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Film / The Mummy Returns

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Evelyn: It's only a chest. No harm ever came from opening a chest.
Rick: Right, and no harm ever came from reading a book. Remember how that one went?

The Mummy Returns is the 2001 sequel to the 1999 remake of The Mummy and the second entry in The Mummy Trilogy. It is written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It was released on May 4, 2001.

Set in 1933, the film features the now-married Rick and Evelyn O'Connell (Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz) and their inquisitive 8-year-old son, Alex (Freddie Boath). Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) is once again resurrected by an Egyptian cult led by Baltus Hafez (Alun Armstrong) to steal the supernatural Army of Anubis from the Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson in his film debut), an ancient immortal warlord who will use the army to end the world if he is awakened. When Alex is kidnapped during a raid on the O'Connell's home, they must get their son back and save the day.

The film also stars John Hannah as Jonathan Carnahan, Oded Fehr as Ardeth Bay and Patricia Velásquez as Meela Nais/Anck-su-namun.

Followed by The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Previews: Trailer

This film provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: Marginally. The Mummy was unquestionably more action-heavy than the original 1932 film, but still featured elements of horror and suspense. Here, the action takes over the horror almost entirely, even though both films are more-or-less action-adventure.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Imhotep sees what True Love is really like. He'd suffered terribly and sacrificed everything, his position, his life, his mortality and even his soul multiple times over thousands of years for Ankh-su-namun, and she abandoned him when the chips were down. Then he got to watch Evy race to Rick's side in his moment of need. To top it off, while he was begging Ankh-su-namun to save him, his enemy was begging his beloved to save herself- and she refused, insisting on trying to help him. With this came the realization that all his sacrifice and suffering had been pointless and empty, and after a bitter smile he let go of the ledge and let Hell take him. And, from the look he gives Rick and Evy, he believed they would have helped him if he'd have asked.
    • It's even sadder in the novelization. Rick feels pity for Imhotep and runs over to try and pull him up, but Imhotep just gives him a sad smile, says something in Egyptian while looking over at Evey, and lets go of the ledge before Rick can reach him. When the O'Connells make it out of the temple, Rick asks Evey what Imhotep's last words meant: she says, "love that outlasts the temples of the gods".
  • And Starring: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the Scorpion King in the film that solidified his transition from the WWE to film.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The Medjai briefly celebrate their victory when they defeat the first wave of Anubis' army and later when Rick sends the Scorpion King back to the Underworld for good.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Evy, who lives in a world where the dead can come back to life and the plagues of Egypt are verifiably real, has the gall to say "No harm ever came from opening a chest!" Rick, quite understandably, reminds her that she previously claimed "No harm ever came from reading a book."
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • When the jets on the sides of the dirigible are activated, there is no drag on the balloon itself. And the balloon somehow manages to rise immediately after being soaked with probably many hundreds of pounds of water.
    • They outrun the sunrise.
  • Ascended Extra: Patricia Velasquez reprises her role of Anck-su-namun. However, while the role in the previous film consisted of one line and basically had her as Ms. Fanservice for a few minutes, her role is greatly expanded here, playing Meela as well, and gives her a chance to show off her acting chops.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Hafez is presumably Egyptian, however his accent sounds more like an ambiguous meld of Italian and Romanian if anything.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Whoever slays the Scorpion King automatically gains the authority to command the Army of Anubis.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Jonathan screams out for everyone to pull him up at the end of the film when the swirling vortex is engulfing the pyramid......until he sees the giant diamond on the topmost point. Then he yells at them to lower him down so he can grab it. Rick yells at him it's not worth his life but Jonathan says it is.
  • Bad Boss: Neither Imhotep himself or Baltus Hafez have any problem with sacrificing their cultists in the pursuit of the power of the Scorpion King.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Judging by the first movie, and the set up in the second movie you’d think that this is a story about epic reincarnation romance between undead Imhotep and reincarnated Anck-su-namun...only to find out that this is really a story about epic romance between Evelyn (reincarnated Princess Nefertiri) and Rick (reincarnated Medjai warrior), while Anck-su-namun abandoned Imhotep to die, raising questions if she actually really loved him at all.
  • Battle Couple: Rick and Evy as of the second movie.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The Medjai tattoo on Rick's wrist. The tattoo was there in the first movie as well, visible in a few scenes. Just no big deal was made about it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jonathan is the bumbling Plucky Comic Relief, true, but when Anck-su-namun is about to kill Evy in the first movie, he uses the Book of Amun-Ra to order the guard mummies to kill her without batting an eyelid. Here, he has no problem going one-on-one with a reincarnated Anck-su-namum with some Good Old Fisticuffs, despite not being the type that Would Hit a Girl, and holds her off long enough for Alex to decipher the spell that will bring his mother back to life. Considering that Anck-su-Namun had tried to kill him following interrogation for kicks and later stabbed Evy to death, giving her several good jabs to the face was probably as therapeutic for Jonathan as it was necessary. He also manages to snipe the person about to shoot Ardeth in the back from several hundred yards away with an open sight. Damn fine marksmanship, which Ardeth notes with a respectful nod.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Izzy shows up just as the gang would have been sucked into the Underworld with the pyramid.
