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Headscratchers / The Mummy Returns

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  • During the ritual in the British Museum, several mummies are seen to come alive inside their exhibits. What happens to these mummies afterwards? Do they remain alive but trapped for the remainder of the movie, without anyone noticing? Do they terrorize London? Or is the effect of the ritual temporary when applied to other mummies that aren´t Imhotep? (He did have to reconstruct and resurrect his guards himself...).
    • If nothing else, the remaining cultists could have easily finished them off, those mummies were nothing special. The warrior mummies were sealed inside an urn, so they were probably specifically made to respond only to specific commands/spells, which Imhotep knows.

  • The path to Ahm Shere includes landmarks such as Abu Simbel, Philae and Karnak, but all of these places were built thousands of years after the time of the Scorpion King, during the New Kingdom. So how exactly does the bracelet work? Does the magical vision/projection leading to the oasis change with the times, adding new buildings as time goes on even if they didn´t exist when the bracelet itself was created?
    • It could be as simple as the bracelet originally just showing special land areas and ancient Egyptians building, deliberately or not, things there on later dates, which the bracelet's visions reflected.

  • Imhotep says Ancksunamun is reincarnated "only in the body" and it takes a ritual to actually return her soul. Does this mean Meela literally does not have a soul until that moment in the movie, walking around in a basically empty state, or is it a play on the ancient Egyptian's idea that there were several souls, and the one Imhotep returns to her is the one containing all her forgotten past life memories?
    • Meela had her own soul for her whole life. But (presumably) after the events of the 1st Mummy she started having visions of Ancksunamun's life, probably as a side effect of Ancksunamun's failed resurrection. Then Imhotep brought her soul back, which either was combined with Meela's or Meela's soul got ejected from her body to make space.
      • The first part makes sense but the whole point of reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul in a new physical body. The soul of Meela and Ancksunamun should be the same one. This is, of course, unless we are going by the ancient Egyptian multiple soul concept.
      • At the risk of WMG, in the Mummy's universe reincarnation means that BOTH the body and the soul are given a new life in a same person, like Nefertiri and Eve. But because Ancksunamun killed Seti I (and got herself almost brought back to life) her soul was forbidden from leaving the afterlife naturally. Thus, we got Meela, whose soul and body did not originally belong together. The Egyptian concept of soul would also work (better) if not for the fact that Anksunamun's reincarnation is impossible according to Egyptian mythology, unless Imhotep managed to somehow prevent her soul from being judged in the first place.
    • Even if Anucksunamun were reincarnated completely, Meela has made it to her age with a life of her own and memories that would make her a very different person to a woman born and raised in Ancient Egypt. Imhotep's ritual may have been to restore Anucksunamun completely, so that her persona completely eclipses Meela's. Meela might know she is the reincarnation, but she only has vague memories like Evy does. The spell also gives her full memories, as when it's performed, Evy gets all her memories back too.

  • During the battle in the bus, one of the mummy guards unhinges its mouth the same way Imhotep does when about to absorb someone's body fluids. Had it had its way, would it have regenerated like Imhotep? Do these lesser mummies have the power to regenerate at all?
    • Impossible to say for sure, but Ardeth's fearful reaction implies such possibility. Moreover, I'd say that the warrior mummies are in no way inferior to Imhotep's type of mummy. They can see with no eyes (something Imhotep couldn't do) and are very fast and strong yet apparently don't cause calamities by their very presence and also probably don't have the "suffering eternally" effect. The main difference seems to be demonstrated intelligence, but Imhotep was a High Priest and they were bodyguards with no reason to even speak in their brief appearance.
  • A large plot hole in The Mummy Returns is Evelyn’s past life as Nefertiri:
    • Imhotep knew Nefertiri in Ancient Egypt as Pharaoh’s daughter, however he doesn’t recognise her in Evie or doesn’t react to Evie looking totally like Nefertiri in first movie - not when he thanks Evelyn for resurrecting him from the Underworld, not when he attempts to sacrifice her to resurrect Anck-Su-Namun.
    • Anck-Su-Namun recognizes Evelyn as Nefertiri in The Mummy Returns but she ran into her in the first movie and never referenced her as Nefertiri. The past life battle raging between the two of them in the second movie is never addressed in the original movie.
      • Not a plot hole. Anck-Su-Namun in the first movie has her eyes covered, and is far more concerned with just killing Evie, not worried about her past life.
      • Also, although Imhotep never refers to Evie as Nefertiri, it is implied in the first movie that during their first encounter he couldn´t see well (due to his having the eyes of Mr. Burns who was severely short sighted), hence his mistaking her for Ancksunamun. He may well have recognized her afterwards once fully regenerated, but it made little to no difference to him who she was- that she had resurrected him AND that she was an appropriate human sacrifice was all that concerned him. He was certainly not the type to make small talk about the good old times...
    • And if one wants to get technical, Nefertiri was a full blooded Egyptian, while Evy is only mixed race. And it's not a significant part of her bloodline if she looks as fair as Rachel Weisz (who's got Hungarian Jewish ancestry). The audience sees Nefertiri played by Rachel Weisz because it's more convenient, and she probably looked different back then.

  • Rick O’Connell has a strange new tattoo on his forearm that was not in the first movie. The tattoo symbolizes warrior/fighter but is not existent in on his arm in the first movie of the series. The whole point of the tattoo is that it meant Rick had a destiny to bring peace.
    • If this is such an important part of Rick’s life and destiny why did he not have this important tattoo in the first movie?
    • Because the plot point was made up for the second movie. Also I think in the first movie he's wearing a wristband over that wrist most of the time.

