The Mummy Returns

Starring: Brendan Fraser, John Hannah, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, Freddie Boath, Oded Fehr and The Rock
RRP: £5.99
820 9193
Certificate: 12
Available now

The year is 1935, 10 years have passed since the events that took place in the first movie. And now Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) have a little sprog! - Yes Evelyn is a mummy! Oh yes, there is also a hurriedly rushed plot which introduces an ancient evil leader, the Scorpion King, who is waiting around until someone wakes him and his hoards of demons...

When the first movie in this series, The Mummy, was released theatrically it received mixed reviews. The acting was poor, the plot was shallow and it was, quiet frankly, rather weak as Hollywood blockbusters go. However this was largely overlooked because the movie was such good fun. Sure, it wasn't Indiana Jones - which it was so desperate to emulate - but it was enjoyable, never taking itself too seriously. Two years on (or 10 years if we are talking narrativley) and the release of the sequel shows us that which what was forgivably poor has become annoyingly bad.

The acting in the first movie was bad enough, but now we have an annoying little kid to contend with. When released in the cinema the special effects - while special in places - are on the whole quiet poor. With only the Scorpion's scary beastie army and the truly frightening pygmy mummies looking worthy of a blockbuster movie. However, on video these effects don't look half as bad as they did on the big screen.

The whole production looks rather rushed towards the end and you could be forgiven for thinking that the studio had run out of time and money at the last minute - maybe they did! There are many laughably poor moments including a rather awful scene involving a dirigible which should never have made it past the storyboard stage. But fear not, there is a welcome, if brief, return for the flesh eating scarab beetles and the mummy's skeleton guards which featured heavily in the climax of the last movie embark on a rather good outing on a London bus.

But Sommers lets us Brits down by insisting on placing St Paul's cathedral, Big Ben and Tower Bridge in a line. I may not have done that much sightseeing when I lived in London for eight years, but even I know they are nowhere near each other.

But this is a kids move (12 upwards) and I'm sure they'll love it.

Darren Rea

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