|The Mummy Returns|
|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Produced by||Sean Daniel
|Written by||Stephen Sommers|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||May 4, 2001|
|Running time||131 mins|
|Preceded by||The Mummy|
|Followed by||The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon
The Scorpion King (Spin-off)
The Mummy Returns is a 2001 American adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers, starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Freddie Boath, John Hannah, Oded Fehr, Arnold Vosloo, and Patricia Velásquez. The film is a sequel to the 1999 film The Mummy, which primarily took place in 1926, and is set seven years later in 1933 (one year after the original 1932 film). Filming took place in London, Morocco, and Jordan.
The Mummy Returns inspired the 2002 spin-off film The Scorpion King which is set 5,000 years prior and whose titular character, played by Dwayne Johnson, was introduced in this film. It was followed by the 2008 sequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
In the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes in 3067 BC, a warrior known as the Scorpion King (played by Dwayne Johnson), led his army to conquer the known world. However, the Scorpion King lost the campaign and his army was scattered into the desert of Ahm Shere. One by one they died of heat exhaustion, leaving only the Scorpion King. To survive, the Scorpion King swore an oath to the god of the underworld, Anubis, exchanging his soul for the power to defeat his enemies. Anubis granted his wish, creating an oasis to hide the Scorpion King's pyramid and giving him the Army of Anubis (an endless legion of demonic anthropomorphic jackal-headed warriors) to exact his revenge. The Army of Anubis swept across Egypt, destroying everything in its path, and once their task was finished Anubis claimed the Scorpion King's soul.
About 5,000 years later, in 1933, Evelyn O'Connell (Rachel Weisz) and Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) are exploring another pyramid with their son, Alex. Within, they discover the Bracelet of Anubis. As Rick and Evelyn narrowly escape drowning after reading an inscription with the bracelet, Alex encounters three looters who flee after the walls start to collapse. Alex then causes a number of the pillars to collapse, helping his mother and father escape. Back in London, their son Alex puts the bracelet on, providing him with directions to the oasis of Ahm Shere. It being the year of the Scorpion, Alex has seven days to reach the oasis, or the bracelet would kill him on the eighth day the moment the rays of the sun shine on him, at which point the Scorpion King and his army will reawaken. Alex is captured by an Egyptian cult who have resurrected Imhotep: their purpose for doing so is to use Imhotep's power to defeat the Scorpion King, which would give him command of the Army of Anubis. The cult, led by Baltus Hafez, the curator of the British Museum, includes a psychopathic warrior named Lock-Nah and Meela Nais, the reincarnation of Imhotep's love Anck-su-namun. The O'Connells set out to rescue Alex, accompanied by Ardeth Bay, and Evelyn's brother, Jonathan. Rick's associate Izzy, an airship pilot from his past adventures, provides transportation.
The instructions are given to Alex in stages, and he leaves clues to the next location for his parents to find, and Ardeth sending a message to a growing army of Medjai, intended to stop the army of Anubis as it awakens. Along the way, the O'Connells learn of their connections to Imhotep and the Scorpion King himself: in a past life, Evelyn was Nefertiri, daughter of Seti I and protector of the Bracelet of Anubis. Rick is a Medjai, trusted to protect Evelyn. Together with their son Alex, who is the path to Ahm Shere, they make up the three sides of a pyramid. In the meantime, Imhotep brings Anck-su-namun's soul back from the underworld and places it in Meela's body, restoring her completely.
As the two groups arrive at the oasis where the Scorpion King's temple lies, the cultists are attacked by mummified pygmies and ambushed by Rick, Evelyn, Jonathan, and Ardeth Bey. The cultists are all killed with the exception of Hafez, their leader. Lock-Nah is then killed by Ardeth, who leaves the group to command Medjai army. Rick saves Alex and manages to get him to the pyramid moments before the bracelet can kill him, and Alex is able to remove it. However, when Jonathan and Evelyn catch up, Anck-su-namun walks into the pyramid courtyard with Imhotep and stabs Evelyn in the stomach, killing her. Hafez takes the bracelet and uses it to release the Army of Anubis, whom the Medjai engage in battle.
