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The Mummy Returns

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz
Director: Stephen Sommers
Genre: Action
Year: 2001
Rating: 3 / 5

The summer of 1999 is approaching, and everyone is talking about The Phantom Menace, the first new Star Wars release in sixteen years. No one is paying attention to an adventure film opening less than three weeks prior. No one is paying attention, that is, until the first weekend take tops $40 million. The United States gross reaches $150 million, and the worldwide gross tops $400 million. These numbers are important because no one expected much out of The Mummy, yet it managed to be one of 1999's chief success stories. Flash forward two years, and suddenly huge expectations await The Mummy Returns, the sequel to the action hit. Can it live up to the hype? Let us simply say that it gives us exactly what we expect.

Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evie (Rachel Weisz) O'Connell once again find themselves in the Egyptian desert, nearly ten years after their initial meeting. This time the two have young son Alex (Freddie Boath) in tow as they search for the bracelet worn by the Scorpion King (The Rock). The bracelet is the key to finding the Scorpion King's final resting place and to controlling his powerful army. This brings us to the excavation crew being fronted by a mysterious woman (Patricia Velazquez), one with a very clouded past. They are trying to raise the priest Imhotep (again), in the hopes that he will conquer the Scorpion King and lead his armies to world domination. Got all that?

People often criticize action movies for being heavy on special effects and thin on plot. When we look at the typical Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sylvester Stallone movies, this becomes quite apparent. In this case, though, The Mummy Returns could have used a little less plot. The story is sometimes hard to follow, especially since the audience is asked to weigh the possibility of two "villains" competing against each other. The effects are top-notch, though they offer little new and exciting relative to the first film. The technical wizards work wonders with natural phenomenon and bug-like creatures, although I wonder if they might be a little too in love with some of their magical creations.

Brendan Fraser (George of the Jungle) suits up again as our second-favorite adventurer. He once again uses his charm and a touch of humor to woo the audience, trading in the sarcasm of the first film for playful marital ribbing. Rachel Weisz's character undergoes the most noticeable change, as she moves from window dressing to a battling warrior princess. Needless to say, the film is better off for it, as Weisz and co-star Patricia Velazquez make for a formidable pair of female leads. Sturdy Oded Fehr and John Hannah, the comic relief, return for more fun, as does soft-spoken villain Arnold Vosloo. The Mummy Returns offers more of the same - the carefree adventure of the first film with the same cast of likeable characters. If The Mummy was your cup of tea, grab a seat and join Fraser, Weisz, and the gang for another batch of thrills.

Cast:

Brendan Fraser..........Rick O'Connell
Rachel Weisz..........Evia Carnahan
John Hannah..........Jonathan Carnahan
Oded Fehr..........Ardeth Bay
Arnold Vosloo..........Imhotep

Certification: Rated PG-13.
Running Time: 120 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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