The Mummy Returns is the equally campy (and delightful) follow-up to 1999’s The Mummy and came out only 2 years later but takes place a full decade in the future--in the booming year of 1933. Although, it might as well take place in present day for all that it matters.
Bookish adventurer Evelyn and the thieving Rick met in the first film but now have been together for a decade with a 9-year-old precocious son named Alex to show for it. Critics gave the movie pretty terrible reviews but audiences seem to have a soft spot for it. Especially in the wake of the recent reboot starring Tom Cruise.
The Collector’s Edition DVD survived several disc purges and moves over the years to remain in my collection. So when the franchise entered the zeitgeist the DVD popped back into my DVD player and just for you, I present the thoughts I had while rewatching The Mummy Returns.
- Before the movie even starts there’s an “exclusive preview” of The Scorpion King with an intro by The Rock and I'll be honest with you, I never saw that movie cause I knew there’d be no Brendan Fraser involved. Plus, the first 3 minutes of The Mummy Returns are literally just an extended promo for The Scorpion King so I've seen enough.
- The Rock becomes The Scorpion King by eating a scorpion (I guess?) and I realized could never be hungry enough to eat a scorpion. I’d rather just die. Also, it's the most bad-ass he appears in the entire film because his CGI later on is laughable.
- Pretty sure all of the spider webs in this movie were purchased from the local Halloween store. I mean I’ve never been to an Egyptian tomb but those cobwebs are THICK. This whole movie would be a horror film for anyone who is OCD about dust and dirt. Everything is covered!
- It becomes obvious pretty early on that Rick and Evie’s son Alex is the smartest one in the family. He freaking saves his parents in the first scene because they somehow haven’t learned anything in the last decade.
- There are constant references to the first film like when Rick tells Alex: “Someday I’ll tell you a story” and Evelyn claims “no harm ever came from opening a chest”. These moments should be cheesy but are totally charming and part of what makes the film so enjoyable to watch.
- Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz have more chemistry in this movie than I’ve seen in most romantic comedies. Instead of flirting in a coffee shop they’re flirting while fighting zombies. Classic rom-com.
- Listen, you can see that they rolled through the rushing water from the Nile on a scooter-type thing I used in elementary school gym class but I don’t even care
- How in the world do Evie and Rick live in such a huge London mansion? They pretty much just constantly go on trips and seem to only bring back items that are cursed. Is that a profitable business?
- John Hannah’s instinct when the bad guys come looking for him is to list all of the people who he has wronged or owes money to--which is a lot. He needs his own spin-off franchise.
- There are several very dramatic cape moments in the middle of fights. And while it looks super cool, it seems unrealistic that your fighting opponent would let you pause to whip your cape off.
- This movie suffers from the common issue of too many shots fired and no one ever actually gets shot. They should stick to hand-to-hand combat.
- Oh hey, it’s storming. Look at that lightening and thunder! Oh, hey it stopped raining now. Oh, hey it’s lightening again. Make up your mind!
- It’s great that Evie is completely ignoring the style of the 1930s with her wardrobe for the entire film.
- For the majority of the movie, the Mummy looks like he just broke out of a morgue in the middle of an autopsy--which makes the Mummy kissing scene even more disgusting. There are literally pieces of his skin missing.
- Sometimes there are machine guns and then the rest of the time it’s like all weapons had to be left at the door of the tomb or something. Related: were there metal detectors in 1933?
- They do a good job of making Evie clearly the smartest person and also she makes some terribly dumb decisions and it’s #relatable
- Question: where does one find a double-decker bus laying around to take a joy ride?! Also, the streets of London are empty. Is this Easter holiday or something?
- Randomly the Mummy can climb on the ceiling like Spider-Man. This seems to have nothing to do with him being resurrected. Where did this skill come from?
- The dirigible scenes are some of the worst green screen usages I’ve ever seen but still so romantic somehow? Honestly, it's the worst part of the whole film.
- Ardeth is a very underrated character in both films. He shows up exactly when they need him and has great comedic lines like: "this was my first bus ride"
- There's a strange Jurassic Park-type reveal of the oasis and it looks like a Disney resort--except for the skulls.
- Between the pygmies, scarabs, mini-mummies, the Scorpion King, and the actual Mummy (plus crew), there might be one creature too many.
- The women in this movie are so obviously way smarter than the dudes and are by far the best fighters. It'd be better if we could have more of them and just skip the whole last fight scene with the terrible effects.
- There is not one moment when the Scorpion King is on screen that he seems like a believable villain or even resembles The Rock. He looks like a video game character that somehow got transported to our world.
And thus we've reached the end of The Mummy franchise--because no one acknowledges that third one where they replaced Rachel Weisz.