The Mummy Returns – Unwrapped 20 Years Later

The Mummy Returns celebrates its twentieth anniversary and unlike most sequels it knew what it was and never tried to be any thing more, unfortunately it got wrapped up in itself.

After the success of 1999’s The Mummy, Universal pictures released The Mummy Returns to theaters in 2001. Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo and Oded Fehr all return for the sequel set ten years later and find Rick and Evelyn exploring an ancient ruin with their son, Alex, where they find the Bracelet of Anubis.

After returning home to London, the bracelet locks onto Alex, showing him a vision directing him to Ahm Shere. Evelyn is then captured by an Egyptian cult who has resurrected Imhotep with the Book of the Dead; and they wish to use his power to defeat the Scorpion King, giving him command of Anubis’ army in order to conquer the world.

Rick, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay free Evelyn and escape, but in doing so Alex is kidnapped by Lock-Nah and is forced to travel to Egypt with Imhotep. Rick and Evelyn with help from Izzy, a pilot who provides transportation with a dirigible in order to find Alex.

The bracelet shows Alex directions to Ahm Shere that Imhotep uses as Alex leaves clues for his parents at each location. Imhotep uses the Book of the Dead to give Meela the soul of Anck-su-namun, but by doing so allows Evelyn to unlock the memories of her previous life as Princess Nefertiri.

The O’Connells and Imhotep are attacked by pygmy mummies allowing Rick to retrieve Alex while Ardeth Bay kills Lock-Nah. They escape the pygmies, who kill everyone except for Baltus, Imhotep and Anck-su-namun. Rick finds Imhotep summoning the Scorpion King while at the same time, Ardeth and the Medjai battle Anubis’s resurrected army outside.

Rick discovers Jonathan’s scepter is a spear that allows him to kill the Scorpion King sending him and his army back to the Underworld, causing the Oasis to destroy itself. Rick and Imhotep are thrown back hanging above a pit that leads to the underworld. Evelyn saves Rick, but Anck-su-namun abandons Imhotep, who chooses to fall into the pit.

The Mummy Returns was released to theaters on May 4, 2001 to mixed reviews earning $435 million at the box office. The Scorpion King, a prequel movie would be released a year later in 2002 and in 2008 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor would see the return of the O’Connells, the fourth movie released in the franchise.  

Reggie’s Take:
Since The Mummy Returns was released to theaters in 2001 I have made it part of my personal movie library, both physical and digital, but I do have some mixed feelings towards the movie.

While I was happy that Universal gave us a sequel after the success of The Mummy in 1999, I have sometimes wondered if they should have avoided bringing back Imhotep. Do not get me wrong I loved Imhotep in the first movie, he was a fun villain to watch, and Arnold Vosloo was the perfect actor for the role, but over the last twenty years I sometime wish Imhotep had not returned until the third movie. His demise in this movie, at least for me seemed a bit lack luster maybe underwhelming, for such a fun rich villain he deserved a better death for the third time in his life.

The special effects for The Mummy Returns never looked as clean or as good as they did in the first movie. The biggest eye soar for me was the look of The Scorpion King during the final climax, it has always taken me out of the movie when he appears to fight Imhotep and Rick. Also, the writers or the special effects team seem to forget or did not realize that Imhotep, when he was sent back to the underworld at the end of the first movie lost his eyes, but when he is brought back to life his eyes are magically there, before he even has the chance to suck the life out of anyone so he could regenerate.

I also had the feeling of déjà vu at times while watching The Mummy Returns. When Imhotep creates a wall of water to bring down the dirigible and the O’Connells you see his face appear just as he did with the wall of sand in the first movie. While it was a fun visual in the first movie, I would have liked to of seen something different, but instead they substituted the sand for water in the second.

It may seem like I am picking on the movie and in some ways, I am, but it does not mean I dislike the movie. I do enjoy it, but what I found fun and entertaining from the first movie seemed a bit forced and not as well executed in The Mummy Returns.

While I have certain, minor issues regarding The Mummy Returns, some of you may say who cares it’s a fun movie and I would not argue that. The Mummy Returns is just as fun to watch as it was twenty years ago in theaters and despite what concerns I may have it does not mean I will be taking it out of my rotation anytime soon.

The Mummy Returns Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah, Oded Fehr, Freddie Boath, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Opened in theaters on May 4, 2001

The Mummy Returns Synopsis:

Ten years after the events of the first film, Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) O’Connell are settled in London, where they are raising their son. When a chain of events finds the corpse of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) resurrected, the O’Connells go on a desperate race to save the world from unspeakable evil and to rescue their son before it is too late.

Categories: Movie Anniversaries

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1 reply

  1. “While I have certain, minor issues regarding The Mummy Returns, some of you may say who cares it’s a fun movie and I would not argue that. ”

    That’s exactly how I feel. I think the film is a great action adventure film. One in which I find a certain fondness.


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