The Mummy Returns

The Mummy Returns


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Bigger, louder, faster, more of everything than the original, as we have come to expect from Hollywood sequels; and, as a consequence, naturally weaker, though I still think this was a movie which was savaged by the critics to an unfair degree. Despite its difficulties, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Its principal problem was that it had two many characters and two many subplots, so that it had difficulty bringing them together or properly developing any of them. That, and the kid was excruciating, not natural in the last, though that became less of a problem towards the end when all he had to do was run about and yell occasionally.

Character motivations were unclear. In the first movie, the mummy Imhotep, played with surprising subtlety by Arnold Vosloo, wanted only to retrieve his lost love; so why, now, the sudden ambition to do the cliched villain thing and Take Over The World? As for Rachel Weisz's Evie, whom he had first thought resembled his beloved Anck-Sunamun, what the hell was she doing suddenly turning out to be the reincarnation of somebody else? This was all superfluous nonsense. Brendan Fraser, however, still provided an engaging hero, and it was nice to see Oded Fehr getting more to do as Arab leader Ardeth Bey, even if one did get the feeling that it might be due to tokenism following the accusations of racism which assailed the first film. One still wondered why John Hannah's Jonathan failed again to respond to the dashing Arab's obvious interest, in what has to be the stupidest move since Sarah rejected the Goblin King.

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Unusually, it was the special effects which really carried this film along, restoring in places that creepy feeling which raised the first film above its competitors - the feeling that there's something really big and nasty lurking just around the corner, and that the horrors which we can imagine are far from being the worst. The mummies in London provided a genuinely impressive chase and fight scene, and the pygmy mummies which turned up later were scariest of all. That's what action films ought to be about, not wise-cracking eight year olds and improbably big houses. This is a series which still has real promise, and it would be nice to see it done properly next time.

Reviewed on: 27 Jun 2007
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A complex tongue-in-cheek adventure in London and the Sahara with gallant ex-legionnaire and beautiful Egyptologist fight supernatural beings.
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Read more The Mummy Returns reviews:

Angus Wolfe Murray ***

Director: Stephen Sommers

Writer: Stephen Sommers

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velasquez, Freddie Boath, Alun Armstrong, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Year: 2001

Runtime: 129 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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