"Nothing is good in excess"…
Or something like that.
The Mummy Returns is a perfect example of that old adage.
Two years ago, The Mummy was a surprisingly enjoyable flick. It was kinda carefree and it was a big budget throwback to good old fashioned action adventure flicks. It had a lot of special effects, but it seemed in control and worked with in it's own boundaries.
With The Mummy Returns, all that self discipline went out the window.
It's almost as if the producers told writer - director Stephen Sommers that they wanted everything that could get thrown in one movie to be included. All at once.
There's just too much going on, and quite frankly, the effects suffer because of it.
I don't know much about how all these newfangled computer generated special effects are created, but I'd be willing to bet that if the movie had a few less over the top effects, the ones that did remain in the movie would be much more effective.
I hate to knock something for being ambitious…they definitely get an A for effort, but I think they just got way too ambitious.
And there was a lot of cheesy stuff that no amount of suspension of disbelief could make any easier to swallow...
All that being said, there is still some things to like about The Mummy Returns.
Brendan Fraser is fine as Rick O'Connell, adventurer extraordinaire, but he's not given much in the way of characterization.
His loss is Rachel Weisz' gain.
Her character is much more fleshed out this time around, and she played it well.
Returning as her brother Jonathan is John Hannah. Once again he's not much more than comic relief, but it works.
Once again Arnold Vosloo portays Im-Ho-Tep, the title character.
Aside from the original film, Vosloo hasn't done much, but I think he does a great job here. There's one scene towards the end which stands out, and he says it all with just his facial expression.
I hope he can break out of this role and get another chance in a mainstream film.
He just might make it.
Also returning from the original is Patricia Velazquez as Anck-Su-Namun.
Not only do I not find the "supermodel" particularly attractive, but I don't think she's much of an actress. I dunno, if they wanted a "supermodel" in this role, I would have given Esther Canadas a shot.
I have no idea if Ms Canadas can act a lick, but she's extremely seductive…in fact I think she's the sexiest ugly model working today. Or maybe she's the ugliest sexy model working…either way, they coulda done better than Velazquez.
Oh yeah, Dwayne Johnson's in this movie too.
You know, The Rock. Wrestling superstar extraordinaire.
Can you say "false advertisement"? Johnson has been on every TV show and on a zillion magazine covers due to his role as the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns.
What they don't really tell you going in is that he's in about 5 minutes of the film.
Five minutes of practically dialogue free acting have given this man a starring role in the already in production spin off, simply titled The Scorpion King.
Look, I like The Rock. He's an extremely entertaining character in the World Wrestling Federation. And actually, Johnson can act to a certain extent…he did a great job hosting Saturday Night Live last year, but to give him a movie based on this small, albeit important role seems tricky at best.
But hey, hopefully I'm wrong, and The Scorpion King will kick ass.
Inevitably, there will be a third installment of this series. The Mummy Returns made way too much money on it's opening weekend for Hollywood's greedy suit and tie guys to ignore it.
Let's just hope they remember, sometimes less is more.