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TheRaider.net Research Indy's Influences Legacy The Mummy Returns
 
The Mummy Returns
 

Released by Universal - 2001

Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Written by: Stephen Sommers
Produced by: Sean Daniel, Bob Ducsay, James Jacks, Megan Moran & Don Zepfel

Starring:
Brendan Fraser .... Richard 'Rick' O'Connell
Rachel Weisz .... Evelyn 'Evie' Carnahan
John Hannah .... Jonathan Carnahan
Arnold Vosloo .... Lord Imhotep
Oded Fehr .... Ardeth Bay
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson .... Scorpion King

 

The massive success of The Mummy prompted the imminent sequel, The Mummy Returns. Like many sequels to famous blockbusters, the ad campaigns were huge, the hype was incalculable, and the film made a bucket load of cash. Sadly, it was also an inferior film, like many sequels today.


Fraser as Rick O'Connell.

Alas, The Mummy Returns was not a worthy sequel and focused on all the wrong aspects of its predecessor to create a story. The plot, cut to the quick, is as follows. It is now 1933. Evelyn and Rick are now married with a son and they are in Egypt because the search for a certain artifact has possessed Evelyn's mind. The artifact is the bracelet of the mythical Scorpion King. When their son, Alex, puts the bracelet on, it locks around his wrist and will kill him unless they can get him to the long lost temple of the Scorpion King before the next eclipse.

At the same time, the cult of Imhotep seeks his corpse in the ashes of Hamunaptra. With them, they have conveniently located a woman who looks exactly like Anck-su-namun. How? It is never explained. Imhotep is resurrected by his worshippers. They kidnap Alex to get the bracelet so they can use the powers of the Scorpion King to resurrect Anck-su-namun's soul and dominate the Earth.


The O'Connell family.

What follows is a relentless action film full of plot holes, inferior special effects, and intelligence-insulting plot devices. Evelyn is actually the reincarnated Nefertiti? Oh, ok. Home made airships? Sure. Why not?

If Indiana Jones had any influence on this film, it was in homage only. There is a very notable scene in the beginning of the film in which Rick and Evelyn return to their home in London and Rick is wearing a leather jacket and brown fedora. For an Indy fan, this scene is very cool.

The other good Indiana Jones reference in this film is the opening scene with Rick and Evelyn scouring the Egyptian temple for the bracelet. The setting is very reminiscent of the sets from Raiders of the Lost Ark. There is a nice scene in which they enter a room swarming with scorpions, much like the snakes. This scene also features a great moment in which Evelyn solves an ancient door puzzle that feels very much like something Indiana Jones would have pulled off in his adventures. The Map Room from Raiders of the Lost Ark and the library from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade come to mind during this scene.


O'Connell vs. Imhotep.

There is also a moment in which Alex jumps onto a massive pillar to escape some baddies and it topples with him riding it into the adjacent pillar. This moment reminded me of Indy knocking over the statue in the Well of Souls. The composition of the camera and the stunt itself are very similar. Also, the outfits worn by the cult of Imhotep have the same color scheme as the Thuggees.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film insults not only Indiana Jones, but also the original film it is continuing. While the first few action scenes as isolated incidents are exemplary, most notably the fight in the mansion and the bus chase, the plot is so ridiculous and the digital effects are so pervasive that the rest of the film is drivel. If you want an Indy-inspired film, do not watch this one. (MF)

 

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