O'Connell (Brendan Frazer) and her family have just found his bracelet. Unfortunately the O'Connell's son Alex (Freddie Boath) has put on the bracelet which means that is seven days the scorpion king and the armies of Annubis will rise and destroy the world, that is unless the scorpion king can be destroyed. One nefarious group lead by Mr. Hafez (Alun Armstrong) has a plan to do this, however this involves resurrecting the mummy of Imhotep again.
Sequels, they are just never as good are they, the ones that are do tend to be the exception rather than the rule. So what of Mummy Returns? On he positive side the budget if anything is even bigger and this is reflected in the action scenes which are absolutely spectacular. The opening battles of the Scorpion king and the gun fight in the museum are especially good. In these movies the action has always been an important part and this one certain does not disappoint.
Another good sign is that all of the original cast have returned. Brendan Fraser is again very good despite the fact that his, like many most of the casts, dialogue is pretty poor. The problem is that you can only say oh no not again in a fixed number of ways, and not much attempt has been made to go beyond this. Rachel Weisz character has been made less clumsy and has suddenly gained fighting skills, and while she is good as a romantic lead, she appears to be the most inattentive mother ever. The inclusion of a child actor is usually a big mistake, and initially it looked like this would be true. However the situation is saved when the excellent John Hannah's character, Jonathan, reappears. Together him and Freddie Boath form a great comic relief double act. In fact it is a very impressive performance from the young actor. The bad guys range from adequate to poor. Arnold Vosloo is criminally under used, and The Rock makes the briefest of cameos (before becoming badly computer generated).
The biggest problem with the film is the script. Whereas the original provided some interesting characters, a strong (if not simple) plot, and good dialogue the sequel's script fails more often than it succeeds. Taking things a point at a time, as I have mentioned the dialogue is often poor with many of the one liners not really working. The exception to this is the dialogue given to both Alex and Jonathan. On the character side Beni from the first film is really missed, and to be honest there are just too many bad guys with none of the characters being particularly well developed.
Next is the plot, which can best be described as confused. The plot seems less about telling a story but more about providing excuses to string together the action scenes. Some scenes are ripped straight out of the original film (the wall of sand becomes a wall of water, the aeroplane becomes a airship, etc.), and overall the whole thing feels rushed. For example the resurrection of Imhotep which caused the seven plagues etc, is written off in a about two minutes. As for the whole theme of reincarnation the words far fetched barely seem adequate.
The special effects are also variable, occasionally brilliant, occasionally pants. Way to much CGI has been used, and while it looks great in the massed armies during the battles it is awful in the realisation of the scorpion king. One of the worst ideas is the ridiculous rocket powered airship which looks like it has escaped from the film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. This both looks unrealistic and just doesn't fit in this film. The zombie pigmies are great, but the forming and destruction of the jungle is poor. for every good effect there is a bad one.
In this case the sequel is not a good as the original. It does have some good actors, and some impressive action. However it has a terrible script (Stephen Sommers should stick to direction), and in places dire effects that means often it is just not believable. This is not an awful film, and in places it can be very entertaining, but personally after watching the first film I was left very disappointed. If the Mummy Returns another again, lets hope he brings with him a new script writer.
The most terrifying power on earth is about to be reborn.
|2.35:1 Anamorphic||Superb picture|
|Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS||Awesome and well positioned.|
|The Main Feature|
|Commentary from director and cast|
|In-depth Look into the Astonishing Special Effects: Stage-By-Stage Breakdown of Key Special Effects Scenes|
|Scorpion King featurette|
|Interview with The Rock mostly about the Scorpion King|
|Egyptology 2001 educational featurette|
|Making of featurette|
|Chamber of Doom - A Virtual Tour of Universal Studios Latest Theme Park Attraction|
|DVD ROM material|
|Rather a dispointment. Whereas the film transfer is great the extras are mostly just advertising various Mummy spin off products.|