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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Horror > The Mummy Returns (HD-DVD)

The Mummy Returns (HD-DVD)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C-     Film: D



The more one thinks about it, the more Stephen Sommer’s The Mummy (1999, reviewed on HD-DVD elsewhere on this site) seems like a fluke or like any time Jon Bon Jovi releases hit records since Bruce Springsteen is on break.  In 2001, they rehashed the film as The Mummy Returns and all anyone could say at the time was that the effects looked better.  That’s not the case now.


Brendan Frazier and Rachel Weisz returned as the leads and some of the only characters not to be killed in the first film.  Now they’ve had a son (yawn) and on top of the return of their favorite monster, The Scorpion King (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) has too been revived and they are in greater danger than ever.


This sequel has not aged well at all, has no laughs, point or excitement of any kind.  I was shocked at how much a bad sequel like this got worse over time, but it is a mess and The Rock is only the beginning of its troubles.  This was a package deal that was simply cashing in on the first film and is not even the most competent corporate product.  Only diehard fans should apply, but this did not help Frazier’s career long term and with the events of 9/11 happening only months after, it was quickly forgotten.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is a little better than that of the previous Mummy HD-DVD, but not substantially so.  The digital looks about as bad, the shooting is too much the same by cinematographer Adrian Biddle, B.S.C., but he pulls off enough of a professional look that fans instantly reconnected and it made even more money than the last film.  The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix is also a little better than the previous film, but it again is more of the same, lacking character and any idea of progress in the approach to mixing.  Alan Silvestri’s score is not as good as that of Jerry Goldsmith’s for the first film and has not aged as well.


Extras include visual effects featurette, a Music Video by Live, outtakes, a making of featurette, audio commentary by Sommers and producer/editor Bob Ducsay, "Chamber of Doom": a virtual tour of Universal Studios' latest theme park attraction, "Egyptology 201": a fun and educational look at ancient Egypt and Egyptian mythology and a look at Scorpion King in DVD-ROM.


Now you see why a third film took so long.  What were they going to do?



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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