Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Mummy Returns (2001) Review:

After having The Mummy (1999) perform really well at the box office, Universal pictures decided that a sequel HAD to be made. So it was done, and this film plays nice and retains a lot of it's genuine feel but it seems like there are things that were sorely left out. In other words, things were given precedence over other things instead of the other way around. What seemed to get more attention was the aspect of special effects and the characters were left in the dust,...sand whatever. There are just too many scenes that contain so much CGI, that it's difficult for the viewer not to imagine seeing the actors onset with a blue screen surrounding them.

Rick vs Imhotep
All main characters from the first movie are back in this film. Plus there's an add on. Rick O'Connell and Evelyn conceive a child named Alex. And of course to make the screenplay fun they make Alex an energetic brat that loves to be just as adventurous as his mother and father. Nothing like family genes to keep the entertainment high in this franchise. Rachel Weisz looks even more attractive in this film and she's not as klutzy as she was before, which is good for an undead vanquishing mother. Her brother Jonathan still learns nothing in this film and its funny to see him try and do things right and ends up failing. Nothing changes with his character that's for sure.

The Scorpion King (The Rock)
What's doesn't work is how the story involves so many ideas and concepts that it looks like this film could have maybe passed as the first film. Arnold Vosloo returns as Imhotep, the evil, life-absorbing mummy who cares for nothing except his girlfriend and himself. He didn't even care about his high priest that helped him get to where he had to go. Jerk! Adding to this though is a character called the Scorpion King played by Dwayne Johnson seems to take hold of the reigns in the finale of this film. Wasn't this film about Imhotep returning for his own needs? Well yes, but his focus is to gain control of the Scorpion King's army who is not yet destroyed, yada yada yada. So in a sense, no it's not really about him returning. Imhotep's in this film to create a race against the O'Connell family but he's not the important person the O'Connell's need to kill.

The special effects of this film really starts to overwhelm its characters when the end of the film approaches. The action sequences are still cool to watch but to see giant armies of dog headed zombies, massive forests surround a pyramid, and the Scorpion King himself is just not convincing enough to be real. I think director Stephen Sommers took a chance with that. Although this film was a success, I think they could have held off on the majority of the CGI. It was almost like Universal was saying, "Look how much stuff we can cram into this 24 inch screen",...seriously, you don't have to overload a film with CGI to make it look good. Just look at the first one, it's a perfect example.

The title of this film can be somewhat misleading due to the fact that Imhotep is in this film but is utilized only as another plot device. For the most part it keeps all the elements of the first movie the same, but sometimes CGI is all the audience looks at which doesn't make it anymore unrealistic than it already is.

Points Earned --> 8:10

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