  • Big "NO!": One particularly notable one happens at the end where Imhotep runs into shot, poses, then screams. Rick and Evelyn both get more meaningful ones when they see each other in mortal danger, or being fatally stabbed.
  • Big Word Shout: Imhotep shouts a very loud and very angry "YOU!" when he spots and recognises Rick shooting up his minions.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • The Medjai fighting the Anubis warriors in the desert. The supernatural creatures turn to sand on death, but the humans who die (most of them) not only don't bleed but they don't even leave any bodies.
    • When the Scorpion King rips Hafez apart, there isn't a drop of blood.
  • Bond One-Liner: Rick to the Scorpion King. Amusingly, he actually meant what he was saying, as killing the King gave him control over the undead army, or in this case, the authority to banish it.
    Rick: [upon stabbing the Scorpion King] Go to hell! And take your friends with you!
  • Bookshelf Dominoes: This seems to run in the family, as Alex does it with freaking giant stone pillars. Although it makes you wonder what exactly those pillars were holding up.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Alex.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Anubis depowers Imhotep before he can fight the Scorpion King, presumably because he knew it wouldn't be very sporting with Imhotep's godlike powers.
  • Buffy Speak: Rick calls the Scepter of Osiris the "golden stick thing" when he can't remember its name.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After Alex puts on the armband of the Scorpion King, he unwittingly becomes a Living MacGuffin and is thus kidnapped by the bad guys as Imhotep needs it to fight the Scorpion King but can only remove it from Alex's arm without destroying it at Anubis' Oasis. When Alex first tries to escape, a bunch of cultists stupidly open fire on him, so Imhotep teaches them a lesson by flinging them to their deaths.
  • Call-Back:
    • Evy and Rick's conversation in the tomb regarding what happened the last time Evy disregarded an ancient "Do Not Disturb" sign.
      Evy: It's only a chest. No harm ever came from opening a chest!
      Rick: Yeah, right! And "No harm ever came from reading a book"! You remember how that one went?
    • The columns crashing into each other in the catacombs calls back to the shelves in Evy's library falling in a similar fashion in The Mummy.
    • After briefly wondering how she was able to pull off an expert combat move (ultimately due to her past life as an Egyptian princess,) Evy slugs a mook with a headbutt and says to Alex, "That, I learned from your father." It calls back to Rick teaching Evy how to throw a punch in the first film.
      • And this gets its own Call-Back later when Evy uses the same move against Anck-su-Namun; Anck realises that Evelyn has "remembered the old ways", as Evelyn draws on her combat experience from her past life, and then Evy punches her foe in the face with the words "That's a little something new".
    • During the climax, Alex is trying to decipher the Book of the Dead while Jonathan keeps Anck-su-Namun occupied but can't figure out what the last hieroglyph he needs is. Jonathan asks what it looks like and Alex says it's a stork. Not so coincidentally, Jonathan was trying to figure out the exact same symbol from the exact same book during the climax of the previous film while Evy fought and distracted Anck-su-Namun; acknowledging this, Jonathan's immediate reaction is, "I know that one!"
  • Cassandra Truth: One of the mercenaries keeps saying "this X is cursed" to include Imhotep's chest. His partner calls him out as Crying Wolf because he does it so much, but it turned out this time he was dead accurate.
  • Ceiling Cling: Imhotep does one before draining the three mercenaries.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Jonathan enters the movie carrying a scepter, and the scene plays out as though it's merely a random trinket he pilfered away like usual. Then Hafez draws attention to it by taking it with great respect and exclaiming "It can't be!" and it's forgotten for the rest of the movie until the end... It turns out to be the ceremonial spear needed to slay the Scorpion King.
    • The tattoo on Rick's wrist marking him as a Medjai from the second film. Look closely in The Mummy, and it's there.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Jonathan and Alex are established early on as learning how to read hieroglyphics. This eventually pops up after Evy dies and they need to resurrect her using the Book of the Dead... written in hieroglyphics.
    • Evelyn taught Jonathan to pronounce the symbol that is shaped like a stork near the end of The Mummy. In The Mummy Returns, Alex was stuck at the same symbol, and Jonathan proudly proclaimed "Oh! I know that one!", and told him how to pronounce it. Both of the people who knew the symbol (Evy then Jonathan) were fighting Anck-su-namun, and almost choked as they pronounce the symbol. Those trying to read the inscription (Jonathan then Alex) also made the same motion and comment whilst describing it.
      "It's a bird-" [flaps elbow like a wing] A stork!"
