The Mummy Returns (2001)

mummy returns poster 2001 review
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 4/10

Takes itself less seriously

Too long, no character development, awful Scorpion King animation

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Mummy Returns

Studio:  Alphaville Films

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s):  May 4, 2001

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

mummy returns special effects hd

Suck face!

Evelyn and Rick O’Connell (Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser) have uncovered the Bracelet of Anubis, and their son Alex (Freddie Boath) has accidentally accessed the location to the oasis where the Scorpion King’s army is housed.  Unfortunately Alex and his parents have seven days to find the oasis, or the Bracelet of Anubis will kill Alex.  Things have been further complicated by the resurrection of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) by the reincarnation of his lover Meela Nais (Patricia Velásquez), and Imhotep and Meela who hope to take the Scorpion King’s army for themselves.  Now, it is a race against time to find the oasis, but the resurrection of Anubis’ army means the return of the Mathayus…the Scorpion King (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).

mummy returns rachel weisz vs patricia velasquez hd

Mortal Kombat!!!

Directed by Stephen Sommers, The Mummy Returns is a follow-up to the popular and financially successful The Mummy from 1997.  The film had strong box office returns but generally was reviewed weaker to the original.  It also did spawn a game for the Playstation 2 and other merchandise.

I wasn’t a huge fan of The Mummy, but weirdly enough, I kind of liked the sequel just a bit better.  The reason is that The Mummy was pretty pretentious…it thought it was something it wasn’t.  It thought it was a swashbuckling, fun adventure along the lines of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it missed the humor and charm it needed.  Here, it feels like the writers gave up a bit, but in giving up, it doesn’t feel like it is trying as hard.

mummy returns pygmy monsters hd

I would have preferred these to the Scorpion King

The movie’s script is maybe the biggest problem with the film.  It is way, way too long.  It also feels like it has to have a chase or something happening every second.  If they had taken out a few of the sequences and dropped a chase or two, this would be a pretty solid film.  I like some of the basic concept of the story with two warring factions (Rick and Imhotep) and the fight to take control of a third (the Scorpion King), and I like the origin stuff which involves flashbacks to ancient Egypt.

The acting is still so-so.  The characters definitely aren’t as developed as in the first film, but Brendan Fraser and some of the supporting cast aren’t the strongest actors so I don’t really want a lot of “acting” from them.  Rachel Weisz still doesn’t demonstrate the acting skills she later shows in some of her performances and doesn’t appear entirely comfortable in the humor role.  The Rock made his big screen debut as the Scorpion King, and it really started a chain of films for the actor and helped make him an action star.

mummy returns scorpion king hd dwayne johnson

The PS2 called and it wants its graphics back…

The special effects are quite terrible at points.  The mummies are ok and some of the imagery surrounding Imhotep isn’t bad, but it is rehash of special effects of the first film.  The best creatures might be the pygmy monsters which almost resemble the killer doll from the classic Trilogy of Terror.  The Scorpion King’s animation in the final sequence is awful…and time hasn’t been kind to it (and it did not really look good even then).  If you check it out now, it looks like bad video game animation…I expected more.

The Mummy Returns in my opinion a slightly better version of The Mummy, but it still has problems.  I don’t enjoy the humor or the characters of the series, but fortunately, the movie is a bit toned down on both of them.  The movie spawned both The Mummy:  Curse of the Dragon’s Tomb in 2008 and the Rock spin-off film The Scorpion King in 2002.

Related Links:

The Mummy (1999)

The Mummy:  Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

The Scorpion King (2002)

The Scorpion King 2:  Rise of a Warrior (2008)

The Scorpion King 3:  Battle for Redemption (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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