CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Summer 2001 : The Mummy Returns; forget reality-watch the spectacle

During the Depression and World War II, Universal
Pictures stayed solvent thanks to their adaptation of
classic monsters of literature and folklore. Even
today the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man are
still well known to a generation of children weened on
Pokemon and Dragonball Z. "The Mummy Returns"
captures the Saturday Matinee spirit of those old "B"
monster movies with superior special effects generated
by George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic.

Ten years after dealing with "The Mummy," adventurer
Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) has married his
leading lady from the first feature, Evie (Rachel
Weisz) and has raised a son, Alex (Freddie Boath.)
The family spends their time looking for buried

In the meantime, Betty Page-look-alike Anck-Su-Namun
(Patricia Velazquez) has organized an archaeological
dig for her long lost undead sweetheart Im-Ho-Tep,
alias the Mummy (Arnold Vosloo.) 1933 is the Year of
the Scorpion and if resurrected in time, Im-Ho-Tep can
claim world domination with the aid of the Scorpion
King (Dwayne Johnson, alias The Rock.) Of course, the
only things standing the way of the Mummy's diabolical
plans are the O'Connell Family.

"The Mummy Returns" features non stop action from
beginning to end. There are many fast paced rescues
and escapes that provide creative chases on a double
decker bus and on a dirigible. Besides the Mummy and
the Scorpion King, this film features armies of Anubis
Jackals and Zombie Pygmies. Unfortunately with all of
this emphasis continuous action, "The Mummy Returns"
lacks any sense of danger.

Mainstream critics have complained about this film's
lack of plot. Actually this new Mummy movie contains
multiple plotlines for each of the 9 main characters.
While Writer/Director Stephen Sommers painstakingly
fulfills each character arc, he should be commended for
creating a monster movie that promotes pro family
values in a subtle way.

Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold
Vosloo, Patricia Velazquez and Oded Fehr have reunited
from the original movie and seem to enjoy each other's
company, even when they are trying to kill each other.
New comer Freddie Boath is quite likeable as the mini
version of Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser. However,
the jury is still out on the acting career of
University of Miami Graduate, Dwayne "The Rock"
Johnson. However the Rock will get an acting rematch
next summer when he returns in the Mummy spinoff, "The
Scorpion King."

As a Director, Sommers excels paying homage to the
monster movies of the past with loving detail.
With the box office success of "Hannibal" and the
future release of "Jurassic Park III," Universal
Pictures can reclaim of the Creature Feature Crown
this summer with "The Mummy Returns."
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