Projections - Movie Reviews

The Mummy Returns The Mummy Returns

In a world of Gods and Monsters Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz are back in the cliff hanger format which places them in constant danger from the mummies in Egypt and now in good old London.

Fraser and Weisz, eight years after their first adventure with The Mummy, live very well in 1933 London as Rick and Evelyn O'Connell.  They have son Alex (Freddie Boath) who has literary skills like his mother and a comic courage like his father.

In a dark chamber at the quiet British Museum, the corpse of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) is freed to walk the earth again.  Unlike Boris Karloff's 1932 Imhotep, who searched for his true love, Vosloo's Imhotep searches beyond love to destroy The Scorpion King (played by the Rock), seize his army and control the world.  It's all somewhat complicated.  It takes a gold bracelet on the arm of little Alex to set the action in motion and the survival of the world lies in the balance.

The Rock's Scorpion King appears sparingly and most often with just his upper body on a scorpion's deadly lower body.  His big scene comes when he acts like a "Survivor" and eats one of the millions of black scorpions which are released when his suspension from the world between life and death is lifted during The Year of the Scorpion.

All of this revolves around the O'Connell family; Alex with the gold bracelet, Rick who has a tattoo which will effect their lives and Evelyn who has dreams of an earlier life three thousand years before in a Egyptian pharaoh's family.

Writer/director Steven Sommers repeats his roles from the 1999 film and places the vast digital armies in the hands of John Berton Jr., the visual effects supervisor.  Berton's team dominates the film, perhaps a bit too much, though not as irritatingly as Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars: Episode I. The battles are carried on at great length lessening the spectacle of hoards of the un-dead charging across the desert.

Bugs, bats, scorpions and black dust dominate the action but with less comical inferences than the roaches in the original.  But the exciting domination of the action scenes leaves us longing for more of the human action present in Fraser's Rick in the first film.  Although he does get off a great comic line "Oh, I hate Mummies," early on when Imhotep's soldiers chase a two decker bus and destroy his shinny new car.  The comedy falls to Alex the son and brother-in-law Jonathan (John Hannah) who continues to look for quick riches and easy compromises to take care of himself.

Keeping track of the characters is complex at times due to their number and multiple roles, but the tongue-in-cheek comedy which mutes some rather frightening scenes and the scope of the special effects in London and Egypt usher in the summer season with a production that allows us to suspend reality and wander in a world which Indiana Jones could easily enter and one in which a sequel could be based on Alex, the Pharaoh.

The Mummy Returns

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