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Mummy Returns

The Mummy Returns (2001) starstarstar
Reviewed 2001-05-29: I had seen the 1999 film, The Mummy, and really liked it, chiefly because of Brendan Fraser's humor and wits and Rachel Weisz's strength and, uh, good looks. I saw this one, too, on the big screen. Though the sequel had gotten mixed reviews, I liked the stars and loved the special effects. As I was expecting action/adventure, Saturday matinee fare (even on a Tuesday night), I wasn't disappointed. Of curse, or rather of course, the mummy has to wreak destruction on the world, and on the O'Connell family in particular -- Rick and Evie - - and especially when their new son, Alex (Freddie Boath) unwittingly dons a bracelet that must be used to lead the mummy to his destiny in the Egyptian desert.

Fraser gets the best lines. Witnessing the resurrection of the mummy, he quips, "A few years ago I would have thought this was very strange.." When his friend, Ardeth Bay, finds that Alex has put on the bracelet, he predicts, "Don't you see? By putting on the Bracelet, your son has started a chain reaction that will awaken the Scorpion King and bring about the end of the world." But Rick ripostes, (to Ardeth) You, lighten up. (to Alex) You, big trouble. (to Jonathan, his brother-in-law) You, get in the car."

The production was visually stunning -- especially that endless army of sand jackals -- and pretty much non-stop action. South African-born actor Arnold Vosloo reprised his (title) role of Imhotep, though I have yet to hear him speak English! Patricia Velazquez, who was in the 1999 precursor, had an expanded presence in the sequel as Imhotep's lover, Anck-Su-Namun -- both in 3000-something BC and as Meela in 1933, when the movie is set. I was especially intrigued by the Venezuelan-born Velazquez because, with her long black hair and bangs, and her face viewed from certain angles, she is a ringer for Bettie Page! The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) was featured as The Scorpion King, but there wasn't enough of him to tell if he can act -- although that may have been intentional. And we find out that Evie had a past life, too. The Mummy Returns great fun.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance reviewer.