Combustible Celluloid
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With: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, The Rock, Freddie Boath, Patricia Velasquez, Alun Armstrong, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Shaun Parkes, Bruce Byron, Joe Dixon, Tom Fisher, Aharon Ipalé, Quill Roberts
Written by: Stephen Sommers
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for adventure action and violence
Running Time: 130
Date: 04/29/2001

The Mummy Returns (2001)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Bad Wrap

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The first big-budget Mummy movie was so flimsy that it failed to hold up on home video, which is where I saw it for the first time. So I was hoping a sojourn to the multiplex would help make the case for the new The Mummy Returns, written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It didn't. The Mummy Returns feels like so much scrap metal picked up off the factory floor at the place where they made the first one. It feels mechanical. It tries to suck some life substance from the "Indiana Jones" pictures, but only succeeds in copying their gridwork. The sense of wonder and excitement is gone.

Brendan Fraser returns with Rachel Weisz as his wife but now Freddie Boath is on board as their son, giving the movie a new cutsie factor it really didn't need. John Hannah provides dumb cowardly-Englishman comic relief, and the lovely Patricia Velasquez plays a paper-thin villainess. Anyone looking forward to seeing wrestler The Rock make his big-screen debut will be disappointed. He's onscreen for about 10 minutes, and then they CGI him into a giant scorpion. The plot has something to do with the evil mummy trying to take over the world. Even the characters seem weary of the typicalness of this story.

I was longing to be tingled as in the Boris Karloff Mummy movies, or at least carried away like in the Indiana Jones pictures, but The Mummy Returns just left me numb.

Another sequel, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), followed.

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