It’s only a chest. No harm ever came from opening a chest. Yeah, right, and no harm ever came from reading a book. You remember how that one went?
As I mentioned in my previous post of The Mummy (1999), I love The Mummy (1932), as Boris Karloff is an amazing actor; but these remakes starring Fraser are also some of my favorites! Who can resist this man:
And I wasn’t the only own who enjoyed the (1999) film, this sequel was greenlit by Universal the morning after The Mummy (1999) opened in May 1999.
While I love the first film, I have seen the sequel more times than I can count. When Hollywood Video (remember that rental place?) went out of business I scored a copy of The Mummy Returns, and would watch it over and over. In fact I’ve seen this film so many times it’s permanently burned in my mind.
I just love this movie. Brendan Fraser at his finest and hottest. Why can’t I find my own one of him?
But enough fangirling, let’s get on to the review!
The film starts off in the past with Ardeth Bay narrating a past event that will be impacting our future story.
In 3067 BC, the Scorpion King was trying to conquer the world, but was defeated and exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere. The Scorpion King doesn’t take defeat lightly, and sells his soul to Anubis in order to vanquish his enemies. He defeats them , but when he completes everything he is taken to the underworld…but that’s not the end of the story. It is said that one day he will rise again and whoever defeats him will control his army and send them to hell or control them.
Fast forward to 1933, and the O’Connell are doing well for themselves. They had all that treasure that Benni put on the camels, Rick and Evie were married, they have become famous in their field and are asked to excavate all kinds of places, and they have an adorable precocious son, Alex. If you think about it too hard you realize that Alex is too old to fit the timeline, but the director didn’t want to work with a baby, I get it.
They are going through some ancient ruins when Evie has a weird vision/long asleep memory and is transported back to the time of Imhotep. She sees herself as Princess Neferteri fighting Anck-su-namun. In the vision/memory she sees herself losing but granted her father’s head of security while Anck-su-namun is to wed her father. This is where the backstory connects to the one we had in the previous film, as Anck-su-namun does not want to marry the Pharoah but loves Imhotep; although you can’t say no to Pharoah. Hence the whole adultry, murdered Pharoah, Suicide of Anck-su-namun, and Imhotep’s burial.
Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez trained for five months for their fight scene. They did the fight without any stunt women. Amazing!
Evie is confused, and Rick shrugs it off; even though her memory helps her figure out where the bracelet of Anubis is. They are up against some other people searching for the bracket but the are washed away by the Nile, as removing the braclet triggers a booby trap. Rick and Evie are saved when Alex accidentally knocks the pillars over and keeps them from drowning. The scene is very reminiscent of when Evie knocked over all the bookcases in the first film.
While the O’Connells head home we shift to Egypt where Meela Nais (Patricia Velazquez) is searching for Imhotep. She believes she is the reincarnation of Anuck-su-mun (and is played by the same actress), wokring with Mr. Halez, Lock-Nah, and a whole cult who wants to awaken Imhotep so he can defeat the Scorpion King. They discover him and the Book of Life, planning to awaken him, when they are interrupted by our earlier thieves who let them know they lost the bracelet, but they know where it’s going.
After their trip, the O’Connell trio they return home where things go from 0-100
- Rick wants to relax but Evie wants to go on a new dig site.
- Jonathan is having a party with a show girl and pretending that the O’Connell house is his when Meela Nais comes in with mercenaries who rough Jonathan up thinking he is Rick. They also threaten to kill him
- Rick enters the room and starts fighting, joined by Ardeth Bay who has come as he discovered that they found the bracelet of Anubis and has been watching the cult
- Alex puts the bracelet of Anubis on and cannot take it off, hiding a statue in the box instead
- Evie is captured and taken away
Our guys head after them, discovering the cult is working out of the British Museum to rescue her with Arderth giving Rick, Alex, and Jonathan a brief rundown on what’s happening. He’s worried about the cult using the bracelet to discover the Scorpion King’s pyramid, but Alex reveals he has it. This does not turn out to be good news:
Ardeth Bay: [To Alex] By putting this on, you have started a chain reaction that could bring about the next apocalypse. [Alex gasps]
Rick: [to Ardeth] You, lighten up. [to Alex] You, big trouble. [to Jonathan] You, get in the car.
