Mummy Returns, The

Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah
Director / Writer: Stephen Sommers

If only once, demons from the past thought about what they’d actually get when trying to conquer the modern world, my guess is they’d think twice and then go back from whence they came – without a fight, I might add.

But, the big bad Mummy is back and this time he’s even madder because now he’s got to face not only the hero and his wife, but pro-wrestling’s “The Rock”!

Brendan Fraser reprises his role from 1999’s The Mummy as adventurer Rick O’Connell but this time around, he’s married to obstreperous Egyptologist Evelyn (Weisz, also back for seconds), who looks entirely too modern for a 1933 Londoner and they now have an 8-year old son named Alex (Freddie Boath, very reminiscent of a young Henry Thomas in E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial).

Bumming around the caves one day, they come across the tomb of the dreaded Scorpion King and as usual, it’s filled with horrible curses. They make off with a chest carrying the Scorp’s elaborate gold bracelet which is the key to bringing him and his frightful army of ‘dog soldiers’ back to life – so they can take over the world, of course. We know all this from the elaborate back story describing how Scorp (Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock”) sold his soul to Anubis, the God of the underworld back in 3067 B.C.

But who would be crazy enough to want to raise the dead? Why another dead person, of course, or rather the reincarnation of Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velasquez), the lover of the dreaded Mummy Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) from the 1999 version. With help from a British museum curator, Anck-Su-Namun’s mission is to bring back the Scorpion King, bring back Imhotep, have Imhotep kill Scorp and acquire his legions so that the Mummy and his bride can conquer the world.

Rick, Evelyn and Alex are forced to save the day because they are in possession of the bracelet. Also on hand in the hero’s realm are Evelyn’s brother Jonathan (John Hannah providing most of the comic relief … again) and Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr), leader of a protector sect sworn to destroy all mummies, past and present.

Lotta says: The Mummy Returns is rousing good fun and this time there’s more non-stop action which helps keep the tongue-in-cheek dialogue in check. Look for great desert visuals, a beautifully appointed dirigible, a riveting double-decker bus action sequence featuring mummy foot soldiers and the usual array of ugly bugs and terrifying snakes. Evelyn and Anck-Su-Namun go at it in an Egyptian style Kung Fu fight scene that’s top notch. Shaun Parkes plays Izzy, the dirigible’s incorrigible owner to good effect.

Reviewed 5/4/01