The Mummy Returns

The sequel to one of my favourite movies of last year sort of snuck in under my early warning movie radar – I only heard about it a few weeks before it was due to come out. This is, of course, a good thing, because it means you’re not sitting there saying, “damn, I just wish this movie would come out already”.

So, at the first available opportunity, I bustled myself off to see The Mummy Returns, to catch Rick and Evelyn O’Connell (Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz), comic relief Evelyn’s brother played by John Hannah, and the awesome character Ardeth Bay, played by Oded Fehr. Judging from the title, it is not unreasonable to assume that this movie would also involve some Egyptian Mummy action – which it does.

The movie starts out on location in Egypt, which leads to some pretty cool looking scenery of the pyramids, and lots of sand. Probably helps keep the set costs down, because they can just drop sand over everything. We’re back several squillion years ago, following the exploits of the new character: the Scorpion King, played by It-Doesn’t-Matter-Who-You-Are The Rock (of WWF fame), who does a pretty good job of standing up, yelling loudly, and beating people up, which he is eminently qualified for. The Scorpion King is doing fairly normal early king stuff, wandering around trying to conquer people and generally laying the smack down. However, he is defeated, and sells his soul to the Egyptian god Anubis in return for a few meagre victories.

So his soul is gone, and there’s the usual prophecies that are setting the scene for his return. In the background though, we’ve got a bunch of crazies – people that want to resurrect Imhotep (who we will rememeber as the Billy Zane-looking dude who wreaked havoc in the first movie), so he can challenge the Scorpion King in order to steal his army and, of course, take over the world.

Egyptologist supreme Evelyn is of course mixed up right in the middle of this, and drags in O’Connell and their new son, which results in a few funny scenes, and a few good action scenes. Fortunately for them, Oded Fehr – the cool black robe wearing, sword slinging, tattooed face guardian of the desert. The son is tied up in the conflict, and ends up getting kidnapped, which gives our hero Rick a chance to seriously get involved and lay down the law to these silly old dessicated bodies that keep waking up from the dead and getting in his way.

From there, its a pretty amusing romp around; interspersed with the same sort of funny behaviour of all the characters that you would know from the first one. There’s some exceptionally predictable stuff that happens towards the end of the movie, but it doesn’t ruin it or anything.

Overall, a good fun action romp. My only complaint was a bit of CG at the end where they digitally created and animated The Rock, which made him look pretty cheap and cheesy. Aside from that, the rest of the CG was excellent. Great scenery and backdrops, well created buildings and scenes from ancient Egypt and some top battle scenes. Definitely something to kick back to, turn the brain off, and soak up the gunfire and fisticuffs.

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