Review of The Mummy Returns

Objectionable elements: 1. Veneration of false gods and magic spells related to the false religion. 2. Promotion of reincarnation as true. 3. Violence, including the mummy sucking the life out of people. 3. Cursing in English and probably in foreign languages. Scantily-clad women, including a lengthy “chick fight” in bikinis. 4. The “Medji,” Arabs fighting the evil mummy Imhotep and the Army of Anubis talk about destiny and being a “warrior for god.” 5. Visions and memories from past lives guide people. 6. Three people are resurrected from the dead simply by chanting a spell from a magic book.

So why watch it? It shows a married couple, adventurer Rick O’Connell and his Egyptologist wife Evelyn, very much IN love, not sniping at each other, not in any way dysfunctional, using playful persuasion on each other but never running each other down to others. In fact, everyone they encounter helps them because of their determination to do right without hesitation.

Alex, O’Connell, their eight year old son, acts like a “smart-aleck” on the surface, but he loves and respects his parents, responds to their teaching, and compliments them. Rick rescues him from the “Bracelet of Anubis Curse” by fighting off a horde of warriors and pygmies and running through the jungle to reach the pyramid by dawn. As they lie safe in the shadow of the pyramid at last, the exhausted Rick gasps, “It’s not easy being a dad.” Alex says, “Yeah, but you do it real good,” and falls into his arms. Alex knows how to bring his mother back because he paid attention and learned ancient Egyptian from her.

Ardeth Bey, the leader of the Medji, goes along with the O’Connells to find out where the battleground with the Army of Anubis will be. When his messenger falcon is shot down, he starts to leave to tell the Medji army where to come, but Rick stops him. “I need you to help me find my son.” Ardeth pauses. “First I will help you,” he agrees.

Rick and Ardeth Bey wade in to the Mummy’s pack of bad guys to rescue Alex. Evie and her brother Jonathan give them covering fire from a ridge. Evie says, “Jonathan, that’s my husband and my son down there. Make me proud.” Jonathan, normally a drunken, cheating thief, says, “Today’s that day, Evie.” For them, he does things that terrify him and does them well.

Rick says he only cares about his family. Even though he goes after Imhotep to avenge Evie’s murder, he knows he has to defeat both Imhotep and the Scorpion King to set things right, to “save the world.” When the time comes, he does not hesitate to give his all.

Near the end, both Rick and Imhotep are hanging off a chasm being “dragged alive into Hell.” Evie and Ank-sun-amun, Imhotep’s resurrected lover, anxiously watch as hands come up over the edge. Imhotep, right hand, left hand. Rick, right hand, left hand. Closeup on that left hand, and Rick’s wedding ring.

Evie stares into his eyes and he says, “No! Evie! Get out of here!” She runs in as the place is falling down on top of them and pulls him out. Imhotep calls out to his supposed eternal love to help him, and she says, “Nai!” (No, I presume) and runs away, only to be devoured by scarabs while Imhotep, tears in his eyes, lets go and willingly falls into the abyss.

Izzy, a grimy, disreputable dirigible pilot, rescues them as the pyramid and the whole oasis of Ahm Sher get sucked down into nothingness. Izzy has complained and questioned Rick through his whole time in the movie, but in the end he risks everything to save that family.

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