| Did you like The Mummy? A woman I
know and respect actually walked out on that movie, said it
was the silliest thing she’d seen. I loved it.
I’ve been waiting impatiently for The Mummy Returns,
half scared that they’d get it wrong this time around. Well,
they didn’t get it as right as they did the first time. But
it was still a ride, though I’m not sure The Scorpion King
(a third Mummy installment) is warranted.
Stephen Sommers (Deep Rising, which I enjoyed a lot)
has a nice touch for hairsbreadth adventures leavened with
comedy. And that’s just what you get in The Mummy Returns.
Plot? You’re kidding, right? If you truly care about plot,
this movie may not be for you, but basically, the movie starts
off with storytelling that’s at once way too long and too
telegraphic, setting up the legend of the Scorpion King. Then
that bad penny, Imhotep, turns up at a London museum, where
he is resurrected and immediately embarks on a campaign to
Take Over The World by killing the Scorpion King and taking
over his army.
Sommers, who clearly likes all the same movies I like, has
borrowed from so many of them that The Mummy Returns
is at times almost like a parlor game—Name That Movie (“That’s
the ugly little vicious kids from Galaxy Quest.” “There’s
the golden artifact from Raiders...”). And while even
I can’t overlook the fact that The Mummy Returns is
formulaic, I have to say, it’s a fun formula. There’s great
pleasure to be derived from cinematic derring-do, even if
it’s derivative derring-do.
And lest I damn with too faint praise, let me add what The
Mummy Returns does well. It’s quite good at capturing
the “exotic Egypt” that captured the collective imagination
of Britain in the early 1900s. The Mummy and, to a
lesser extent, The Mummy Returns took me back to the
extreme delight I felt when I first read Tin-Tin comics as
and first saw old adventure serials.
You know if this is for you. Julia: Give it another chance.
—Roxanne Bogucka, an Action Grrl!