The Mummy Returns

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The Mummy Returns
The Mummy Returns poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Sommers
Produced by
Written byStephen Sommers
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyAdrian Biddle
Edited by
Alphaville Films
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
Running time
130 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$98 million[1]
Box office$433 million[2]

The Mummy Returns is a 2001 American action-adventure fantasy film written and directed by Stephen Sommers, starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velásquez, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The film is a sequel to the 1999 film The Mummy.

The Mummy Returns inspired the 2002 prequel film The Scorpion King which is set 5,000 years prior and whose eponymous character, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, was introduced in this film. It was followed by the 2008 sequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.


In 3067 BC, the Scorpion King leads his army on a campaign to conquer the known world. Seven years later, his army is defeated while attacking Thebes and exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere, where his men die of heat exhaustion. After vowing to give Anubis his soul for the power to defeat his enemies, an oasis forms to hide the Scorpion King's pyramid and he receives a legion of jackal warriors. The Army of Anubis sweeps across Egypt, but once their task is finished, Anubis claims the Scorpion King's soul and his army.

In 1933, Rick and Evelyn O'Connell explore a ruined mortuary temple in ancient Thebes with their son, Alexander, where they find the Bracelet of Anubis. In London, the bracelet locks onto Alex, showing him a vision directing him to Ahm Shere. Alex has seven days to reach the oasis before the bracelet will kill him when the sun's rays shine on the Scorpion King's pyramid.

Evelyn is captured by an Egyptian cult who resurrect Imhotep; they wish to use his power to defeat the Scorpion King, giving him command of Anubis's army to take over the world. The cult, led by Baltus Hafez, the British Museum's curator, includes a warrior named Lock-Nah and Meela Nais, the latter being a reincarnation of Imhotep's lover Anck-su-namun. Rick sets out to rescue Evelyn, accompanied by her brother Jonathan and the Medjai Ardeth Bay.

Hafez attempts to sacrifice Evelyn but a fight ensues between Rick and Imhotep. Imhotep awakens mummified soldiers to kill Rick and the others. Freeing Evelyn, they flee on a double-decker bus. Alex is kidnapped by Lock-Nah, and along with the cult travels to Egypt. The O'Connells pursue along with Rick's associate from past adventures, Izzy, a pilot who provides the group with transportation.

The bracelet gives Alex directions to Ahm Shere and they travel there by train. Alex leaves clues for his parents, who follow in Izzy's dirigible. Imhotep uses the Book of the Dead to give Meela Nais the soul of Anck-su-namun, but inadvertently allows Evelyn to recover her memories of her previous life as Princess Nefertiri, the bracelet's keeper and Pharaoh Seti I's daughter. Lock-Nah finds Alex leaving clues, so Imhotep makes a wall of water that attacks the dirigible, causing the O'Connells to crash into the jungle of Ahm Shere. Izzy stays with the dirigible to repair it. The O'Connells attack the cult, and both groups are attacked by pygmy mummies. Rick retrieves Alex while Ardeth Bay kills Lock-Nah. They escape the pygmies, who kill the cult except for Baltus, Imhotep and Anck-su-namun.

Rick and Alex make it to the pyramid before sunrise, where the bracelet detaches from Alex's arm. Ardeth regroups with the Medjai in case Anubis's army rises. Evelyn is mortally stabbed by Anck-su-namun. Baltus puts the bracelet on and revives the Army of Anubis. Imhotep's powers are taken by Anubis, forcing him to fight as a mortal. Rick finds Imhotep summoning the Scorpion King and fights him, but the Scorpion King interrupts them, and Imhotep claims that Rick intends to kill him. The Medjai battle Anubis's army of jackal warriors. While Rick and the Scorpion King fight, Baltus is killed. Jonathan and Alex steal the Book of the Dead from Anck-su-namun and use it to resurrect Evelyn, who confronts Anck-su-namun while Alex and Jonathan help Rick.