    • In the first film, Rick disarms an enemy when he is pressed against a pillar with a well-placed headbutt. In the second film, when the house is under attack, Evy uses the exact same move against a Mook and comments to Alex, "That I learned from your father!" She uses it again on Anck-su-namun during their late fight.
  • Close on Title
  • Collective Death Glare: Jonathan gets this when he eyes up a display of shrunken heads in the middle of a haunted oasis and says, "You know, I'd love to know how they do that!" Evie, Rick and Adet's expressions suggest they'd rather not find out.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Defied. The intent was to have the super-powered Imhotep kill the Scorpion King. Anubis, however, sees this coming and renders Imhotep mortal before the battle.
  • Conveniently Precise Translation: A visual version where Rick encounters a set of pictograms illustrating precisely how to kill the Scorpion King.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Anck-su-namun abandons Imhotep, unwilling to risk her own life to save him. As she is fleeing, she stumbles and falls into a swarm of scorpions (and possibly the flesh-eating scarab beetles). The scorpions/beetles crawl all over and inside her, choking her dying screams.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Jonathan is clearly outclassed as a fighter by Anck-Su-Namun, but manages to get a few hits in, surprising both of them. In the end, though, Anck slashes at him and is about to kill him when Evy stops her in the nick of time.
  • Damsel in Distress: Evy is knocked out and kidnapped during the attack on the O'Connell mansion and taken to a recently-revived Imhotep to be sacrificed in front of him. However, she's quickly rescued by Rick and Ardeth Bay and joins the shootout against his cult, showing the audience that she has Taken A Level In Badass.
  • Death by Materialism:
    • Jonathan nearly ends up this way with the giant diamond on the pyramid. Rick tries to tell him it isn't worth his life, but Jonathan responds, "Yes, it is!" Rick eventually manages to pull both Jonathan and the diamond to safety.
    • The thugs who acquire Imhotep's chest demand more pay for the job. They end up getting locked in a room with Imhotep and drained of life to revivify him.
  • Death Glare:
    • Rick sports a wicked one as he makes his way through the pyramid to face Imhotep and the Scorpion King. The effect is especially chilling in the hallway where he's lit by periodic jets of flame.
    • Played for Laughs by Evy towards Rick when Izzy is recounting the bank job in Marrakech.
      Izzy: I'm lying in the middle of the street with my spleen hanging out when he comes waltzing up with some belly dancer girl.
      Evy: Belly dancer girl. (cue Rick's sheepish expression) Izzy, I think you and I should talk.
  • Delayed Reaction: Imhotep reacts to Rick impaling the Scorpion King several seconds after the fact.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Once more between Evy and Anck-su-namun. Unlike the first film, Evy puts up more of a fight due to her gaining Princess Neferteri's spirit and by extension, her fighting skills, and due to Rick having taught Evy how to defend herself in-between films. Justified as Jonathan does try and fight her but is completely outmatched and Rick is busy fighting the Scorpion King and Imhotep.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Imhotep was not expecting to have his powers taken away by Anubis before fighting the Scorpion King.
  • Dirty Coward: First, Anck-su-namun stabs and kills Evelyn (she gets better, however) when her guard is down, then draws sais on an unarmed Jonathan (who still manages to hold her off well enough regardless), and ultimately, when both she and Evelyn see their loved ones in mortal danger, she flees while Evelyn charges forward, abandoning Imhotep to his fate. That last act of cowardice gets her killed when she fails to look where she's going while she runs, causing her to fall into a pit of man-eating scorpions.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: Alex finds one on the train.
  • The Ditz: Spivey is quite stupid. For example when he and Jacques get into a Mexican Standoff with Lock-nah and Shafek, Spivey points his gun at Red's (his boss) head and Jacques has to point it toward the cultists.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: The Medjai have successfully defeated the Army of Anubis and are cheering their victory. Then Ardeth climbs a nearby dune and realize they only defeated the opening wave. The rest of the army is blanketing the sands, nothing less than a wave of impending death they have no hope of surviving.
  • Double Weapon: Many of the Anubis warriors carry axes with a blade on either end of the shaft.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Imhotep's fate once Anck-su-namun abandons him. He takes it quite well, though.
  • Dual Wielding: Rick briefly fights with an axe in each hand against Imhotep.
  • Eat the Summoner: One of the people who summoned Imhotep again in order to summon the Scorpion King in turn is killed by the latter. Before he dies, he pleads to Imhotep to save his life, to which Imhotep just says "Why?"
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Or rather, Anubis. He was actually one of the good guys in ancient Egyptian mythology (not to mention he provided a Deus ex Machina in the first film by rendering Imhotep mortal).
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: If only Hafez knew that. He wants to unleash Imhotep in the hope that he can stop the Scorpion King, not taking into account that no matter who wins it will be an evil undead. It works about as well as you'd expect. Well to be fair, the Scorpion King was going to destroy the world. Hafez probably figured Imhotep ruling it was better, and maybe that he might be spared.
