The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

The Mummy Returns

68 million dollars.

This weekend, The Mummy Returns opened across North America and pulled in over 68 million dollars.

I'm gonna tell you why.

The Mummy Returns is the continuing adventure of swashbuckling hero Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser), librarian Evie Carnahan O'Connell (Rachel Weisz), all of their friends and most of their enemies. Basically, if you had even a minor role in The Mummy and you WEREN'T devoured by scarabs, you got asked back for round two.

But The Mummy Returns is bigger, badder and more expensive than The Mummy, so everyone gets updated. Swashbuckling hero Rick is now "I really like to beat things up" Rick. Librarian Evie now knows martial arts and is slightly psychic. She's also changed her last name to match Rick's, and born him a son, which is never a good sign for a movie. Meanwhile, the man in black is back, and instead of leading a rag-tag group of mystic warriors, he somehow ends up with an army. Not sure how they can stay secret and still manage to feed everyone. "I need 4000 pounds of chicken and 17,000 sacks of rice. No reason. I'm having a BBQ."

But that's not all. Imhotep (the Mummy) is back (he 'returns,' get it?) and again wants to take over the world. But since smart-alek Rick smacked his bitch up last time, he wants an army of his own to do it for him. Personally, I think he's missing the boat, because he already has as many of those damn scarab beetles at his command that he could ever need, but he wants the all-powerful army of Annubis, the dog-headed God. In order to do that, he has to wake up the Scorpion King. And then kill him. Why he doesn't just kill El Scorpio why he's sleeping is anyone's guess.

So you start at an abandoned temple, head on over to London for a spell, then chase around Egypt searching for anything remotely cgi-created. And you never once pause for breath. It's pretty exhilarating. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark on speed. I wasn't counting, but I'm pretty sure that at least half of Brendan Fraser's lines were either "Look out!" or "Run!"

This is not a perfect movie. Heck, even the cgi was arguably better in the first movie. There isn't a single original thought in this film. Bits are ripped out of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, E.T., Titanic, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and of course The Mummy (if it worked the first time, do it again) to name a few. Lots of things happen that don't really make sense, and leave you asking all kinds of questions. Like "Where did that bus come from?"

But the end result is a blast. I laughed, I jumped, I giggles, I groaned. I had a rollicking good time.

What's always neat about these movies is that pretty much none of the bad guys are real people. They're effects. Be they cgi mummies or cgi skeleton warriors or cgi pigmy creatures or cgi beetles or cgi scorpions or other cgi beasties, every time Rick fires his weapon, chances are he's shooting at something that's already dead. Which makes him a pretty good role model for the kids.

Plus, in this video game age, it's only proper that the final baddie is one of those boss monsters you'd find at the end of a level of Zelda or Mario Bros.

But none of that has anything to do with why this movie made $68 million on opening weekend. That money is 100% due to the fact that this movie features WWF's The Rock. He plays The Scorpion King, and every WWF fan in existence (and at last count, they outnumber blades of grass in some states) went to see this movie. Joke's on them, 'cause Mr. Rock is in about 5 minutes of the movie, tops, and doesn't so much speak as grunt. Much like his act on WWF, actually.

Still, it was enough to flood the theaters and spawn an upcoming prequel, entitled, appropriately enough, The Scorpion King.

I can't wait.

When all is said and done, The Mummy Returns spooks up 4 Babylons. One for each of the four letters in The Rock's name. Not counting 'The' of course.

Editor's Note:

Yeah, I know "badder" isn't a word but I let it go. And folks, just a little venting: unless there's an Editor's Note at the end of an SMC creation, I didn't edit it so please don't scold me when you find errors. In fact, you should email me to congratulate me for doing such a difficult job with such a level head.

the Mummy Returns
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, The Rock, Arnold Vosloo, Freddie Boath, Oded Fehr, The Tree, Patricia Velazquez, The Dirt-Clod, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and The Little Bit of Sand Stuck in Your Eye.

Join the Self-Made Critic Mailing List Back to The Shuttlecocks Homepage