In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
Many years ago, in Ancient Egypt, the Scorpion King 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 are 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 Scorpion 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
When The Mummy hit theatres in 1999, critics everywhere panned it as being a poor man's Indiana Jones. While the two movies are about as similar as Dr. No is to GoldenEye (thankfully), I suppose comparisons between one non-stop adventure film and other are inevitable. In the end, what really counts when determining a film's quality is the level to which it can entertain. And if there is one thing The Mummy did well, it was entertain. Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and Arnold Vosloo were very well chosen for their roles.
The Mummy Returns is easy to see as being another sequel churned out to satiate the greedy money-machine that Hollywood has become, but it has a few things working for it. One thing that is immediately obvious is that the sequel was very much intended to be a film that could be enjoyed without ever having seen the original. The only references to the previous film are done to fill in the narrative gaps about who Imhotep is, and why he is the way he is. The addition of The Scorpion King was an interesting effort to give the film a new antagonist, but the lack of screentime didn't work well in this tangent's favour. Another tangent that could have been better developed was the rivalry between Imhotep's girlfriend and whatever her name was. Imhotep originally mistook Rachel Weisz's character for being his girlfriend reincarnated, so the use of a woman who looks exactly like her while creating this new tangent needed to be developed differently.
Most people won't give a damn about complex story tangents and will want to know if this film is entertaining. And it is entertaining, alright. There is barely a dull moment in the film's substantial running length, and Oded Fehr does a bang-up job of providing a Mad-Max-cum-Indiana-Jones hero. I want to know where they get those groovy costumes and tattoos from, they look quite nice. Anyway, when all is said and done, this is an eight out of ten film. A few badly constructed story details here and there, but some extremely entertaining action sequences make up for them. Don't listen to the nay-sayers. This is matinee-style material at its (almost) best. Get the DVD when it comes out, it will at least tide you over until George Lucas gets his head out of his proverbial and realises that the VHS era is well and truly over.
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