Movie review: “The Mummy Returns”

I know… I’m not sure I should be blogging about the movies we see anymore. My reputation as an English lit graduate with a passion for classic (not classical) media-and-film-studies movies is floating out the window.

I also probably shouldn’t admit that I enjoyed The Mummy Returns (2001). Despite a pounding headache. But I did.

Ah well…

It stars Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell, a sort-of-archeologist and reluctant adventurer, and the ravishing Rachel Weisz as his much-adored and fiery wife Evie, also an archaeologist but somewhat less fearful and more adventurous than her husband (perhaps because she discovers herself to be the reincarnation of Nefertiti, the daughter of Egyptian king Seti I and the courageous guardian of the bracelet of Anubis). 

Their young son Alex, played by Freddie Boath, is just too smart for words… and not just because he is fluent in Ancient Egyptian, which skill he uses to ‘read’ his murdered mother back to life… The movie also stars Scotsman John Hannah as the rather pathetic but nonetheless charming uncle Jonathan, whom I much liked as the mystery-and-murder-solving pathologist in the TV-series McCallum, primarily because of his lilting Scottish accent.

I was rather chuffed to find a South African connection in this movie – not because it was filmed here or in Namibia up the road, but because it starred Arnold Vosloo (of “Boetie gaan Border toe”) as the ancient Egyptian ruler Imhotep. Arnold was at first disgusting, but after a while really quite dashing as the mummy-that-is-chanted-back-to-life. With his bald-shaven head, and his nicely toned and golden-tanned bod, he looked quite scrumptious, actually.

I found the storyline rather circuitous and complicated, with a few too many coincidences and predictable twists in the plot. But it was nonetheless very watchable, and it reminded me a little of Nicholas Cage in National Treasure (2004).

In 2002, there was a spin-off to this movie: The Scorpion King, set 5000 years earlier. And which my significant other had persuaded me would be “such an awesome movie to watch!” a while back. It stars the very hunky bulging-muscled Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a professional WWE and WWF wrestler who clearly wasn’t satisfied with his all-too-brief appearance in “The Mummy Returns”, primarily as a multi-limbed CGI insect with pincers. Yeah, well, I can’t blame him…

What I didn’t realise at the beginning was that “The Mummy Returns” (I don’t know why I didn’t spot the rather obvious clue in the title) was actually the sequel to the 1999 movie The Mummy, which I hadn’t seen.

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me, as I generally give a wide berth to movies with words in the title like: “Blood”, “Corpse”, “Curse”, “Dark”, “Dead”, “Demon”, “Descent”, “Devil”, “Evil”, “Exorcism”, “Fear”, “Ghost”, “Haunted”, “Hell”, “Mummy”, “Return”, “Revenge”, “Risen”, “Rising”, “Saw”, “Slash”, “Tomb”, “Undead”, “Witch”, or “Zombie”… particularly if the picture on the cover shows shrivelled hands and a reanimated skull emerging from a coffin, spattered all over with blood…. or something equally appealing. Not.

Despite that, now that we’ve actually watched “The Mummy Returns”, I think it would be a good idea to watch “The Mummy”. 🙂

I never thought I’d say that.


For other movies we’ve watched in May, click on:

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