August 16, 2008

A Returning Jab at The Mummy

The Mummy Returns (released 2001 by Universal Pictures)

6 years ago saw the release of the sequel to the box-office hit The Mummy. I reviewed that one and gave it a 5/10, how about this one?

Frankly, I think this one's better.

Now, I'm not exactly the type of person who puts special effects as a basis for a great movie, in fact, I just had to laugh at them because they are so overused to the point that they look unconvincing. I mean, they are better than say, The Forbidden Kingdom which is ironic in contrast, but the eye candy will indeed put a few people off, and maybe engage the youngsters as well.

But anyway, the film made me remember the O' Connell family's names now, so if that's not an improvement I don't know what is.

So let's start with the story: More than 8 years after the first movie, Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evie (Rachel Weisz) get married and get a child called Alex who conveniently has a knack for learning and memorization and conveniently knows most of the Egyptian hieroglyphics that his mother taught her. Now, there are also quite a few more returning characters such as that guy who has an army that protects the ancient Egyptian artifacts, Imhotep whose body gets dug up and revived by a few people, the girl who first played Imhotep's love (and Pharaoh's wife) gets a reincarnation in the modern day, and... Jonathan, Evie's brother.

What connection do they all have? Well, the thing is, their fates are once again united by The Scorpion King played by The Rock (and had a standalone movie) because he is going to rise again. Thing is, Imhotep wants to kill him again so he can gain the power to command the army of Anubis, which is apparently driven by numbers, and the only way to find him is by finding the Bracelet of Anubis, which is just the artifact the O' Connell's find in the first scene, and so that he wouldn't be as disposable, Alex wears it by accident.

So what does the film do that's quite better for me, you say?

There are simply more thrills and chills to be had in this one, and thank God they're choreographed better and that the people, especially Evie, don't chicken out anymore. But that's where the irony once again lies. I mean, some of the characters here didn't even know how to fight in the first film- especially Evie- and here, you'll see that she's suddenly going Elektra-style on our butts, what with that forky sword thingy going on.

More ironies are abound as you'll see that there are indeed continuity issues, and damn, some of the side comments they crack about something being generic doesn't make the characters in this film any wiser, in fact, they just point out the flaws in this film- and the last.

Come on, like its predecessor, it's still a popcorn movie that doesn't do anything else with the genre as it's predictable, the characters are still disposable (especially since the body count is higher than ever) and the random flashbacks and the reincarnation mumbo-jumbo, just don't seem to be as seamless as the filmmakers wanted it to be at all. It could even be confusing the first few times, but you'll get the hang of it eventually, although Rachel Weisz as Queen Nephertiti? Not a good choice at all.

It might be better in some aspects from the last one, but it still overuses much of the special effects they have at hand and thus gives it an unspectacular, unrealistic feel that makes the viewer feel a disconnect from the characters and the exotic locales. Overall, this one's a bit more watchable than the last one, even though it still retains the aspects that made the Mummy 1, well, The Mummy 1. Brendan Fraser's hammy acting, for starters.

Rating: 6/10

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