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The Mummy Returns

Director: Stephen Sommers
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah
Running time: 121 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Story: Nine years after their first encounter with Imhotep, Rick and Evelyn have gotten married and had a son. A mysterious woman reawakens the high priest, who continues his wrath of death and destruction. But another powerful force, the Scorpion King, has too been brought back from the dead, which only makes matters much worse for the good guys in between.

Review: The first 'Mummy' movie was a big hit for Universal and was really popular with audiences, so it was only a matter of time before a sequel would come our way. Now I don't love the first film, but I still like it quite a bit and like everyone else was anxious to see the further adventures of Rick, Evelyn, and Co. It didn't happen for another two years, but the studio pulled out all the stops when it came to the film's marketing and thanks to that and the love of the first film, it too was a a huge draw at the box office. But was it really deserving of that? I'd say absolutely, but see it for yourself.

As with most sequels, this one is bigger and full of twice as much of what was in the first film. Not really a bad thing if you dig these type of films, but it can be a bit overwhelming. Setting the film in Egypt again was a really big risk because many like sequels to try new things with the concept, but luckily the filmmakers did a great job of keeping interest up. We find out more about both the good and bad guys and see some sights we didn't the first time around. It's always nice to have a sequel that expands on what was established before.

Most of the cast from the first movie returns, and again they all do an excellent job. The new comers hold their own. Again most of the CGI is better than most other films that use a lot of it. Again the film was shot on location and both the scenery and Egyptian and British architecture are appealing to the eyes. Makes one glad they had the budget to shoot where they did. The set decoration and design too are expertly done; you can tell they really payed attention to detail.

As in the first film, this one has a good sense of humor to help not let things get too serious. Really nice cinematography that captures the locations and what's going on perfectly. The pace is like a roller coaster and rarely lets up. Another good score that helps keep things exciting. Plenty of very exciting set pieces and stunts. Plus the fight choreography is really well done.

Not too many major flaws here. The biggest one is that film may just run on a little too long. And then there's one especially bad CGI job near the end, but I won't spoil it. I'll just say that you'll know it when you see it. One other quibble I have with this is that there's nearly zero chemistry between Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Maybe they should have just stayed friends. And that's about all the negative things I have to say.

It's rare for a sequel to be so good, it's even rarer for it to be better than it's predecessor. But 'The Mummy Returns' is one of those sequels that was done just right and makes us want more. But that was seven years later.

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