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The Mummy Returns

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Mummy Returns

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz
Director: Stephen Sommers
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 121 Minutes
Release Date: May 2001
Genres: Action, Horror

*Also starring: Patricia Velasquez, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Freddie Boath, The Rock

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1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

THE MUMMY RETURNS, again directed by Stephen Sommers, is a film with a complex. It's a relentless movie that seems in constant fear that if it ever slows down for a minute the entire audience will walk out. Rarely pausing to smell the flowers or to provide the requisite motivation and background, the confusing story scurries around like the thousands of scorpions that take the place of Indiana Jones's snakes.

And speaking of Indiana Jones, the movie wants badly to morph into an Indiana Jones-type franchise, a movie it mimics constantly. It also borrows liberally from the fight sequences of STAR WARS EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE and the creatures from GREMLINS. Gone is the campy charm from the previous MUMMY. Instead, we have lots of nifty computer generated effects and warriors and non-stop action. This is the perfect movie for 12-year-old boys, since most have grown too sophisticated for Saturday morning cartoon mayhem.

The stars from last time are back. Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evie (Rachel Weisz) are now married and have an 8-year-old son, Alex (Freddie Boath). Alex is a chip off the old block, curious and adventuresome like his parents. This time Weisz gets many opportunities to flex her muscles, and she turns out to be a surprisingly credible action star.

Arnold Vosloo again plays the mummy Im-Ho-Tep. Not content with a single villain, the sequel adds WWF's The Rock playing The Scorpion King, Im-Ho-Tep's competition. Rick will have to take them both out or the world will end. What seems to never end is the movie itself. I lost count of the number of "endings" that were merely preludes to other fight sequences.

As a display of computer generated images, the movie does dazzle and impress. It can also be imaginative with a Jules Verne inspired boat/dirigible being the most memorable.

"You know," Rick confesses, "a couple of years ago, this would have seemed really strange to me." That's the problem with the sequel. We've seen it all before. The only idea that the director had for the sequel was "more." More special effects and lots more fighting. Its target audience will undoubtedly love it.

THE MUMMY RETURNS runs a long 2:01. It is rated PG-13 for adventure action and violence and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up. Younger ones could be severely frightened.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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