  • Evil Wears Black: Imhotep wears a Black Cloak for most of the film, before ditching it for a Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: When Ardeth and the Medjai encounter more Anubis warriors heading towards them, Ardeth shouts "To the death!" in Arabic.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Somehow, Anck-su-namun/Neela is able to just stride past everyone without anybody raising an alarm until after she's stabbed Evy in the abdomen.
  • Fake Defector: Imhotep swears loyalty to the Scorpion King when he sees the man is now a giant scorpion-taur he has no hope of killing as a mortal, then aims his wrath at Rick. This buys time for Imhotep to come up with some way of killing the Scorpion King, or at least buying favor if he can't. The Scorpion King seems to see through the gambit, but humors it anyway.
  • False Reassurance: "He who opens this chest shall... drink from the Nile. Well, that doesn't sound too bad." Cue the flood.
  • Fanservice: Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez dueling with sais in ancient Egypt, wearing skimpy gold lame bikinis.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Even though Anck-su-namun was the sole reason for Imhotep's resurrection and his villainy throughout the two films, it turns out that she absolutely would not risk her life for him if he needed her help, calling into question whether she actually ever truly loved him at all. She certainly does not love him as much as Evey loves Rick. Imhotep looks completely devastated when he realizes this, and it leads him to letting himself fall into hell to remove himself from the world, his quest All for Nothing.
  • Fatal Forced March: The prologue depicts the rise and fall of the Scorpion King who, after his last failed campaign, marched his army out into the Thirsty Desert, where they all succumbed from heat and thirst one by one. When the Scorpion King was the last man standing, he made a Deal with the Devil with Anubis, who created an oasis out of nowhere.
  • Finger Wag: Imhotep does this to Alex after his first attempt to escape in Karnak.
  • Fisher King: The moment Rick kills the Scorpion King, the entire pyramid collapses as the verdant Ahm Shere rapidly reverts back to becoming a Thirsty Desert.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Anck-su-namun wears a feather boa when invading the O'Connell's home. As well as a Feather Boa Constrictor.
  • Foil: In the final moments in the Scorpion King's Temple, Rick and Evy stand in stark contrast to Imhotep and Anck-su-namun; when Rick and Imhotep are in danger of being dragged into Hell as the temple collapses, Rick yells at Evy to leave and she runs into danger to help him, while Imhotep begs Anck-su-namun to help him and she runs away to try and save herself.
  • Freudian Trio: The three mercenaries.
    • Ego: Red, the leader, equally greedy and cautious.
    • Superego: Jacques, the quietest, most cautious and religious.
    • Id: Spivey, the ditzy one who disrespects Jacques.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Jonathan resorts to this when fighting Anck-su-Namun. Surprisingly, he actually gets several jabs in.
  • Groin Attack:
    • When Anck-su-namun casts aside her daggers during Evy's flashback, they stick in the groins of a pair of statues nearby.
    • Two in the same fight scene. Evy groin-attacks a Mook, and Lock-Nah groin-attacks Ardeth. Ardeth recovers quickly. Aforementioned Mook doesn't, but that's more due to Alex knocking a bookcase onto him.
  • Hand in the Hole: Hafez does this to awaken the Army of Anubis. It turns out it demands more than just the bracelet.
  • Happily Married: Rick and Evy. After 10 years and a child, they're still madly in love.
  • Here We Go Again!: As soon as Ardeth Bay shows up in England and reunites with his old allies, Rick has a pretty good idea what they're about to get dragged into again.
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't: Rick does this twice when he and Evy discuss the legend of the Scorpion King and Ahm Shere.
    Evy: Yes, but he only awakens once every 5000 years.
    Rick: Right. And if someone doesn't kill him, then he's gonna wipe out the world.
    Evy: How did you know?
    Rick: I didn't, but that's always the story.
    Evy: The last known expedition to actually reach Ahm Shere was sent by Ramses IV over 3000 years ago. He sent over a thousand men.
    Rick: And none of them was ever seen again.
    Evy: How did you know?
    Rick: I didn't, but that's always the story.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Rick runs the Spear of Osiris through the Scorpion King before throwing him down to his death.
  • Inertial Impalement: Rick trips backwards while trying to fend off the Scorpion King with the Spear of Osiris and abruptly stops over a large crevice in between two parts of the floor. The Scorpion King flings himself forward to kill him but the spear is still pointing upwards and he ends up getting stabbed through the middle thanks to his own movement.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Rick O'Connell grabs Ardeth and shoves him into a post to yell "What the hell are you doing here?" at him. Granted, Evy had just been kidnapped, but it seems a bit harsh of a way to treat your known ally.
  • Jump Scare: The pygmies in Ahm Shere.
