Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Movie #453: The Mummy Returns

The Mummy Returns is, of course, the sequel to The Mummy, and stars Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, Patricia Velazquez, Oded Fehr, John Hannah, Freddie Boath, and Dwayne Johnson.

Eight years or so after the events of The Mummy, Evy (Weisz) is a famed Egyptologist and Rick (Fraser) is her sidekick and bodyguard, tagging along on her adventures as she loots tombs. They have a young son named Alex (Boath) who gets into trouble like the little scamp he is. On one such excursion, prompted by weirdly prophetic dreams that Evy's having, we wind up learning that it's the Year of the Scorpion and that means the Scorpion King (Johnson) is about to reawaken, giving anyone who can kill him control over his dog-headed Anubis soldiers. 

Meela (Velazaquez), the reincarnatin of Anck Su Namun, resurrects Imhotep (same way they did in the first movie, just a lot faster), figuring he's badass enough to take down the King. Alex gets his hand stuck in a magical map-projector and winds up leading everyone all over Egypt until they get to a magical oasis and yes, this movie is as tedious as I'm making it sound. 

Oh, it's not bad, per se. It's got a lot of the charm of the original, and they gave Ardeth Bay (Fehr) more to do, so that's fun. The crew gets to romp all over the place in a dirigible, also nice and pulpy. But in addition to the main plot (kill the Scorpion King, etc.) we also have this subplot of everyone being a reincarnate - Evy is the incarnation of Nefertiti, the daughter of the Pharaoh (Aharon Ipale), Rick is a Medjai because he...has a tattoo? It's not terribly clear and it muddles things up. The extra complexity isn't handled well and that makes this movie more clunky than the first one. Plus while the CGI from The Mummy isn't great by today's standards, this CGI from this movie, the Scorpion King in particular, is laughable. 

All in all, it's fun but not especially memorable. 

My Grade: C
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: The Muppets Christmas Carol