The Mummy Returns

Well if you liked the first movie, you'll like this one, which is the mandatory sequel to 1999's "The Mummy". If you didn't like the first one click the "back" button on your browser now, you won't like this one either. If you didn't see the first movie, no matter, as this movie cleverly, both foreshadows and flashes back to the first movie, in fact it is somewhat of a remake of the original, with a bit more detail explaining some things from the first. Actually, a good word to use to describe this film would be reincarnation. This is basically a reincarnation of the first movie, as several main characters in this movie turn out to be reincarnations of ancient Egyptians from the first film. We pick up with the O'Connell family Rick (Brendan Fraser), Evie (Rachel Weisz) and son Alex (Freddie Boath). 10 years later living in their stately English manor, along with Evie's brother, Jonathan (John Hannah).

Of course, the bad guys from the first movie return as well. We have Meela, the reincarnated Anck-su-namun (Patricia Velasquez), the star-crossed love interest of ancient Egyptian priest and villain Imhotep (Arnold Vooslo) who assassinated the Pharaoh who was to make Anckie his bride. Also returning (much to my delight) is Medji warrior Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr), and his nemesis, newcomer Lock Nah (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: HBO's Oz, Congo), Imhotep's henchman who was sent to kidnap and deliver the "chosen one" who just happens to be Alex. If you are wondering how he got to be the chosen one, look no further than his mother, who turns out to be the reincarnation of Nefertiti, the daughter of the Pharaoh whom Anckie and Imho conspired to murder.

The problem in this movie beings when O'Connell's discover the ancient bracelet of the Scorpion King (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), an ancient Egyptian warrior who struck a deal with netherworld god Anubis for survival and prosperity. The Scorpion King (also the name of the prequel of "The Mummy" trilogy, starring The Rock), commanded Anubis' army of jackal-headed warriors, who vanquished his enemies and will rise again when summoned by the Scorpion King, who can be wakened by the bracelet. This is why Imhotep wants Alex, as he will use the bracelet, which is attached to young lad (and unfortunately he can't remove it without dying), to wake the Scorpion King and kill him afterwards so that he could then take control the army and conquer the world.

That is basically the plot, so here of course are my normal lists of shortcomings. First, the reincarnation theme just went too far and had a few flaws, namely Evie being the reincarnation of Nefertiti, when in the first movie, Imhotep recognized her and tried to resurrect her as Anck-su-namun. It is implausible that Imhotep would have mistaken Evie/Nefertiti for his timeless love when she was actually her wary adversary. The previews and advertisements for gave equal billing to The Rock but his role is nothing more than a cameo. Certain scenes/subplots were too drawn out, in particular the bus scene where our heroes battle the mummy soldiers. It just went on way too long. Additionally, little Freddie Boath was exceedingly annoying for my taste and Meela/Anck-su-namun went through most of the movie dressed like a gothling. Arnold Vooslo was another example of criminal underutilization of an actor. I think we saw too much of Frasier trying to be a comedic Indiana Jones and not enough character expansion on the character of Imhotep. (I mean if the Scorpion King can get his own movie, then Imhotep could've at least gotten a little more character development.) Finally, we see Anck-su-namun and Nefertiti in 3000 BC Egypt fighting in the style of Asian martial arts of not so long ago.

All in all, I thought this was a pretty good movie; then again perhaps it was because I saw it at an Egyptian-themed movie theater. Whatever the reason, this is an entertaining flick to watch, especially because of the special effects, which are excellent. Brendan Frasier comes up with some witty one-liners at times, and both Weisz and Velasquez are nice eye candy.

Billz Movie Worthiness Scale: B-

Billz Movie Worthiness Scale Values:

A = movie tickets and popcorn for 2 (about $40)
B = buy the DVD when it comes out ($25)
C = rent it
D = wait for it to be on cable/pay TV
E = wait for it to be on regular TV

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