  • Karmic Death: A neat chain of them one right after the other. First, Hafez, who showed cowardly disregard for his minions, was killed by the Scorpion King as Imhotep apathetically ignored his pleas for help. Following that, after Anck-su-namun ignores his own pleas, Imhotep submits to his death in a pit of lost souls. Almost instantly afterwards, Anck-su-namun trips into a pit of carnivorous bugs and is devoured alive.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: As soon as he sees that the formerly human Scorpion King is now quite literally a centaur-like scorpion, Imhotep immediately pledges his loyalty and points the Scorpion King at Rick. To his credit, the Scorpion King is at least suspicious of the claim, but seems confident that Imhotep doesn't pose a threat to him either way.
  • Lack of Empathy: Imhotep shows little empathy for those who serve him:
    Hafez: Master, save me!
    Imhotep: *deadpan* Why?
  • Language Barrier: This works to Imhotep's advantage. He and the Scorpion King speak the same language. Rick does not. This makes it pretty easy for Imhotep to point the Scorpion King at Rick, who can't understand either much less correct the record.
  • Last Stand: The Medjai resolve to do this upon seeing the full Army of Anubis bearing down on them.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Evy has noticeably done this since the events of The Mummy.
  • Lighter and Softer: In comparison to the first movie. While The Mummy wasn't as terrifying as, say, the classic 1930s film, it was still geared and played up as "action-horror." The Mummy Returns puts a larger emphasis on both the comedy and adventure elements of the film.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: As soon as the Scorpion King is killed, the pyramid begins to collapse, raining chunks of stone down onto everyone inside. Also, Ahm Shere is sucked back into the pyramid, returning the desert to its natural state.
  • MacGuffin: The bracelet on Alex and the Sceptre of Osiris, as the golden stick-thing that actually opens into a spear that can defeat the Scorpion King.
  • Mauve Shirt: Shafek, one of Imothep's goons who avoids certain death on several occasions by dodging. Then Jonathan dodges an attack and it instead kills Shafek.
  • Mr. Exposition: For the first half, Ardeth is made of this trope. If he's talking, odds are he's giving exposition.
  • Mythology Gag: To the original 1932 film.
    • Ardeth Bey" was Imhotep's alias in modern times in The Mummy (1932).
    • This movie takes place in 1933. The original takes place in 1932.
    • Imhotep have hypnotic powers, as his original 1932 counterpart.
    • Imhotep shows Meela her past life in a water pond using his mystical powers, as Imhotep himself did with Helen Grovesnor in the 1932 film.
    • Evelyn, who in the 1999 remake was a rebooted character based on Helen from the 1932 movie, is actually the reincarnation of an Egyptian princess.
  • Myth Prologue: The film opens with the tale of the Scorpion King, who after being driven into the desert following a failed military campaign, makes a pact with the god Anubis and is granted command of Anubis' armies. After taking revenge on his enemies, Anubis takes the Scorpion King's soul, forcing him into service for eternity.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Imhotep is no longer channelling the power of the plagues of Egypt, but he's seemed to pick up a few new tricks like Telekinesis.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The Scorpion King's army.
  • No Longer with Us: Discussed in the novelization, where Rick comments that "We were that close to buyin' the farm." Evelyn, unfamiliar with the expression, asks "Whyever would we buy a farm when we have this place?" (referring to their home in London). Rick quickly explains that "buying the farm" means "dying".
  • Noodle Incident: That bankjob in Marrakesh that Izzy and Rick did. All we know is that Izzy apparently got shot in the spleen and Rick (much to Evy's interest) absconded with the money in the company of some belly-dancer girl.
    • Red and his fellow thugs mention having to kill two guards at an unspecified museum to get their hands on the cursed chest Imhotep requires.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Shafek, one of the Mooks, does this a lot.
  • Off with His Head!: Anubis warriors are unkillable except by decapitation. That they are also quite numerous and giant killing machines doesn't make that task any easier.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Ardeth and the Medjai have just defeated the Army of Anubis at great cost to their forces. They cheer. But that was only the first wave. Cue the entire horizon turning black as the unfathomable hordes of Anubis warriors blanket the sands. To be fair to poor Ardeth, though, he took it rather well, all things considered.
    • Alex's expression when Imhotep takes off his mask.
    • Evy's face firstly when Imhotep is resurrected, and then when he recognises her.
    • And an absolutely brilliant one from Izzy, when his dirigible has just run out of gas.
    Izzy: ... Well that's not good.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Rick kills two cultists by shooting one into another, causing both to fall into a pit of fire.
  • Once More, with Clarity: Pharaoh Seti's murder in the first film's prologue is revisited vis-à-vis Evey's past memories. We get to see events leading directly up to the assassination and the event itself from a different perspective (and revealing who alerted the Medjai).
  • Past-Life Memories: Evy keeps having flashes of insights and memories that make her think she's hallucinating. It turns out, they're memories of her past life in ancient Egypt as Nefetiri, Pharaoh Seti I's daughter.