The scepter Jonathan has been carrying extends into a spear that can kill the Scorpion King. The Medjai defeat Anubis' army, but find they have only defeated the vanguard. Rick sends the Scorpion King and his army back to the Underworld by killing the Scorpion King with the spear of Osiris, causing the oasis to be sucked back into the pyramid. Rick and Imhotep hang above a pit that leads to the underworld. Evelyn risks her own life to save Rick, but Anck-su-namun abandons Imhotep, who chooses to fall to his death after witnessing his lover's betrayal. Anck-su-namun falls into a pit of scorpions and is eaten alive. The O'Connells reach the top of the sinking pyramid, and Izzy arrives with a modified dirigible and rescues the O'Connells as the oasis and the pyramid disappear. They depart into the sunset.



Box office[edit]

The Mummy Returns earned a gross profit (the worldwide box office minus the budget) of $335,013,000, which, taking inflation into account, is a few percent lower than The Mummy's gross profit ($335,933,000). On its opening day, the film earned $24,134,667. The film grossed $202,019,785 in the United States and Canada box offices and $230,993,489 elsewhere, totaling $433,013,274 worldwide.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 47% based on 140 reviews with an average rating of 5.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "In The Mummy Returns, the special effects are impressive, but the characters seem secondary to the computer generated imagery."[4] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.[6]

Roger Ebert, who awarded the first film three stars, gave the second film only two, 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."[7] 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."[8]

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, praising its "constant plot turns, cheeky sensibility and omnipresent action sequences."[9] Todd McCarthy of Variety praised "the nonstop action of the final hour", saying that it "bursts with visual goodies."[10]

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."[5] Charles Taylor of was also not impressed, calling The Mummy Returns "everything the first Mummy was fun for not being."[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Subject Nominee Result
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Film Nominated
Best Makeup Aileen Seaton, Nick Dudman and Jane Walker Nominated
Best Special Effects John Andrew Berton, Jr., Daniel Jeannette, Neil Corbould and Thomas Rosseter Nominated
Best Young Actor Freddie Boath Nominated
Young Artist Awards Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Brendan Fraser Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Action Actor Nominated
Choice Movie: Villain Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Won
Choice Movie: Action Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Title Sequence Nominated
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing - Effects & Foley Leslie Shatz, Malcolm Fife, Ann Scibelli, Jon Olive and Jonathan Klein Nominated
Empire Awards Best British Actress Rachel Weisz Nominated


The Mummy Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Mummy Returns Soundtrack.jpg
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMay 1, 2001
LabelDecca Records
The Mummy soundtrack chronology
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars
Empire3/5 stars
Filmtracks4/5 stars
Tracksounds8/10 stars

The Mummy Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on May 1, 2001 by Decca Records.

It contains the score composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri, as well as a version of the song "Forever May Not Be Long Enough" performed by Live played over the end credits of the film.

Video game[edit]

The Mummy Returns was made into a video game made for the PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Color in 2001.

GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 50% and 44 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version [12] [13], and 33% for the Gameboy Color version. [14]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Mummy Returns (2001) - Box Office Mojo".
  3. ^ "The Mummy Returns (2001)".
  4. ^ "The Mummy Returns". Rotten Tomatoes.
  5. ^ a b "The Mummy Returns". Metacritic.
  6. ^ "CinemaScore".
  7. ^ Roger Ebert. "Review". Chicago Sun-Times.
  8. ^ James Berardinelli. "Review". ReelViews.
  9. ^ Kenneth Turan. "Review". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2002-06-02.
  10. ^ Todd McCarthy (May 3, 2001). "Review". Variety.
  11. ^ Charles Taylor. "Review". Archived from the original on 2008-07-26.
  12. ^ "The Mummy Returns for PlayStation 2 - GameRankings".
  13. ^ "The Mummy Returns". Metacritic.
  14. ^ "The Mummy Returns for Game Boy Color - GameRankings".

External links[edit]