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"The Mummy Returns"

Directed by Stephen Sommers.
Written by Stephen Sommers. 
Starring Brendan Fraser, Oded Fehr, Rachel Weisz and The Rock.
Release Year:  2001 
Review Date:  5/7/01 


Sunday afternoon, I rounded up a guy posse of my brother Dave, Gordon "Money" Stokes and Keith "I won $1500 on the Derby" Karem and hit the sequel to the 1999 adventure "The Mummy."  Not being ones to mess around, we decided to see it at the Uptown, for my money DC's best theater.  Huge screen, huger (a word?  Doubt it) speakers and a special effects-laden film mean the Uptown every time.

After getting treated to six previews--including the truly incredible computer animation of the upcoming "Final Fantasy" film--the damn thing finally started.  Did you see the first movie?  A piece of shit, if ever there was one.  I gave the first one a Rental, only because of Oded Fehr (the gigolo from Rob Schneider's "Deuce Bigalow") and its pretty cool special effects.  The story in the first one was awful, the dialogue was written by a child, and Brendan Fraser was...well, Brendan Fraser.

Let's sidetrack for just a second here.  All four of us were sitting in the theater before this movie started, and we were trying to think of one good Brendan Fraser movie.  We couldn't do it!  Why is Brendan Fraser still working in Hollywood?  He doesn't seem to be good at *anything*!!  Remember, just a month ago, he starred in Tim Burton's "Monkeybone."  Haven't heard of it?  Exactly--it was only out for a week.  A WEEK.  Let's go back a little further.  "Bedazzled"..."Dudley Do-Right"..."George of the Jungle"..."Blast from the Past."

Oh my.

And, he made like $10 million to be in "The Mummy Returns"!  Man, I gotta change careers.

Okay, so back to the movie.  Let me cut right to it:  The Rock is an absolute bad ass in this film.  As The Scorpion King, he whoops ass and screams with real authority.  In fact, I was looking forward to a big Fraser/Rock showdown at the end of this film...oh, except for the fact that The Rock is in exactly one scene.  That's right, kids:  The Rock is only in "The Mummy Returns" for about three minutes, all at the beginning.

From there, Fraser--reprising his role as the adventurous Rick--is left to carry the film with Rachel Weisz ("Enemy at the Gates"), Patricia Velazquez, Fehr and Arnold Vosloo as The Mummy.  Although the cast is very handsome, they can't act to save their lives, but luckily, the movie's incredible special effects come to the rescue.  The multitude of special effects shots and some pretty cool action sequences make this a pretty worthwhile theater experience, but if you don't see it in the theater, you can forget about renting it, because the scenes interspersed between car chases, shootouts and swordfights are horrible and might possibly put you to sleep faster than you can say "golf tournament."

Example (and, you only need one):  Rick and Evie (Weisz)--now married after falling in love in the first "Mummy" film--have a child named Alex (Freddie Boath), who has this mysterious bracelet that won't come off until sunrise seven days after he puts it on...assuming he gets to the palace of The Scorpion King in time.  So naturally, it comes down to the last second, and Rick has to carry Alex to the palace just before sunrise.  So, what happens?  Rick literally outruns the fucking sunrise--the fucking sunrise!!!--to get Alex into the palace just in time.  You have to see this sequence to get the full gist of this, but it had all of the people in my group laughing hysterically.

But, let's face it--"The Mummy Returns" is the only movie out right now; in fact, this past weekend, if you went to see a movie, there is a 69% chance that you saw this film, and it made over $70 million in the processódouble what the other nine films in the top ten made *combined*.  My advice?  The same it has been for the past month:  go and see "Memento."  I can honestly say, for the first time, that not one person has come back to me and said they didn't like it.  Check it out...

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09