Imhotep's powers are stripped from him by Anubis, forcing him to fight the Scorpion King as a mortal. Rick enters the temple as Imhotep summons the Scorpion King, now in the form of a half-human, half-scorpion monster. Imhotep feigns allegiance to the King, who then focuses his wrath on Rick, killing Hafez when he stumbles in. Meanwhile, Jonathan distracts Anck-su-namun while Alex uses the Book of the Dead to revive his mother. Evelyn engages in a battle with Anck-su-namun. At the same time, Ardeth and the remains of the Medjai army defeat the first wave of Anubis warriors, only to discover what they fought was only the vanguard, and now the full force of Anubis' army is bearing down on them. Outnumbered, the Medjai prepare to make their last stand.
Rick's battle is going badly, but sees a series of illustrations on the walls depicting a person sharing the mark on his wrist. The illustrations reveal that the Scorpion King can be killed by the Spear of Osiris, which Jonathan has been carrying throughout the film. Although Jonathan's attempt to throw the spear results in Imhotep catching it and nearly delivering the blow himself, Rick is able to intercept it and stab the Scorpion King himself. He orders him (and his army) back to the underworld, turning both the Scorpion King and the Army of Anubis into sand, seconds before they hit the Medjai lines.
Rick and Imhotep race to escape the now-collapsing temple. A chasm leading to the underworld appears, and Rick and Imhotep fall in, barely managing to cling onto the edges of the opening. Evelyn enters the room and manages to save Rick, but Anck-su-namun is unwilling to do the same for Imhotep. Shocked and heartbroken, Imhotep willingly casts himself into the chasm; meanwhile, as she flees, Anck-su-namun accidentally falls into a pit of flesh-eating scarab beetles. The family climbs to the top of the pyramid and meet up with Izzy. They escape unharmed and with a massive diamond that Jonathan pulled from the top of the pyramid. The film ends with the group setting off into the sunset, a grateful Ardeth bidding them farewell from afar, and Jonathan and Izzy arguing over who should keep the diamond as they leave.
The film was a box office hit in 2001, earning more money than the first movie. Previously, Stephen Sommers directed Deep Rising, The Jungle Book, as well as The Mummy. His next film was Van Helsing in 2004.
Critical reaction was mixed. The Mummy Returns currently holds a 47% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 131 reviews. Metacritic reported, based on 31 reviews, an average rating of 48 out of 100.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars (out of four), saying that "The mistake of The Mummy Returns is to abandon the characters, and to use the plot only as a clothesline for special effects and action sequences." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film two and a half stars (out of four), calling it "hollow, lightweight entertainment—not unpleasant, but far from the summer's definitive action/adventure flick.
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, praising its "constant plot turns, cheeky sensibility and omnipresent action sequences." Todd McCarthy of Variety praised "the nonstop action of the final hour," saying that it "bursts with visual goodies."
Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal gave the film a negative review, saying that it "has all of the clank but none of the swank of the previous version." Charles Taylor of Salon.com was also not impressed, calling The Mummy Returns "everything the first Mummy was fun for not being."
The Mummy Returns proved to be even more successful than the first installment; on its opening day the film earned $24,134,667. The films grossed $202,019,785 in the United States and Canada box offices and $230,993,489 elsewhere, totaling in $433,013,274 worldwide.
The soundtrack to The Mummy Returns was released on May 1, 2001 by Decca Records. It contains the score composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri, and the song "Forever May Not Be Long Enough" by the rock band Live. The version featured on the soundtrack differs slightly from the album version of the song.
The Mummy Returns video game was released on the PlayStation 2 on October 4, 2001 and Game Boy Color on May 11, 2001. On the PlayStation 2 version, the player can choose to play as Rick, with the game ending similar to the movie, or Imhotep, with him taking control of Anubis's army.
The Mummy Returns is a 2001 film about the sequel to The Mummy in which the mummified body of Imhotep is shipped to a museum in London, where he once again wakes and begins his campaign of rage and terror.
[Jonathan pulls up in a double decker bus]
[Bus pulls away with mummified monkeys chasing behind, which climb over Rick's car and destroying it in the process]
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|The Mummy Returns|
|Preceded by||The Mummy|