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The Mummy Returns
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The Mummy Returns (2001)

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Plot Summary:
"The story is set in 1933, 10 years after the events of the first film. Rick O'Connell is now married to Evelyn and the couple has settled in London, where they are raising their 8-year-old son Alex. When a chain of events finds the corpse of Imhotep resurrected in the British Museum, the mummy Imhotep walks the earth once more, determined to fulfill his quest for immortality. But another force has also been set loose in the world... one born of the darkest rituals of ancient Egyptian mysticism, and even more powerful than Imhotep. When these two forces clash, the fate of the world will hang in the balance, sending the O'Connells on a desperate race to save the world from unspeakable evil, and rescue their son before it is too late."

Reviewer: John Dedeke @horrorasylum
Review Date: 31 October 2001 My Rating: out of 5


# I was not a fan of the first Mummy film at all. While I appreciated the old-fashioned adventure story of the film, it was tired ground that had already been covered, and I thought its emphasis on bad humor and even worse special effects brought it down. The Mummy Returns is really more of the same; bad humor, bad special effects, bad acting, but most important of all, this time the story doesn't even make any sense.

People really can't call the Mummy movies 'good', even if they like them. I don't think even fans of the first one considered it A-class entertainment, but rather just good, mindless fun. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. I'm all for throwing out the more classy elements of cinema in favor of creating a 'good-time' movie, and when it's done well, the results can be splendid (such as From Dusk Till Dawn or the Evil Dead films). The problem with the Mummy movies, and this sequel in particular, is that it is NOT done well. There's no problem with having a terrible story and horrible acting if the crux of the movie is the action and special effects; the problem arises when that action is BORING and the special effects are AWFUL, as is the case with The Mummy Returns.

It's sort of beside the point to really make any reference to the plot of The Mummy Returns, in part because it doesn't exist, and in part because it really doesn't matter. The fact that the film's story makes no sense whatsoever probably won't matter to most people looking to the film for a good time. Those folks are going to be interested in the action and special effects, which is where The Mummy Returns puts all of its efforts and still comes up empty-handed. That's not to say the film doesn't try, as the audience is treated to one non-stop action scene and over-the-top CGI effect after another. But the action is all stuff we've seen a thousand times before, and the special effects look like they were put together by high school students with a fancy computer.

One of the concerns many horror fans had over this sequel was the question of whether or not it would stick closer to the horror element than the original, which had barely an ounce of terror. Unfortunately, THE MUMMY RETURNS doesn't really head in that direction (or any direction, for that matter), instead hoping to dazzle the audience with recreations of some scenes from the first film and the promises of an epic final battle between Imhotep and the Scorpion King; a battle that doesn't really ever materialize into what you're expecting. You come away from the movie without feeling like you've actually watched a film, but rather a string of inconsistent scenes that don't even stand up well on their own, let alone when placed in some sort of half-hearted sequence.

I'm sure there are some people who will enjoy The Mummy Returns as much as they enjoyed the first film, but the numbers are slim. And if you WEREN'T a fan of the first film, don't even bother giving this one a try. You'll likely want to mummify YOURSELF after seeing it.

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