The Mummy Returns
|The Mummy Returns|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Written by||Stephen Sommers|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$433 million|
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 Johnson (The Rock), 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 world. After fighting for seven years, 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 is given a legion of jackal warriors in return. 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, Alex, 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, or 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' 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 reincarnation of Imhotep's love interest Anck-su-namun. Rick sets out to rescue Evelyn, accompanied by her brother Jonathan and the Medjai Ardeth Bay.
Hafez attempts to sacrifice Evelyn; a fight ensues between Rick and Imhotep. Imhotep calls on the help of mummified soldiers to kill Rick and the others. After freeing Evelyn, they flee on a double-decker bus with the soldiers in pursuit. After defeating them, Alex is kidnapped by Lock-Nah, and along with the cult travels to Egypt. The O'Connells pursue them to rescue Alex, along with Rick's associate from his past adventures, Izzy, a pilot, who provides the group with transportation.
The bracelet gives Alex directions to Ahm Shere that Imhotep follows and they travel there by train. At each location, 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 by doing so he allows Evelyn to unlock the 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 in hopes to repair it. By nightfall, 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 escape unharmed.
Rick and Alex eventually 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. Anck-su-namun soon stabs Evelyn, killing her, and escapes with Imhotep. Rick, determined to avenge the death of Evelyn, pursues Imhotep. Baltus accidentally puts on the bracelet and revives the army. Anubis takes Imhotep's powers, wanting Imhotep to fight as a mortal. Rick finds Imhotep summoning the Scorpion King and fights him. The Scorpion King interrupts them, where Imhotep tells him that Rick was sent to kill him. At the same time, 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 go to help Rick.
The scepter Jonathan has been carrying extends into a spear that can kill the Scorpion King. The Medjai defeats Anubis' army, but have only defeated the vanguard; the full army charges toward them. Rick kills the Scorpion King, using the scepter, sending him and his army back into the Underworld, which causes the oasis to be sucked back into the pyramid. Rick and Imhotep hang above a pit that leads to the underworld. Evelyn risks her life to save Rick, but Anck-su-namun abandons Imhotep, who heartbroken chooses to fall to his death. Anck-su-namun, while escaping, falls into a pit of scorpions and dies. The O'Connells reach the top of the pyramid, which is sinking into the desert. Izzy arrives with a modified dirigible and rescues the O'Connells just as the oasis and the pyramid disappears completely. They depart into the sunset, with Ardeth Bay saluting them, before riding off.
- Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell
- Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan O'Connell/Princess Nefertiri
- Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep
- Patricia Velásquez as Meela Nais/Anck-Su-Namun
- John Hannah as Jonathan Carnahan
- Oded Fehr as Ardeth Bay
- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as The Scorpion King (Mathayus of Akkad)
- Freddie Boath as Alex O'Connell
- Alun Armstrong as Baltus Hafez
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Lock-Nah
- Shaun Parkes as Izzy Buttons
- Bruce Byron as Red
- Joe Dixon as Jacques
- Tom Fisher as Spivey
- Aharon Ipalé as Pharaoh Seti I
The Mummy Returns has earned the 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 in $433,013,274 worldwide.
The Mummy Returns has received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 47% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 141 reviews. Metacritic reported, based on 31 reviews, an average rating of 48 out of 100.
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." 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."
Awards and nominations
|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 Male Movie Star||Brendan Fraser||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Actor||Nominated|
|Choice Sleazebag||Dwayne Johnson||Won|
|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|
|Soundtrack album by Alan Silvestri|
|Released||May 1, 2001|
|The Mummy soundtrack chronology|
The Mummy Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on May 1, 2001 by Decca Records.
- "The Mummy Returns (2001)".
- "The Mummy Returns". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "The Mummy Returns". Metacritic.
- Roger Ebert. "Review". Chicago Sun-Times.
- James Berardinelli. "Review". ReelViews.
- Kenneth Turan. "Review". Los Angeles Times.
- Todd McCarthy (May 3, 2001). "Review". Variety.
- Charles Taylor. "Review". Salon.com.
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