  • Pitiful Worms: A heroic version. Evey calls Anck-Su-Namun a “bug.”
  • Platonic Kissing: In the near end, when the O’Connell family almost got sunken into the imploded pyramid and oasis after defeating their enemies, Izzy saves them just in time with his newly-modified dirigible. When they’re finally safe and on the way home, Evelyn thanks Izzy so much that she kisses the latter on the cheeks.
  • Please Wake Up: Rick to Evy after Anck-su-namun fatally stabs her. Thanks to her son being able to read hieroglyphics and the ever present Book of the Dead, she eventually gets better.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Used by Rick dispatching the Scorpion King ("Go to hell, and take your friends with you!").
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Shafek, who doesn't do anything particularly villainous other than follow the other villains around. He even briefly teams up with Jonathan when the pygmy mummies attack.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "IT OPENS! UP! INTO! A SPEAR!"
  • Pushed at the Monster: During the jungle sequence, Hafez is running away from the zombie killer monkeys with two of his last remaining mooks when he promptly turns around and tells them they will have to give their lives so that he may escape, then continues running by himself. They stare at each other, obviously not on board with this idea, but are killed off seconds later anyway.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Some of Imhotep's mooks get drowned in quicksand.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The historical Ramesses II was actually fair-skinned, with recent scholarship having his family descended from immigrants, most likely Asiatic (West Asian) considering they originated near the old Hyksos capital Avaris. This makes light-skinned actors like Aharon Ipale, who was West Asian himself, and Rachel Weisz playing Seti I (Ramesses' father) and the reincarnation of a fictious sister respectively like absurd than it sounds, but on the other hand, neither actors are redhaired, as Ramesses came from a prominent family of redheads and logic dictates that such a hair colour would have extended to the rest of his family as well.
  • Rearing Horse: Ardeth's horse at the end.
  • Reincarnation: A big plot point in the movie. Meela Nais is the reincarnation of Imhotep's lover, Anck-su-namun. Her rivalry with Evelyn is ignited when it is revealed that Evelyn is a reincarnation of Anck-su-namun's rival, Princess Nefertiri. Rick is also a reincarnation of a Medjai warrior in the distant past.
  • Retcon: This movie tries to ignore the prior characterization of the Pharaoh (likely due to him now being Evy's father in a past life, making it a case of Protagonist-Centered Morality) and portray him as much more genial and kind, even removing his snarled "Who has touched you?!" to Anck-su-namun before he's assassinated. This serves to make his death look more like a calculated power grab on the duo's part than a desperate attempt to protect their own lives as it was portrayed in the first movie.
  • Running Gag: Shafek constantly dodging knives and bullets and letting people behind him take the hit. This comes around later one when Jonathan dodges a pygmy mummy's spear and lets Shafek take the hit.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • There were two ancient Egyptian rulers who had each claimed the title of Scorpion King. One was named Osiris Scorpion.
    • Anubis is not an evil god, not by a long shot. The closest thing late Egyptian mythology had to an evil god was Anubis' father, Set, the villain of the Osirian cult and formerly a benign god in his own right; before Set there was Apep, the Immortal Serpent who would battle Ra every night for all eternity, explaining the shift between day and night. Then again, Rule of Cool is in full effect, and Anubis is certainly one of the cooler gods: he essentially was a dying man's best friend, keeping carrion beasts away from your corpse, was present at the Opening of the Mouth ceremony marking a dead soul's entrance into the afterlife, and admitted the worthy into paradise. All around a pretty swell guy. Oh well, everybody hates Anubis.
      • Making Anubis evil actually retcons his characterization in the previous movie, where he indirectly helps the heroes by rendering Imhotep mortal. In the climax of this movie, he goes back to his more benign personality by making Imhotep mortal to even out his fight with the Scorpion King.
      • The movie seems to have mixed up Anubis' and Set's characterizations. In the prologue, the Scorpion King makes the deal with Anubis after crossing a Thirsty Desert, which was not Anubis' domain (he always stayed in the underworld), but Set's (the so-called "Lord of the Red Land").
    • In the prologue, Scorpion King offers his soul to Anubis in exchange for his life and the power for revenge on his enemies. The idea of selling a soul to an evil power (which Anubis isn't) is a purely folk Christian concept (it's not even Christian proper as Satan does not rule the damned). To make it more ridiculous, the offer itself had no sense as all deceased were destined to meet Anubis. You had to cross the desert after death first, to reach Anubis and have your soul deemed worthy. Not all made it through the trip, since there was dangers to be met on the way.
      • On another note, the depiction of a hellish underworld in the final battle is not consistent with Egyptian mythology. There was no equivalent of Hell in the Ancient Egyptian religion, as there was only one afterlife, Duat. Punishment for the wicked was not eternal torment, but having their souls eaten by Ammit the Devourer, causing Cessation of Existence (something the Ancient Egyptians feared more than anything, due to the importance of souls). Only the souls who had lived their life purely and honestly were allowed by Osiris to be born again.
