The Mummy Returns

Lady, I don't even behave for my parents, what makes you think I'm going to do it for you?

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * · · · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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The first time you get punched in the face it comes as a bit of a surprise. Your eyes start to water, your nose runs into your throat and you can't seem to stop playing with that new fat lip. The second time someone makes a fist, you involuntarily shreek back and wimper, at least I do. That is how I felt when I hit the end of my Netflix rack and saw The Mummy Returns sitting there. It would seem instead of getting punched in the face, the movie kicked me in the sack instead by giving me the pan-and-scan version. But I went the distance and watched a 4x3 movie on my $3000 16x9 TV anyway, just so I could say I did it and never have to do it again. The Mummy Returns wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it sure was bad. I wouldn't steer people away from it completely, but you could live a full and rich life without ever suffering through this dull adventure.

There was a whole lot of things about this movie that could have sucked but didn't. Like the first, we get a slew of characters just put in for comic relief. Instead of the death of the thousand fart-jokes I thought we'd get, these characters learned to shut up once in a while. They even threw in a kid, normally suicide for any good movie, but even the kid didn't skunk up the works too badly. I'm almost willing to give this movie a decent rating simply because given all the crap it could have had, I was still entertained. Every time a plot point looks moronic, the actor of the minute points at it and says "look! A moronic plot point!". The third time the smartest of three thugs says "Don't touch the box! It's cursed!", his sidekick goes into a monolog about how every grain of sand in Egypt is apparently cursed.

It would seem that the only parts of the Mummy series that are actually worth a damn are the introductions. In the Mummy we get the dramatic vision of forbidden lovers and the horror of their execution. In this it is a war between two forgotten races, one led by the wrestler, The Rock. It all turns to shit the minute we leave ancient egypt, but for five mintues the movie is at least interesting.

I lost about %30 of the whole movie due to the fact that I watched Pan-and-Scan, but I figured a movie this bad is as close as I could come to a movie that was improved with the moronic format. There is a collectors edition of the Mummy Returns including a 2.35 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture and a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There is also a directors commentary that I would be happy to miss. No DTS track was available.

The Mummy Returns does nothing to attempt to redeem itself from the original but doesn't get a whole lot worse either. I've heard many smart people say they were entertained, so for that you may wish to consider it. If we understand Theodore Sturgeon's quote "90% of everything is crap", that leaves a 10% of the market for good movies. I'd probably recommend one of those instead. Even in the realm of mindless entertainment there is a lot better than this. Still, it didn't damage the world and I didn't want to jump out a window after seeing it.