The Mummy Returns for another sandy CGI adventure, tossing out character development off of the dirigible. Bigger is not always better (unless you are a size queen...). Clearly, both Sommers and the ancient pharaohs failed to capitalise on this ethos, with colossal pyramids, temples and undead armies towering over the O'Connell's. Yet despite the plague of special effects that have tainted the lands of Egypt, turning it into an outdated polygonal desert, this is still an incredibly enjoyable adventure flick that harks back to the 'Indiana Jones' era of films. I miss those days! After activating the Bracelet of Anubis, the O'Connell's must prevent a newly resurrected Imhotep from slaying the Scorpion King, granting him control over Anubis' army.
Right, let's address the camel in the oasis. The Scorpion King. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Merging into one. It looked abhorrently terrible back in '01 and I can damn well guarantee you it still looks like the dark side of Anubis' buttocks today. That is just one example of various "revolutionary" special effects that either look out of place or are atrociously rendered. Some, mostly environmental details, still hold up well. Most, do not. So to align the film's focus on haphazard visuals rather than the characters themselves, well, it makes for light entertainment at best. There are some droplets of personable qualities, especially with Rick and Evelyn, but with a large array of returning and new characters, it was just too much. Too many travellers in this desert, y'know what I mean!
Regardless, Sommers is able to keep the narrative flowing and showcase a plethora of set pieces that are sure to bring some excitement, even if certain sub-plots like Anck-Su-Namun's reincarnation are underdeveloped. Whether it be a barrage of mummified pygmies killing everyone or a car chase in downtown London, it's always kept brisk and enjoyable. The cast does not need any dusting, with them all performing adequately (damn I miss Fraser...). And Silvestri's score is a definite highlight, enhancing that enjoyable nature even further.
Substituting the horror found in its predecessor for a straight up adventure flick was probably the best move Sommers could make, but more attention to the characters was needed to truly add that much required Egyptian spice. Decent sequel, but falling for the "bigger is better" trap. Let's just not discuss the spin-off or sequel...or reboot...