      • It also means there was no way Anck-Su-Namun could have been resurrected or reincarnated as Meela - Anck-Su-Namun betrayed and killed Pharaoh (embodiment of God Amun-Ra on Earth) and committed suicide - such crimes meant that her soul would have been devoured by Ammit in afterlife and erased from existence.
      • In fact, Imhotep couldn’t have been resurrected again either. In the first movie after incantation he was stripped off his invincibility caused by the curse (God Anubis literally came and took it all away) and became mortal again - then he was stabbed to death by Rick. It means Imhotep finally died a normal natural death, so his soul would have been devoured by Ammit in afterlife for all his misdeeds and erased from existence as well.
    • "Ahm Shere" is the Arabic pronunciation (Amshir) of the sixth month of the Coptic (i.e. Egyptian Orthodox Christian) liturgical calender, Meshir.note  What it has to do with an oasis with pygmy mummies and a pyramid at the center, who knows.
  • Same Language Dub: Dwayne Johnson does not provide the voice of the Scorpion King during the climactic battle scene. Brazilian rock star Max Cavalera dubbed him. Johnson however does speak for the character in the film's prologue.
  • Scary Black Man: Lock-nah, who is also the first named villain to die after Spivey, Jacques and Red. Averted with Izzy.
  • Schmuck Bait: Meela Nais tricks a trio of mercenaries into entering Imhotep's train compartment. Imhotep scares them For the Evulz, and when they beg to be let out Meela tells them to open the chest that's in the compartment... as in the same cursed chest from the first film that had the Book of the Dead in it (which they were hired to retrieve; the chest is empty, but the message on it still applied and one of then read that message), since just like with the Americans and the Egyptologist in that movie, that will let Imhotep steal their body parts and restore his own form as per divine law.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Hafez leaves two of his Mooks behind with instructions to die holding back the undead pygmies. Both mooks take a second or two to gawk at one another and the oncoming swarm, then run like rabbits.
    • Meela/Anck Su-Namun herself pulls this on Imhotep, abandoning him when he's hanging on to the edge of the portal into Hell and running full tilt out of the temple to save her own skin.
  • Series Continuity Error: When he was killed at the end of the previous movie, Imhotep's eyes — which were taken from Mr. Burns, who was extremely nearsighted — disappeared with the rest of his stolen flesh as he sank into the otherworldly pool. This movie shows Imhotep was left encased in amber-like resin, and when he's reanimated once again he not only has eyes but good-enough eyesight to recognize Rick O'Connell at a distance.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In-universe example, Imhotep's life. Imhotep sees what True Love is really like. He'd sacrificed everything — his position, his mortality, and his soul — for Anck-su-namun, and she abandoned him when the chips were down. Then he got to watch Evy race to Rick's side in his moment of need. To top it off, while he was begging Anck-su-namun to save him, his enemy was begging his beloved to save herself — and she refused, insisting on trying to help him. With this came the realization that his sacrifice and suffering had been pointless and empty, and he let go of the ledge with a bitter smile at the couple who had what he had wanted so badly.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: As with the first film, Rick's shotgun is the only thing that remotely hurts Imhotep.
  • Shot in the Ass: Izzy complains that his last adventure with Rick ended with him getting shot in the arse, for which he hilariously proclaims to be in mourning for.
  • Soft Water: When they "drink the Nile" they aren't crushed into the wall behind them, and the airship is later pushed by the wall of water rather than harmed.
  • Stripped to the Bone: The mechanism that unlocks the Army of Anubis has the unfortunate cost of completely stripping the flesh and muscle from the arm the bracelet is attached to. Fortunately, by this point it had fallen off Alex and Hafez had taken it up to complete the ritual.
  • Stripperiffic: The "Ancient Egyptian bikinis" Anck-su-namun and Nefertiri wear in their fight scene flashback deserve a mention, since those outfits are highly impractical for an incredibly violent fight complete with acrobatics.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Hamunaptra collapsed and was buried beneath the Egyptian desert at the end of the previous film (to say nothing of an ensuing decade worth of shifting sands added atop the pile). Trying to uncover and reach Imhotep's body (to say nothing of the Books) is thus a extensive, costly, and time-consuming archeological dig for Meela Nais and her allies. Locating the Books and Imhotep would also have been looking for a needle in a very large haystack if not for Meela Nais' mystical connections that allow her to home in on Imhotep's resting place in the lower levels of the city.
  • Taken for Granite: Imhotep somehow became trapped in a block of amber after his defeat in the first movie.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Bad Bosses Hafez and Imhotep leave their minions for dead, only to both die after their cohorts ignore their own pleas to help them. The latter's even applies as a Meaningful Echo to the former.
