When the scarabs are poured over Imhotep, they appear to begin devouring him gradually, a fact which Evelyn later confirms, stating that the beetles devoured a corpse "very slowly." However, whenever the scarabs devour anyone else later on in the film, they do so almost instantaneously.
At that point they're not just bugs anymore, they're one of the horrible curses that Imhotep is causing with his existence.
It's outright stated several times in the first movie that the curse used on Imhotep grants the victim invincibility and lots of cool undead superpowers should they ever be dug up. Given this, why did they bother using it on him? Granted, that was apparently the only time they used it, and he does suffer the whole "eternally chewed on by flesh eating beetles" thing not to mention how big the ancient Egyptians were on the afterlife but still.
The point was to dissuade anyone who might otherwise choose to bring him back. It was the Ancient Egyptian equivalent of burying him with a crate of land mines.
Also being immortal means you cannot proceed to the afterlife...something the Ancient Egyptians were very big on.
And that he would suffer for eternity. It was still a stupid idea though, Imhotep is clearly beginning to be able to exert his power on the world even without being properly awoken by the time the movie takes place. He probably would have eventually freed himself anyway at that rate.
Presumably it's some sort of trade-off with the gods - the victim gets cursed to suffer an eternity of pain and torment, with no possibility of passing into the afterlife, but to prevent its over-use, the downside is that if they're ever brought back to life, they get all these destructive powers.
Didn't the guy Imhotep took his new eyes from wear glasses, because he had ''really bad' eyesight?
Word of God (the DVD commentary) states that Imhotep took Burns' eyes literally. His resulting imperfect eyesight is what makes him initially believe that Evy is Anck-su-namun.
It obviously gets better as he regenerates fully, since the next time they meet he seems to be able to tell she's someone else.
How the hell does the pharaoh's wife scratch an itch or go to the bathroom? And what about sitting or eating? I mean, the smeared paint could mean she just got itchy or something dammit!
Since the pharaoh pretty much bursts in on Anck-su-namun and Imhotep in flagrante delicto (the script notes the balcony and set of rooms as Anck-su-namun's private chamber) and Imhotep barely manages to slip away before he gets in the room, the implication is that the pharaoh has been having one or both watched and followed and knows full well that they're both in there together and what they've been getting up to. By itself in a different situation the smudge could be innocent, but in that particular context it's confirming his suspicions about her infidelity. In any case, he's pretty clearly a jealous man, and jealous lovers often don't need to look too hard at the evidence before throwing around accusations, whether the evidence is conclusive or not.
It was probably more that he'd already seen something awry (Imhotep's priests, "What are you doing here?"), and that it wasn't some tiny little smear in the paint, it was pretty clearly from a big meaty hand rubbing down her arm.
In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep scares the bejesus out of a trio of mercenaries seemingly For the Evulz. What does Meela Nais tell them to do? "Openthechest!" But if the chest was lost when Hamunaptra sank, where did they get it... and where Imhotep learn English?
Besides, they excavated Hamunaptra to get at Imhotep himself, why do you think they couldn't have gotten the chest too even if it was buried?
Also, they managed to find The Book of Amun Ra, which was accidentally pitched into a pit of black slime in the previous film.
The Medjai know damned well the Egyptian gods are real and their curses work, and exist only to fight the monsters they left behind and prevent their rise by any means necessary. How were they ever converted to Islam?
Because Islam doesn't regularly create human eating monsters that want to conquer the world?
Nonetheless, one can only begin to wonder what their belief structure is like?
They probably acknowledge that the Egyptian gods are powerful spirits or beings but do not worship them, possibly not even ascribing actual divinity to them. It's not that difficult of a concept, really.
Islamic doctrine contains three sapient species that are creations of Allah - humans, angels and jinn. I'd assume the Egyptian gods fall into the latter category: powerful spirits capable of miraculous feats/magic, but ultimately subservient to the one true God.
Actually, the earliest sections of the Bible (which are by extension parts of Judaism and Islam) don't deny the existence of other gods; they simply claim that their god (Yahweh) is the ultimate God of the universe.
That missionary needs his own movie, he must have done something that impressed the underworld out of them. In the present movies they mostly attack without a word.
How did Imhotep get encased in Amber. Yeah, he was sinking into a slimy pit, but I don't recall the pit being golden.
It's not amber. It's solidified sand and water—basically like a crude cement.
In The Mummy Returns, Rick stops Evy from trying to block the doors of the British Museum, stating that mummies don't use doors. How does he know? I don't recall there ever being a moment in the first movie where Rick tries to block a door only to have the mummies barge through somewhere else.
I recall maybe two scenes in the first film where Rick was standing ready to defend a doorway/passage, only to be attacked from the walls or floor.
OP here, and you're right. Upon rewatching many times (mostly because I like the movie), it never occurred to me to recall the floor until your suggestion.
When they learn that, until he's fully regenerated, Imhotep is deadly afraid of cats, why don't they simply get a bunch of alley cats to keep around the Americans and Evie at all times, so that Imhotep can't get near them?
Quite simply, no time when you're rushing around avoiding Imhotep's perils and struggling to keep the gang together to nab a few felines.
But they had a cat! There's one in the room to scare off Imhotep the first time, and Rick holds presumably the same cat up again to frighten him off just after he kissed Evy. Why didn't they just take that cat with them?
I think they did, which is why Imhotep enslaved all those people - to get around his weakness.
If Medjai were aware of the Imhotep's cult working to dig him out (we see Ardeth Bey infiltrating the excavation site), why didn't they simply storm it with their huge army, kill all the cultists and prevent Imhotep's resurrection?
This one is explained in-universe, they usually exist as a large number of separate groups and it took them time to assemble. A force the size of the one that tried to storm the camp in the first movie (the raid they threw together, not the full battle at the beginning) would have been slaughtered.
Where DID Johnatan get an empty double-decker in the middle of the night?
If the cultists dug Imhotep out in Egypt, and the tomb of the Scorpion King they are after was also in Egypt, why the hell did they need to drag the mummy all the way to England to resurrect it? Surely a cult of that size and resources (they had a train at the least) wouldn't have a shortage of accommodation, would it? It's not like they needed any special arrangements for the ritual - you just read from the book, and they already had it.
They only wanted to revive him when they had the bracelet too. That way, they could show off and say "look what a good job we've done getting everything ready. So when you rule the world, we'll be rewarded, right?"
The three thugs that clash with the O'Connells in the beginning of "Return" seemed to come after them specifically. But they were also hired by Imhotep's cult and apparently came for the Bracelet of Anubis. So, did Hafez know that the O'Conells were searching for the Bracelet or at least that they were excavating in the exact spot where he knew the Bracelet was? If he did, why would he send only those three shmucks? It's Rick O'Connor we're talking about, the man who defeated Imhotep the last time. Also, if Hafez knew that that's where the Bracelet was, why wouldn't he procure it long before that? It IS the cornerstone of their plan, after all.
They originally just went after Evy and Alex. IIRC Rick wasn't there when they initially attacked them.