  • If the twelve tribes of the Medjai number in the thousands, why weren't they able to stop the excavation of Hamunaptra in the first place?
    • They clearly out number the Cult of Imhotep and could have easily stopped them.
    • That's after they've been gathered together. They're presumably spread apart, and doing other things most of the time, and weren't able to get to the excavation in time.
    • Also, they had no reason to even do anything at first. Imhotep was simply dead after the events of the first film, making the ruins merely a very dangerous place for one's health instead of a prison for an invincible undead. So they were cautiously optimistic about the excavation but still send a spy to learn expedition's goals.
    • Jonathan lampshades this, saying to Ardeth, "isn't it your job to make sure that doesn't happen?"
    • Ardeth says that they were caught off guard by Meela's knowledge. She was able to find the exact spot where Imhotep was buried, thanks to her past life memories reawakening. They weren't searching around for Hamunaptra; Meela already knew where it was and started the excavation before they could intervene.

  • In The Mummy when Imhotep dissolves into the water at Hamunaptra after being killed by Rick, he reverts to his original undead form. But when he is resurrected this time, he is "reborn" with eyes, a tongue, and a decent amount of muscle and sinew.
    • His decay at the end of the first film may have been partially symbolic, while in the second film he was reborn in a slightly fresher state, particularly when his eyes and tongue were reclaimed on his own merits rather than part of the ritualistic absorption of life essence from others.
      • Probably intentional to make him more expressive during his first scenes in this movie. Also, he has a kissing scene with Ancksunamun in his mummy form, which would've been tricky to make convincing if he didn´t even have lips and had that gruesomely dislocated jaw.
    • Based on what we see in the first two films, resurrection spells not only put souls back into their bodies but also repair the flesh and heal mortal wounds. Remember, when Eve's and Anck-su-namun's corpses were still fresh no sacrifices were needed to bring them back and Eve's stab wound got fixed. With Imhotep's body being extensively ravaged the best he got is restoration to a functional, if incomplete, state as he could see, move and speak properly this time (notice that when he bursts out of that stone he is initially in his original undead form with no eyes but as he looks around he changes into his post Mr.Burns form). Moreover, the spells that brought him back were different: in the 1st Mummy it was a short incantation (which probably just allowed Imhotep to move, with him still being alive due to Hom Dai) whereas in the 2nd Mummy the curator chanted for several minutes at least.

  • It is mentioned in one scene that the three Americans (Burns, Henderson and Daniels, from The Mummy) died of the curse of the chest nine years ago. The Mummy is located in Hamunaptra, 1923. Three years later in Cairo (1926), when, at that time, Evelyn was a librarian and single. In The Mummy Returns, it is located in Egypt, 1933. Actually, the three Americans died seven years ago.
    • Retcon for the sake of the kid's age.

  • When the curator is walking in to the Scorpion King's tomb, he uses the bracelet of Anubis to "chase" away thousands of scarabs. When he enters the tomb itself, there are two torches lit, one on either side of the statue of the Scorpion King. Since anyone else who tried to enter the tomb would have been consumed by the scarabs, nobody would have been able to enter the tomb before the curator and light the torches.
    • Magic. You literally see a bunch of torches light up entirely on their own within that same sequence.

  • In the original The Mummy, after Burns and his associates open the chest, they each take one of the sacred jars containing Anck-su-Namun's vital organs. The chest, however, is never shown again. Yet, in the sequel, it is revealed to have been at a museum in England. It is never revealed how it got there since it is never shown being taken from Hamanaptra.
    • Furthemore, in the seven years since the end of the first movie its quite surprising that no one at the museum opened the chest to examine it, even to make sure no dangerous bugs were inside. Thus, it is entirely possible that Imhotep would have had to go to England to drain the life force of several museum employees to be made whole, instead of just Red and his friends.
    • Because it likely hasn't been in the museum the whole time. Imhotep's cultists found it, just like they found him, at the beginning of the movie.
      • Which makes no sense. They did not part with the books they have found and had no reason to part with the chest. Maybe the Medjai took it from the Homunaptra in hopes of finding a clue about killing Imhotep then donated it to a museum far from any known cursed necropolis.
    • Also, it may be that the chest only links to the curse that restores Imhotep when the box is opened by anyone after Imhotep is awoken.
      • Debatable. In the first film, the Americans opened the chest before Imhotep was awoken and got themselves wrung dry for it. On the other hand, Imhotep was not entirely dead at that moment, nor was he when the trio opened it. So perhaps the curse just links its victims to the nearest undead at the vicinity, making museum workers safe?

  • When Rick and Ardeth are talking about Rick's tattoo, he said it got slapped on him at an orphanage in Cairo. Except he's clearly American (as referenced in the first movie, not to mention his accent). So, if he grew up in an orphanage in Egypt, how did he either 1) move to America and then back to Egypt, or 2) grow up in Egypt with an American accent?
    • We know that he spent some time in Egypt as an adult and his adventures there almost got him hanged. There is plenty of time for him to make that tattoo while still being born and raised in America. Perhaps that orphanage got some of its funds by also being a bar and Rick simply met the tattoo master that way.
    • And he doesn't have to have been the only American in that orphanage. Maybe it was full of displaced American children, and his speech patterns were influenced by them. And wasn't he part of the French Foreign Legion before the events of the first movie? So he could also have only ended up back in Egypt as part of that army (many Americans did serve in the Foreign Legion, since it's open to any nationality).