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YMMV / The Mummy Returns

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  • Awesome Music: Alan Silvestri's reworked score for The Mummy Returns arguably surpasses the original score by Jerry Goldsmith.
  • Broken Base: Some people criticize Mathayus' depiction as bloodthirsty while some fans prefer this version instead.
  • Contested Sequel: While it didn't get as well-received as the first film, it was still met with positive enough reactions. Fans aren't likely to call Fanon Discontinuity on it as they are for the third film. It seems to hang on what you preferred about the first film; the second drops a lot of the characterization in favor of plot twists and action spectacles.
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  • Critical Dissonance: Rotten Tomatoes has the critics score at 47% while the audience score is 63%.
  • Cry for the Devil: By the end of the film you can't help but feel sorry for Imhotep as he throws himself into the pit.
  • Evil Is Cool: Anubis has an entire Badass Army of jackal-men. Those guys are sweet!
  • Fan Fic Fuel: In the Time Skip between first and second movie, Evy and Rick have now become famed explorers and adventurers with a huge mansion and collection of treasures. Leaves a lot of room for imagining what they got up to in all those years.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Reveal that Evy is actually Nefertiri reincarnated, with a flashback of Rachel Weisz playing her in Ancient Egypt seems sadly prophetic of the controversy surrounding Exodus: Gods and Kings and Gods of Egypt regarding white actors playing Egyptian characters. While it's justified here (we can assume Nefertiri didn't really look like Evy and using Rachel Weisz is more convenient to tell the audience it's her past life) it's arguably more notable that this film did at least cast actual Middle-Eastern actors in the roles (save for Dwayne Johnson and Patricia Velasquez, who were at least brown-skinned).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Evy getting killed and resurrected is amusing when you take into account how many films after this would have Rachel Weisz as a Posthumous Character - Constantine, The Constant Gardener and The Fountain. And then The Lovely Bones, where her daughter fills that role.
    • Evy also brings her son along on the expedition at the start. It turns out Rachel Weisz wouldn't feel the same way, as the reason she didn't come back for the third film was not wanting to travel after having just given birth.
  • Narm:
    • The Scorpion King, due to Special Effects Failure.
    • When the Spear is slo-mo at the Scorpion King, he does a slo-mo "HUH???" It's super-Narmish.
    • O'Connell stabs the Scorpion King. Cue Imhotep with dramatic pose: "Niyaaaaaaah!" It looks like he was late into the scene, due to the Scorpion King being shish-ke-babed for about two seconds before he runs over, kneels, and screams. Here is that glorious moment, in case you're wondering.. Hell, the CG Scorpion King looks up from his impalement as if to say "WTF is wrong with you?"
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    • The establishing shot of London, with St. Paul's, Tower Bridge, and Parliament all seemingly crowded together on one block like the caption wouldn't be enough to let us know where we are.
    • The curator getting killed by the terrible CGI Scorpion King ends up being unintentionally hilarious. With one rip across the chest his limbs go flying everywhere like a cherry bomb went off inside an action figure.
  • Moral Event Horizon: After literally going to hell for her, Anck-Su-Namun abandons Imhotep when he asks her to save him. She arguably crossed it twice earlier when she tricked the English men into opening the chest, thus making them easy prey for Imhotep, or when she cruelly stabbed Evy to death right in front of her brother and son.
  • Narm Charm: The sequence of Evy duelling Meela (and the flashback to their duel in the past). Yes it's a Designated Girl Fight, yes it's partly for Fanservice and yes a tad ridiculous. But you can't deny it's a definite Awesome Moment for Evy.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Scorpion King, before his transformation; Dwayne Johnson's badassery is on fine display.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The PS2 video game is widely criticized for being simplistic with none of the actors involved. However, it gained praise for an alternate ending.
  • Special Effects Failure: The film has several notable instances of this.
    • Dwayne Johnson's CGI form as the Scorpion King looks like something out of a video game cinematic. Interestingly, the scorpion parts of his body look very good; the human parts, not so much. Had they rigged Johnson up in a harness on the set and used CGI only for the scorpion parts, it may have worked out better.
    • When the armies of Anubis attack, many of the jackal soldiers in the background phase through the actors or die without having been attacked.
    • There is a CGI waterfall with some terrible fluid effects that look like they came from a Nintendo 64 game; even worse when they try to make it speak.
    • The CGI used on Imhotep's Mummy form is a failure of truly epic proportions. Due to the limits of technology (and ILM's resources being occupied with the production of The Phantom Menace), the 1999 Mummy is part CGI and part guy-in-makeup, making him look much more realistic in both his movements and his interactions with the actors. But here, he is entirely CGI, marking a firm clash of Uncanny Valley with Special Effects Failure, with his lifeless eyes, jerky movements, dry and untextured body, and (there is no other way to put this) cheesy shit-eating grin. It doesn't help that the other cast members he interacts with apparently have no idea where he is meant to be at any one time, which draws unnecessary attention to the fact he isn't actually there.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • You have Imhotep and the Scorpion King, two ancient, incredibly powerful supernatural beings who are set to battle one another for control of an army of Anubis' warriors, with the fate of the world in the balance...only for Imhotep to conveniently lose all his awesome powers moments before the fight. This is so Rick can be the one to defeat both Imhotep and the Scorpion King (since he's the hero of the movie) in what amounts to basically a fist fight with a now-powerless Imhotep and having a lucky thrust with a Deus ex Machina spear, rather than seeing the Mummy with all his powers battle the Scorpion King in all their glory in an Evil vs. Evil conflict.
    • Additionally, if both Rick and Imhotep are to fight the Scorpion King and each other, you'd expect a potential Enemy Mine situation, or a Mêlée à Trois. Neither happens: the second the Scorpion King comes out the doors, Imhotep kneels and feigns loyalty to him to get him to attack Rick, and Imhotep then spends the rest of the scene watching them before making a failed effort to intervene and dealing the killing blow at the very end.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: This movie once aired on Cartoon Network. Not [adult swim], Cartoon. Friggin. Network.


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