Saturday, June 10, 2017

Movie Review: The Mummy Returns

A new legend arises along with an old in this action sequel. Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) narrates another prologue, this time about the Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson) and his ancient curse. Centuries later Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) explore the Scorpion King's resting place with their son Alex (Freddie Boath) uncovering a bracelet and escaping an attack from marauders. Another expedition unearths Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) from Hamunaptra led by a reincarnation of Anck-Su-Namun, Meela (Patricia Velasquez), her murderous henchman Lock-Nah (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Mr. Hafez (Alun Armstrong). They need the bracelet that the O"Connell's took from the tomb.

Evelyn's brother Jonathan (John Hannah) was using the O'Connell's house when the villains attack them. Ardeth arrives to help them fight but Lock-Nah captures Evelyn. Mr. Hafez is the curator of the British Museum where they take Evelyn to resurrect Imhotep. Rick breaks up the ceremony with Ardeth and they escape with Evelyn. A chase ensues through the streets of London on a double-decker bus. The villains capture Alex and bring him to Cairo as Imhotep regenerates at the expense of the marauders. Rick seeks out the hot air balloon pilot Izzy (Shaun Parkes) who has a rough history with O'Connell of getting shot.

The O'Connells follow their son's clues as they journey to the Oasis of Anubis. Evelyn has a flashback from her great ancestor of being the Pharoah's daughter Nefertiti tasked with being the protector of the bracelet. Knowing that they are on his trail, Imhotep calls up the waters of the Nile to take down the hot air balloon, leaving them stranded in the oasis. The villains also enter the oasis and are beset by mummy monkeys, quicksand, and other dangers. Ardeth takes on Lock-Nah in a sword fight killing Lock-Nah, then he sets out to warn the Magi. Rick saves Alex while Jonathan and Evelyn shoot from higher ground.

Alex must take the bracelet into the pyramid before sunrise or he'll die and Rick runs with him to make it just in time. The bracelet is removed but Meela stabs Evelyn and Mr. Hafez acquires the bracelet. As Rick mourns Evelyn, the God Anubis takes Imhotep's immortal powers. The finale sees Rick fighting Imhotep again, the Magi in a battle against Anubis's dog-faced army, and the Scorpion Queen resurrected. Evelyn is revived when Alex reads from the Book of the Dead so she can fight Anck-Su-Namun. After some action, Rick stabs the Spear of Osiris into the Scorpion King, destroying him and the army. Imhotep is betrayed by Anck-Su-Namun to his death and hers. Rick and company escape with the help of Izzy as the oasis collapses.

The second installment added to the outrageousness of the original with more special effects and insane action-adventure. The effects look a bit worse at parts, especially the Scorpion King, but that still managed to spawn a spinoff series. Stephen Sommers returns and injects enough comedy into the action to make the characters enjoyable to watch. The same chemistry remains though there is the questionable back story of Weisz's Evelyn that seemed out of place. The movie is fun and easy to watch again many years later but feels as if this is where they should have just quit while ahead. 

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