Ardeth Bay: I am sorry if I alarmed your son, but you must understand, now that the bracelet is on his wrist, we have only seven days before the Scorpion King awakens.
Rick: We? What we?
Ardeth Bay: If he is not killed, he will raise the Army of Anubis.
Jonathan: I take it that’s not a good thing?
Rick: Oh, he’ll wipe out the world.
Jonathan: Ah, the old “wipe out the world” ploy.
On the way to the museum, Ardeth Bay notices a tattoo on Rick’s arm. He asks about it and Rick can’t remember when he got it, he’s had it as long as he can remember believing it was given to him when he lived in the orphanage in Egypt. Ardeth believes it was fate that brought them all together as it is a mark of the magi. Rick however, doesn’t even believe him.
Back at the museum, the cultists begin their ritual to awaken Imhotep, although he’s not in his full form. Remember he needs to consume three people who open his chest in order to achieve full immortal on Earth status. Most important thing I learned from The Mummy (1999), you should always have a cat around.
Rick and Ardeth watch the cultists to find their opening, while Jonathan and Alex wait in the car. I love how Jonathan hasn’t changed and is basically on the same maturity level as Alex.
Meela had brought Evelyn to Imhotep as a gift as she knows their history. Weird, but whatever. They were going to kill her by throwing her in a fire pit but that’s when our man, Rick comes storming in and saves the day.
A fight ensues when Imhotep being a poor sport as he awakens his priestly mummies to attack them.
Our hero’s find and opening and flee where they then have to ride a double decker bus to safety. Why a bus and not Rick’s car? Well while they were waiting Jonathan broke the key and they had to find alternative transportation. This is such a great scene as we have them speeding through London being followed by mummies.
After they defeat the mummies they think they are in the clear, but Alex is kidnapped by Lock-Nah who figured out Alex had the bracelet. Evie and Rick are both heartbroken, but Ardeth tells them that no harm can come to Alex while he wears the bracelet. It is little comfort to them as their son has been KIDNAPPED! They decide to follow and try to save their son, joined by Ardeth and Jonathan. Rick gets them a ride on his old friend’s Izzy’s dirigible, bribing him with Jonathan’s gold staff as their last adventure made him extremely hesitant to join them.
Meanwhile Meela is excited for Imhotep and her’s relationship, but at the same time she is still disgusted by his mummified appearance. Imhotep uses his powers to change her perception of how he looks to her and again I’m like ew. He probably has bed breath and is all gooey- icky.
Imhotep and his group are ready to head out, using Alex and the bracelet as a guide. Alex is very stubborn and intends to not help them get to the Scorpion King’s oasis, however, Imhotep reveals to him that if he fails to make it to the pyramid by the time the sun rises on the eighth day he will die. Alex is definitely on board to make sure they get there in time, but that isn’t the only business that Imhotep needs to settle. The thieves from earlier who failed to get the bracelet have continued to cause problems, they put them on one of the train cars with Imhotep’s ceremonial jars and of course they open them and are consumed.
Imhotep is has fully regenerated and while Alex tries to flee, Imhotep captures him and discovers the next leg of the journey as the bracelet reveals it all.
While at their break Imhotep puts Meela in a trance to have her remember her “previous life” as Anuk-su-mun. Him doing so also puts Evie in a trance. Both relive the backstory we saw in the previous film. Imhotep and Anuck-su-mun in love, killing the pharaoh, etc. Evie becomes so overcome when seeing it that she almost falls out of the dirigible. Again Ardeth insists that Rick and Evie are fated together and he to protect her.
Imhotep has decided that the “reincarnated” version of Anuck-su-mun is cool and all but he wants the real thing. He kill’s her and uses the book of the dead to bring Anuck-su-mun back to life and continue on their trip in mummy bliss.
By the time the O’Connell dirigible gets there the group is gone, but Alex has left a clue for them continuing this every leg of the trip.
