There's a disease that runs through the filmmakers, producers and
directors that makes a hugely successful movie. When people love
a particular movie and the producer makes tons of money, instantly
they get one idea on their minds: the sequel. On occasion they do
wonders with "the sequel" and make a movie that is either bigger
and more fun or unique on its own and better than the original.
"Terminator 2" is a good example of this. Money Money is another
example considering the Indian context.
the other hand, most sequels are made by people going through the
above said disease that causes the perfectly good filmmakers to
make a film that is below the quality of their (or someone else's)
original for the simple sake of cashing in on it while it's big.
people suffering from this disease made "The Mummy Returns." This
is sad for two reasons. The first is that it's far below the quality
of "The Mummy," a film that was special not only because of its
spectacular action scenes and effects, but also because it had humor
to fill the dead spaces and an absolutely superb cast at their best.
second reason this is sad is because they had the same cast as the
original, same talented writer/director and even more special effects,
but lost something important on the way. That something was the
fun spirit of the original.
the plot is almost identical to the original; they just added Dwayne
Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock) as "The Scorpion King." Over and above
they just decided to bring Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) and his girlfriend
Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velazquez, who was much better when she
didn't talk in the original) back for another joyride.
place nine years after the original (though made only two years
after), it's soon found that Rick and Evelyn O'Connell (Brendan
Fraser and Rachel Weisz) are back in the Egyptian tombs, along with
their 8-year-old son Alex (newcomer Freddie Boath). Of course they
accidentally open some box and let some spirit out before others
bring Imhotep back. They quickly bring Evelyn's brother Jonathan
(John Hannah, who has gotten a lot giddier and less funny here than
the original) back into the mix, and the guardian of the Mummy Ardeth
Bay (Oded Fehr … remember those men on horses clad in black) finds
his way back to them.
along the way it gets really good and for about 30 minutes it really
feels like the first one. They're blowing stuff up, killing mummies
while driving buses around like idiots -- it's fun! Then come the
plot twists, which are confusing to say the least, and this whole
reincarnation business, which is just plain silly.
this reincarnation thing: A certain character has certain dreams
that put them back in the time period of Imhotep, and before you
know it every character in the film suddenly believes that they
were a vital part of Egyptian life in one of their "past lives."
This idea is added with confusing edits of that certain character
in Egyptian. This makes the whole film shift in a confusing direction,
which then spoils the fun that makes these types of films work.
disease that kills this film also requires them to make it bigger,
louder and to add new "mummies" to the mix. The bigger only means
adding more special effects and there's so many effects here they're
barely special at all.
this film is bigger, louder and more than the first film was. But
more of the same and without the same fun spirit and humor that
made the first one a hit. No doubt it'll make a ton of money as
well, but let's just hope that Imhotep & Co. don't come back for
yet another smash two years from now.