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THE MUMMY RETURNS (2001)
In this sequel, an additional destructive force, with roots in ancient Egypt is threatening to wreak havoc on humankind. The story begins 8 years later, with Egyptologists Rick and Evelyn O'Connell and their 8 year old son Alex, still looking for artifacts. They manage to find a valuable, yet dangerous find, The Bracelet of Anubis, King of the Underworld, and owner of the Scorpion King's soul. The Scorpion King is another Egyptian beastie whose army of underworld warriors is now up for grabs! For, followers of the evil priest Inhotep successfully resurrect him in a chamber of the British Museum, with the dastardly plan to use the Bracelet of Anubis to find and then kill the Scorpion King, and use the army for wicked purposes. Unfortunately, young Alex felt drawn to the bracelet and put it on, and it won't come off! Uh Oh! Rick, Evelyn and Alex O'Connell , and Uncle Johnathan and other friends are in for threatening adventures where everyone is tested to the limit.
Written and directed by Stephen Summers.
Promotional Lines: "Adventure Is Reborn."
"He will rise again!"
In this second exciting installment of Stephen Summers, Mummy adventure"The Return of the Mummy," it is 10 years later, 1932, and we find that the happy couple, Rick (Brendan Fraser), and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), are now married, and living in London with their 8 year old son, Alex (Freddie Boath). As a family, the three of them happily are still excavating various Egyptian archeological sites, now for the British Museum in London. The evil believers of the mummy priest, Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), led by his wanna-be girlfriend, Meela (Patricia Velazquez), and Mr. Hafez (Alun Armstrong), the London Museum curator, have dug up the remains of Imhotep in the rubble of the ancient city, and brought his body back to London.
These two accomplices also have sent a gang of thugs to find artifacts needed to complete Imhotep's recovery, and the Scorpion King's arm bracelet. Mr. Hafez and Meela plan to resurrect the Scorpion King as well, so Imhotep can defeat him, to become the ultimate controlling powerful force. Naturally, these grisly fellows come to the same site that our heroes are working on, who have already found the coveted arm bracelet. While the usual life-threatening havoc ensues and reigns, the bad guys fail to get the arm bracelet, which goes home with Rick and Evelyn and Alex to London.
After arriving home, Alex is drawn to the chest where the arm bracelet is kept. When he hears sounds coming from the chest, he opens the chest, and puts on the arm bracelet, but finds he can't take it off. Meanwhile, the bad guys break into the house, rough up Jonathan (John Hannah), Evelyn's brother, make a shambles of the house in an exciting chase / fight scene as they pursue the family around the house and then on the London streets using supernatural forces. Evelyn is nearly killed at Imhotep's coming out party in London, before being rescued by Rick and friends, (Ardeth Bay & Jonathan). Alex is ultimately kidnapped, because of the unremoveable bracelet, which begins the long adventure of trying to rescue Alex and stop incredible evil, which is fueled by the obsession to gain ultimate power and riches.
While "The Mummy," was a terrific adventure / horror film, "The Return of the Mummy," offers the audience more in fun with not only great special effects, more near escapes from death, non-stop action and horror scenes, but also offers a fuller experience because of the in depth script, that brings in other elements of interest.
It is more than adventure/horror movie, as it has a healthy dose of mysticism, mythology, humor, fantasy, elements of reincarnation, parenting and morality, all woven into this fast-paced, fun adventure film. While the screenplay explores the importance of love, courage, friendship, and loyalty, and how these values can work together to defeat evil, it also shows consequences of associating with evil people willing to do anything to anyone in their quest for ultimate power, whose self-love and self-interest rules their behavior totally.
One of the advantages of writing both "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" is that Stephen Summers fills in the audience more of the historical story about the long ago Egyptian King, Pharaoh Seti I (Aharon Ipalé), what people were in the Pharaoh's court, and who had witnessed Priest Imhotep's evil deed of killing Pharaoh Seti I. This is tied into the present, when it seems that both Meela and Evelyn find themselves to be in a reincarnated form of women who had a vital role in the King's household and court.
Stephen Summers, within the plot, also gives an interesting account of the story of the Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson), and the legends about him, to prepare us for the upcoming adventure.
The fine direction, also by Summers, plus the great, roller coaster pacing and action sequences, the innovative screenplay, capable cast, and the marvelous special effects all come together to offer an entertaining, exciting, thought provoking film.
Brendan Fraser does a great job recreating his role of Rick O'Connell, the brave, wise acre adventurer who is also now a dedicated husband and father. Once again, he is both fast-thinking and quick on his feet, ready to do the right thing, and who is to realize something mystical about himself, that fortifies his resolve to defeat evil in the concluding big battle scenes.
Rachel Weisz also is delightful as Evelyn, who has to face several hard challenges along the way, like death or near death, in her quest to rescue her son, working with Rick, and the others.
Most of the women in the audience heartily thank the screenwriter for giving the absolutely dreamy Oded Fehr a substantially larger supporting actor role in this sequel. He, of course plays most convincingly the head of the Dessert Guard, the dashing Ardeth Bay, who is brave and courageous and all around hot guy, who becomes friends with our heroes in the first film, and helps them to defeat Imhotep the first time. In this sequel, Ardeth bands together with the O'Connells and friends to try to rescue Alex, before it is too late, and do battle with not only the nasty pygmies, Imhotep's forces, but also the armies of the undead, thus doing his part to defeat the forces of evil..
John Hannah does a great job, in his recreation of Evelyn's lovable but flawed brother, Jonathan, who finds himself changing for the good, despite himself, as he is asked to meet the challenges of being part of a team of heroes.
Freddie Boath does a pretty good job portraying Alex, a gutsy, precocious child who finds ways to irk and outsmart his captors, as well as find a way to give his parents clues as to where to find him and the unsavory company who took him.
Arnold Vosloo, does a fabulous job portraying the powerfully evil Imhotep, a character that personifies the worst qualities of human nature, in his lust for ultimate power and wealth, without going over the top into a cartoonish performance.
Patricia Velazquez also plays the evil, ruthless, self-serving Meela with much aplomb, and is the perfect match for Imhotep, as they both have no redeeming values to offer anyone, or to each other.
This great good verses evil adventure film has been rated PG-13.