Lock-Nah hates Alex and can’t wait until they can be rid of him, and in his hatred has been carefully watching him. He’s noticed Alex going off on his own a lot and discovers that he has been leaving secret clues. Imhotep uses his powers to create a massive tidal wave with his face to attack them. Just like in the previous film when he made the sandstorm. After they get hit, Alex thinks his family is dead.
However you can’t kill the O’Connells (maybe Jonathan) but Rick and Evie are too tough to kill. They leave Izzy to try and fix the dirigible while they head to the Scorpion King’s oasis. It won’t be easy though as the pyramid is protects by mummified pgymies. They have to outsmart them and get to the pyramid before they die. I really like this scene as this is one of the few times we see Jonathan acting responsible. Evie and Jonathan provide cover while Rick and Ardeth take off for the lryamjd, she asking Jonathan to make her proud and keep her family safe.
Evelyn: That’s my husband and my son down there. Make me proud.
Jonathan: Today’s that day, Evy.
The cult members are all killed by the pygmies and Hafez loses his hand when he sacrifices it trying to get in the pyramid. After they finish fighting the pygmies, they think everything is done, however Alex reveals that he need to get the key to the pyramid before the sun rises or else he’s toast.
Rick runs with him and looks hotter than ever, there’s nothing like a hit dad. They barely make it time and are followed by Jonathan and Evelyn. The reunion is not long as Anuck-su-mun comes and stabs Evelyn, killing her.
What, that’s not right. She can’t die. She’s obviously going to wake up.
She doesn’t wake up…
The first time I watched this I was in shock over it as I couldn’t believe she died! What!! What!?!
Everyone is heartbroken over Evie’s death. Rick could care less about Imhotep’s and the Scorpion King, only wanting to defeat them because of what they did to his wife.
Imhotep is fully focused on his mission, but when he goes to approach the scorpion king he loses all his powers as only a moral can approach him. Anuck-Su-Mun wants Imhotep to give up and just have them live their lives, but he tells her that if he dies to just being him back with the book of life .
Rick has made his way to Imhotep and the two fight, even though Imhotep’s has awakened the Scorpion King.
Jonathan tries to help grieving Alex, when Alex remembers that they can bring his mom back with the Book of Life. The two plot to steal it from Anuck-Su-Mun, with Jonathan challenging her to a fight in order to “teach her a lesson”. While the two fight, Alex tries to read the spell, but has trouble with one of the symbols. However, Uncle Jonathan is able to tell him the word as it is the same one he struggled with in The Mummy (1999). Alex resurrects his mom just in time as Anuck-su-min is about to kill Jonathan. Don’t mess with Evie:
The Scoroion King has woken up and is played by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in his first film role. No one liked the way they made him look and I have to admit even for early CGI it is bad. It turns out that it was a rush job and was only completed eight days before the film’s release. Explains a lot.
Imhotep is a coward and tells the Scorpion King that it was Rick who awoke him and wanted to fight him. Rick tries to battle him, but it is no easy feat. However, he sees a picture on the walls that shows a person with the same tattoo as him defeating the scorpion king with the staff they gave to Izzy, and was stolen back by Jonathan. Rick decides he is a believer in fate after all.
Rick yells at Jonathan to throw the staff, Jonathan does but Imhotep interferes. However Imhotep may be cool and all, but he has got nothing on my man Rick who also intercepts the staff and uses it to kill the Scorpion King and send all his army back to hell.
By doing this everything starts to suck back into the pit just like in Jumanji and both Rick and Imhotep are getting trapped in the vortex as well. Rick sees Evie and yells at her to go, but she refuses to listen and pulls him to safety. Imhotep calls out to Anuck-su-min who refuses to help, running away. He falls in the pit and dies, she also being killed by being eaten by scarab beetles.
The O’Connells clan are looking like they are done for, but then Izzy swoops in and saves the day with his dirigible. Jonathan sticky fingers snags a gorgeous pyramid that was on top of the pyramid and covered in precious stones; he and Izzy argue while the O’Connells are happy to be back together.
And that ends The Mummy Returns (2001), one of my favorite movies and one I highly recommend.
For more mummy movies, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)
For more Rachel Weisz, go to I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)