The Mummy Returns

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The Mummy Returns
The Mummy Returns poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Sommers
Produced bySean Daniel
James Jacks
Written byStephen Sommers
Based on
StarringBrendan Fraser
Rachel Weisz
John Hannah
Arnold Vosloo
Oded Fehr
Patricia Velásquez
Freddie Boath
Alun Armstrong
The Rock
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyAdrian Biddle
Edited byBob Ducsay
Kelly Matsumoto
Alphaville Films
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 4, 2001 (2001-05-04)
Running time
129 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$98 million[1]
Box office$435 million[1]

The Mummy Returns is a 2001 American adventure horror film,[2] written and directed by Stephen Sommers, starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velásquez, Freddie Boath, Alun Armstrong, and Dwayne Johnson. The film is a sequel to the 1999 film The Mummy. It was distributed by Universal Pictures.

The Mummy Returns inspired the 2002 prequel film The Scorpion King, a spin-off that is set 5,000 years prior and whose eponymous character, played by Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), was introduced in this film. The Mummy Returns was a commercial success despite mixed reviews. It was followed by the 2008 sequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.


In 3067 BC, the Scorpion King leads his army to conquer the world. His army is defeated and exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere, however, where his men die of heat exhaustion. After the Scorpion King vows to give Anubis his soul in return for the power to defeat his enemies, an oasis and pyramid magically form, and the Scorpion King is given an army of jackal-like warriors. The Army of Anubis sweeps across Egypt, but once their task is finished, Anubis claims the Scorpion King's soul and the army returns to the Underworld.

In 1933, Rick O'Connell and his wife Evelyn explore ancient ruins with their son, Alex, where they find the Bracelet of Anubis. In London, the bracelet locks onto Alex, showing him a vision directing him to Ahm Shere.

Evelyn is captured by an Egyptian cult who resurrect Imhotep with the Book of the Dead; they wish to use his power to defeat the Scorpion King, giving him command of Anubis' army to conquer the world. The cult, led by Baltus Hafez, includes enforcer Lock-Nah and Meela Nais, the reincarnation of Imhotep's love Anck-su-namun. The O'Connells set out to rescue Evelyn, accompanied by her brother Jonathan and the Medjai Ardeth Bay. Jonathan gets his hands on a mysterious golden Scepter of Osiris.

Rick frees Evelyn and flees, but Alex is subsequently kidnapped by Lock-Nah and forced to travel to Egypt along with the cult. The O'Connells pursue them, with help from Rick's associate Izzy, a pilot who provides the group with transportation.

The bracelet gives Alex directions to Ahm Shere that Imhotep and the cult follow. At each location, Alex leaves clues for his parents, who follow in Izzy's dirigible. Imhotep uses the Book of the Dead to give Meela the soul of Anck-su-namun, but by doing so he allows Evelyn to unlock the memories of her previous life as Princess Nefertiri, the bracelet's keeper and Pharaoh Seti I's daughter.

At the edge of the Oasis, Imhotep uses his magic to crash the dirigible; Izzy stays behind in hope of repairing it. By nightfall, the O'Connells infiltrate the cult, but both groups are attacked by pygmy mummies. Rick retrieves Alex while Ardeth Bay kills Lock-Nah. They escape the pygmies, who kill all the cult members except for Baltus, Imhotep and Anck-su-namun.

Rick and Alex eventually make it to the pyramid at dawn, and the bracelet detaches from Alex. Anck-su-namun, Imhotep, and Baltus arrive and kill Evelyn before entering the pyramid with Rick pursuing them in revenge. Inside the pyramid, Baltus puts on the bracelet and revives the army. Anubis takes Imhotep's powers, wanting Imhotep to fight as a mortal.

Rick finds Imhotep summoning the Scorpion King and fights him. The Scorpion King, now an enormous monster, interrupts the fight and attacks Rick. At the same time, Ardeth and the Medjai battle Anubis's resurrected army outside. While Rick and the Scorpion King fight, Baltus is killed. Jonathan and Alex steal the "Book of the Dead" from Anck-su-namun and use it to resurrect Evelyn, who confronts Anck-su-namun while Alex and Jonathan go to help Rick.

Rick discovers Jonathan’s scepter is actually a weapon, a spear that can kill the Scorpion King. The Medjai defeat Anubis' army, but they soon realize that it was only the vanguard; the full army appears and charges toward them. Rick gets the scepter/spear from Jonathan and kills the Scorpion King, sending him and the army back into the Underworld, which causes the Oasis to begin to destroy itself.

