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The Mummy Returns (2001)

The original "Mummy" (1999) decided to have fun, to be a campy, Army of Darkness-like fun-filled romp at the Summer box office. And it was great! So, the studio wisely goes with an equally cheesy sequel concept, "The Mummy Returns". Problem was, it wasn’t a sequel. It was a remake. A bad remake.

Everything in this movie is predictable and contrived. It’s just rehash-rehash. The first film surprised us by teasing contrived plotlines and predictable twists, but then having the characters act intelligently rather than like B-movie Average Victim Bastards. It was like playing a good game, and we could believe in the characters because they acted as we would have (or at least as we would have wanted to). But no more. For instance, opening the chest no longer carries with it the fear of the curse. It’s more like a joke box. They just had to open the box because they did it in the first movie. The once funny lines of camp that took the genre tongue-in-cheek and made us laugh in the first movie become self-conscious and self-parody in this movie. It’s all because they’re just trying to ride off the success of the first film.

That this movie was so rushed and unoriginal brings us to the special effects, which aren’t very special. The creatures are all CGI, done so badly that it looks like a video game . . . from 1990. The Scorpion King at the climax is so bad it’s laughable. Poor Rock, whose face got stuck on that monstrosity at the end.

About that ending, by the way. There seems to be a trend, or a curse in late ‘90s and early millennium movies about having huge plot holes at the end of movies. This time, the entire movie sets up getting the Mummy (who looks pretty human, by the way) to the temple, because only he can defeat the Scorpion King, because, well, he’s a mummy! Yet right when he walks in the door, he gets his powers taken away, and he actually says it’s because the gods want him to fight the Scorpion King as a mortal. Well, shit! If he’s mortal, anyone could have fought the Rock! So what was the fucking point of the entire fucking movie?!! That anyone can beat him is proven pretty damn definitively when the hero kicks his ass with standard hero tricks.

The only good thing this movie did was give The Rock a break into the movie biz, and give us a decent movie a year later, The Scorpion King.


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