Many years ago, in Ancient Egypt, the Scorpion Kind led a menacing army, but when he sold his soul to Anubis, he was erased from history. Now he is only a myth...or is he? Rick and Evelyn O'Connell is still discovering new artifacts, along with their 8 year old son Alex. They discover the Bracelet of Anubis. But someone else is after the bracelet. High Priest Imhotep has been brought back from the dead once again and wants the bracelet, to control the Scorpian King's army. That's not the only problem. Imhotep now has Alex and with the bracelet attached to him, doesn't have long to live. Written by
At the end credits of the film, the main cast and crews' names are first presented in hieroglyphics, then change into Roman (English) fonts that have a hieroglyphic-like look to them. (The rest of the credits are also in this font). After the main cast and crew is named, the rest of the credits, instead of scrolling down in traditional straight lines, are staggered in snake-like patterns, while hieroglyphics are placed in various areas of the credits and on the screen. See more »
The plot of this film is too complex to set out in any great detail. Suffice it to say that a group of villains, including one of the curators of the British Museum, have revived the corpse of the Ancient Egyptian priest Imhotep, who was put to death for his part in the murder of the Pharaoh, a crime carried out by his wife Anck-su-Namun, who was also Imhotep's lover. The villains are also seeking to use a magic bracelet to revive the Scorpion King (a warrior from another period of Egyptian history who sold his soul to the dark god Anubis in exchange for military success) and his army. The idea is that they will then use Imhotep to kill the Scorpion King, which will give them control of his army, which they will then use to achieve their ambition of world domination. The only people who can thwart their schemes are Rick O'Connell, an American archaeologist, and his beautiful English wife Evelyn, whose young son Alex has stolen the magic bracelet. Evelyn just happens to be the reincarnation of the daughter of the murdered Pharaoh .
You get the general idea. Don't you just love social realism?
Despite the fact that the plot of 'The Mummy Returns' is clearly nonsensical, I rather enjoyed the film. It is set in the 1930s, and it clearly owes much to the 'Indiana Jones' films, also set in that period. Both involve Egyptian archaeology and artefacts with mystical powers. Although this will sound heretical to the army of Spielberg devotees, who have voted 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' to number 17 in your list of the 250 best movies of all time, I have to say that I enjoyed 'The Mummy Returns' at least as much as any of the 'Indiana Jones' series (and considerably more than 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'). The reason is that the film is fast-paced and occasionally witty; the film whisks the viewer from one adventure to another and generates enough excitement to make him or her forget the many absurdities and inconsistencies in the script. The film never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, a mistake that can often ruin an adventure film of this nature.
The best thing about this film is that it stars the gorgeous Rachel Weisz. Indeed, it helped to change my ideas about her. I had previously seen Rachel as an attractive, but rather conservative and proper actress, always playing English rose types in art-house movies. 'The Mummy Returns' (I have never seen 'The Mummy') showed that she has a larger range than this and has not only the looks, but also the sex appeal and cinematic presence, to take the lead in Hollywood blockbusters. (Her predecessor as official English Rose, Helena Bonham Carter, has also made a similar move). Brendan Fraser has never really been my favourite actor, but here he did well as Rick, the solid and dependable family man.
This is very much a 'family values' thriller, like 'True Lies' or 'The River Wild', in which mum, dad and the kid all play their part in thwarting the bad guys. This phenomenon perhaps marks a change in the way in which women are seen by the film industry. At one time, leading actresses often disliked being cast as a mother, even of young children, as it was seen as a sign that their career as a leading lady was over and that henceforward they only had 'character' roles to look forward to. Rachel Weisz, however, plays a mother both here and in her next film, 'About a Boy', without her career suffering any harm.
Of the other characters, there was an amusing cameo from John Hannah as Jonathan, Evelyn's cowardly and avaricious brother. The villains do not really stand out , with the exception of Patricia Velasquez as the reincarnated Anck-su-Namun, a villainess almost as sexy as the heroine. (Her duel with Rachel Weisz will probably strike most male viewers as the film's most memorable scene). The sense of menace overhanging the heroes comes more from the film's computer-generated effects. One thing I did not like was the Scorpion King, in the early scenes a human being but in the later ones a rather ridiculous and unconvincing half-man half-scorpion monster like something from a cheap B-movie.
In a way, the film could be seen as a modern-day B-movie; an updated large-scale big-budget version of those old Saturday morning quickies. Much the same thing, however, could be said of many of Spielberg's films (and not just Indiana Jones). 'The Mummy Returns' may be nonsense, but at least it is entertaining nonsense. 6/10
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