As the pyramid crumbles, Rick and Imhotep both cling to the ledge of a pit that leads to the underworld. Rick implores Evelyn to escape before it's too late, but she risks her life to pull Rick to safety. Seeing this, Imhotep cries out for Anck-su-naman to come to his aid, but she abandons him. Heartbroken and with nothing left to live for, Imhotep takes one last look at the O'Connells before releasing hold of the ledge and allowing himself to be dragged to the underworld. Meanwhile, the collapse of the pyramid causes Anck-su-namun to fall into a pit of scorpions, who sting her. The O'Connells reach the top of the pyramid. Izzy arrives with a modified dirigible and rescues the O'Connells just before the oasis and the pyramid are totally destroyed. They depart into the sunset, with Ardeth Bay saluting them before riding off.



The Mummy Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMay 1, 2001
LabelDecca Records
The Mummy chronology
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars
Empire3/5 stars
Filmtracks4/5 stars
Tracksounds8/10 stars

The Mummy Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on May 1, 2001 by Decca Records.

It contains the score composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri as well as a version of the song "Forever May Not Be Long Enough" by the rock band Live, which slightly differs from the song's album version. A 2-CD expansion was released by Intrada Records in 2018.[3]


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $202 million in the United States and Canada box offices and $233 million internationally, grossing over $435 million worldwide.[1]The film broke the record for highest Friday and Saturday with $23.4 and $26.8 million respectfully. In its opening weekend, the film made $70.1 million, making it the second highest opening weekend of all time, only behind The Lost World: Jurassic Park.[4]

Critical response[edit]

The Mummy Returns received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 141 reviews.[5] Metacritic reported, based on 31 reviews, an average rating of 48 out of 100.[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A-“ on an A+ to F scale.[7]

Roger Ebert, who awarded the first film three stars, gave the second film only two, saying that "The mistake of The Mummy Returns is to abandon the characters, and to use the plot only as a clothesline for special effects and action sequences."[8] James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film two and a half stars (out of four), calling it "hollow, lightweight entertainment—not unpleasant, but far from the summer's definitive action/adventure flick.[9]

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, praising its "constant plot turns, cheeky sensibility and omnipresent action sequences."[10] Todd McCarthy of Variety praised "the nonstop action of the final hour", saying that it "bursts with visual goodies."[11]

Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal gave the film a negative review, saying that it "has all of the clank but none of the swank of the previous version."[6] Charles Taylor of was also not impressed, calling The Mummy Returns "everything the first Mummy was fun for not being."[12]


Award Subject Nominee Result
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Film Nominated
Best Makeup Aileen Seaton, Nick Dudman and Jane Walker Nominated
Best Special Effects John Andrew Berton, Jr., Daniel Jeannette, Neil Corbould and Thomas Rosseter Nominated
Best Young Actor Freddie Boath Nominated
Young Artist Awards Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor Brendan Fraser Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Movie Actor Nominated
Choice Movie Villain The Rock Won
Choice Action Movie Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Title Sequence Nominated
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing - Effects & Foley Leslie Shatz, Malcolm Fife, Ann Scibelli, Jon Olive and Jonathan Klein Nominated
Empire Awards Best British Actress Rachel Weisz Nominated
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst Supporting Actor The Rock Won

Home media[edit]

The film debuted on VHS and DVD on October 2, 2001.[13][14] It was subsequently released on the high-definition Blu-ray format in July 2008,[15] and on UHD Blu-ray in 2017.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "The Mummy Returns (2001)". The Numbers. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Mummy Returns".
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Mummy Returns". Rotten Tomatoes.
  6. ^ a b "The Mummy Returns". Metacritic.
  7. ^ "CinemaScore".
  8. ^ Roger Ebert. "Review". Chicago Sun-Times.
  9. ^ James Berardinelli. "Review". ReelViews.
  10. ^ Kenneth Turan. "Review". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Todd McCarthy (May 3, 2001). "Review". Variety.
  12. ^ Charles Taylor. "Review".
  13. ^ "Universal Studios Home Video Launches the VHS/DVD Release Of 'The Mummy Returns' Amidst Ancient Sand Dunes at Santa Monica Beach". PR Newswire. Cision. October 3, 2001. Archived from the original on November 2, 2001. Retrieved June 14, 2019 – via
  14. ^ Rivero, Enrique (June 18, 2001). "Universal's Mighty 'Mummy Returns' Unwraps at Retail Oct. 2". Archived from the original on July 1, 2001. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Mummy Returns Blu-ray Release Date July 22, 2008" – via
  16. ^ "The Mummy Returns". September 12, 2017 – via Amazon.

External links[edit]