The Mummy Returns is a 2001 American action-adventure horror film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and a sequel to his 1999 film The Mummy.
The film took $433 million at the box office worldwide against a reported budget of $98 million.
The 2002 prequel film The Scorpion King, which is set 5,000 years prior, was introduced in this film. It was followed by the 2008 sequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velásquez, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Alun Armstrong (Penny Dreadful; Van Helsing; Sleepy Hollow).
In 3067 BC, the Scorpion King leads his army on a campaign to conquer the world. After fighting for seven years, his army is defeated while attacking Thebes and exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere, where his men die of heat exhaustion. After vowing to give Anubis his soul for the power to defeat his enemies, an oasis forms to hide the Scorpion King’s pyramid and he is given a legion of jackal warriors in return. The Army of Anubis sweeps across Egypt, but once their task is finished, Anubis claims the Scorpion King’s soul and his army.
In 1933, Rick and Evelyn O’Connell explore a ruined mortuary temple in ancient Thebes with their son, Alex, where they find the Bracelet of Anubis. In London, the bracelet locks onto Alex, showing him a vision directing him to Ahm Shere. Alex has seven days to reach the oasis, or the bracelet will kill him when the sun’s rays shine on the Scorpion King’s pyramid.
Evelyn is captured by an Egyptian cult who resurrect Imhotep; they wish to use his power to defeat the Scorpion King, giving him command of Anubis’ army to take over the world. The cult, led by Baltus Hafez, the British Museum’s curator, includes a warrior named Lock-Nah and Meela Nais, the reincarnation of Imhotep’s love interest Anck-su-namun. Rick sets out to rescue Evelyn, accompanied by her brother Jonathan and the Medjai Ardeth Bay…
“In one or two sequences, Sommers goes in for the smash-and-grab editing and herky-jerky action of Gladiator, and quite often the computerized beasts are as flatly unreal as the now-quaint-looking latex and light shows of the Indy series. But Sommers also stages several peerless bits: a chase aboard a double-decker bus pursued by Imhotep’s fearsome guards; a run-in with vicious pygmy mummies gleefully ripped off from Jurassic Park and Gremlins; the final three-way throwdown between Rick, Imhotep, and the Scorpion King…” Rob Gonsalves, e-FilmCritic.com
“Yes, many of the visual effects are stunning, but others are downright cheesy — especially an attempt to fuse the Rock’s head onto a scorpion’s body. It looks as if it was pasted on by a first-grader. The action sequences are just as uneven and repetitious.” Rita Kempley, Washington Post
“The ads give the Rock, the World Wrestling Federation star, equal billing with Fraser. This is bait-and-switch. To call his appearance a “cameo” would be stretching it. He appears briefly at the beginning of the movie, is transmuted into a kind of transparent skeletal wraith and disappears until the end of the film, when he comes back as the dreaded Scorpion King. I am not sure, at the end, if we see the real Rock or merely his face, connected to computer-generated effects…” RogerEbert.com
Cast and characters:
- Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell
- Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan O’Connell/Princess Nefertiri
- Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep
- Patricia Velásquez as Meela Nais/Anck-Su-Namun
- John Hannah as Jonathan Carnahan
- Oded Fehr as Ardeth Bay
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as The Scorpion King (Mathayus of Akkad)
- Freddie Boath as Alex O’Connell
- Alun Armstrong as Baltus Hafez
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Lock-Nah
- Shaun Parkes as Izzy Buttons
- Bruce Byron as Red
- Joe Dixon as Jacques
- Tom Fisher as Spivey
- Aharon Ipalé as Pharaoh Seti I
Heath & Reach, Bedfordshire, England
Petra, Jordan (Hijaz railway scene)
Mentmore Towers, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, England
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, England
Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England
Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England
Tower Bridge, London, England
University College London, Bloomsbury, London, England (“British Museum”, exteriors)