I was not overly impressed with the first Brendan Fraser mummy film, so my expectations for this sequel weren't exactly high. Well, The Mummy Returns delivered pretty much just what I expected: non-stop action, over the top computer-generated effects, stiff acting and mind-numbing dialogue.
The story is set 10 years after the first film, with the principles Rick O'Connell (Fraser) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) now married, living in London and raising their 9-year-old son Alex. The mummy Imhotep is back, of course, but (as if he wasn't unspeakably evil enough) the screenwriters felt compelled to create an even badder badass with the creation of the Scorpion King (The Rock).
Fraser has got to be the dullest leading man in Hollywood (after Kevin Costner, of course). The filmmakers (to their credit) give him very little dialogue and concentrate on having him duke it out with various evil-doers and run around looking confused. As is often the case in films of this ilk, the villains here are far more interesting than the heroic leads. The mummy (played again by Arnold Vosloo) and his reincarnated lover are effectively poisonous and fun.
With impossible, cartoon-like stunts and a sensory assault that never lets up, the film is sure to be a big hit with kids. For those over 10, just put your brain on hold and keep those expectations as low as possible.