  • Tempting Fate: Done again and summarily lampshaded.
  • There Was a Door: Invoked when Evelyn tries to block a door to stall some mummy soldiers. Rick drags her off with a reprimand and a few moments later they burst through without even slowing down.
    Rick: Honey... What are you doing? These guys don't use doors!
  • Thirsty Desert: In the prologue, after they fail to take down a city, the Scorpion King and his army are exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere, where they fall to exhaustion one by one, until only the king himself remains.
  • Those Were Only Their Scouts: Ardeth Bay and the Medjai army emerge victorious against the horde of Anubis' soldiers that appeared from the sands. As the surviving Medjai are cheering, Bey realizes that their victory against the supposedly "invincible army" came much too easily, and he runs to the top of a nearby sand dune. It turns out the ones they fought were just the vanguard, and now a much, much, MUCH larger army is swarming over the desert horizon... and charging right toward them.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • If you're Ardeth Bay, Throwing Your Sword From Horseback At Things With A Specific Weak Point Always Works.
    • Rick throws an axe at the Scorpion King but he just swats it aside and keeps going.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Alex. Given who his parents are, all of the ancient traps and cursed objects they've encountered and that the Temple they found the Bracelet in immediately self-destructed upon its removal... what made him think that putting the damn thing on his arm was at all was safe?!
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Both Evy and Jonathan. Evy learns Good Old Fisticuffs and She-Fu (the latter through knowledge from her past life), while Jonathan shows his champion rifle skills, then near the end fights one on one with Anck-su-namun.
    • Ardeth Bay gets one as well showing off his Master Swordsman skills; after losing his first fight to The Brute (although he was distracted), he fights him again and wins.
  • Tranquil Fury: After Rick managed to recover from Evy's death there is nothing but pure, cold murder for both Imhotep and the Scorpion King on his mind.
  • Translation Convention: Imhotep starts a conversation in ancient Egyptian with Alex. It rapidly switches to English, with Imhotep explaining that Alex can understand him because of the bracelet's magic.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: When Rick and Imhotep are near the end, the two pause to watch the entrance of The Scorpion King.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: Jonathan's golden scepter turns out to be the Spear of Osiris, which can kill the Scorpion King. It's not strictly necessary to kill the Scorpion King, but killing a giant scorpiontaur is a hell of a lot easier with it.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Probably justifiable as Anck has spent most of that time dead, but when she and Evelyn fought, Anck was totally reliant on her combat training from Egypt whereas Evelyn was able to take her by surprise with some tricks she'd learned from Rick since their marriage.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When push comes to shove, Evelyn and Anck each show their true colours in the final confrontation in the temple; Evelyn refuses to leave Rick even when he's explicitly telling her to get out of the collapsing temple, while Anck-su-namun abandons Imhotep when there's no guarantee of her safety despite his pleas for rescue.
  • Wolverine Publicity: They heavily hyped up Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's role in the film. He ended up being a minor character at best. Especially funny with an Entertainment Weekly cover focused on The Rock, with Brendan Fraser Out of Focus on the side and looking downright pissed about it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Jonathan, who sucker punches the evil Anck-su-namun at one point. Not that she didn't have it coming.
  • Would Hurt a Child: None of the villains show any compunction about hurting Alex. For example, Jacques kicks down a scaffolding Alex is on before making his escape in the beginning.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Alex could not possibly be eight years old in 1933, because his parents didn't meet until 1926. Someone who was eight in 1933 would be born in 1925. And there's no indication he's an adopted child or a child one of them already had; it seems more like they ignored the Three Years Later card in the first movie and went with the whole thing happening in 1923. Possibly it is the year that was miscalculated. One of Hafez's henchmen says that he heard about "one American who resurrected Imhotep nine years ago". Said mercenary is also seen using a gun, a Browning Hi-Power, that was not manufactured until 1935.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Imhotep to Rick when the two meet just after Imhotep's re-awakening.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Killing the Scorpion King grants control over the Army of Anubis. The cult resurrects Imhotep because they figure his god-like powers will allow him to slay the Scorpion King.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Another one occurs, though technically, she actually didn't say it...
    Jonathan: I told you! I told you! (what you wanted to know.)
    Anck-su-namun: And your point is...?
    Jonathan: My point is I told you so you wouldn't kill me.
    Anck-su-namun: When did we make that arrangement?
  • Zerg Rush: The Anubis warriors use their numbers to sweep over all in their path. In the battle with the Medjai they respond to having their army narrowly defeated by manifesting a new, bigger army. The shadow across the ground that presages their arrival even looks like creep.


Video Example(s):


Two interceptions

Jonathan heaves the Spear of Osiris at the Scorpion King, only for it to be snatched out of the air by Imhotep. Imhotep throws it at the Scorpion King in turn, but Rick grabs it midflight, to Imhotep's extreme displeasure.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArrowCatch

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