The Mummy Returns (2001)

Rating: C

Dir: Stephen Sommers
Star: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, Patricia Velasquez

More And Faster, v2.0. That’s what you get here: a retread, effectively, of the original film, with everything either supersized or rammed into your face even quicker than first time around. Although admirably energetic, and clearly keen to give the audience value for their money, this makes it the cinematic equivalent of shotgunning a four-pack of Tennant’s Special, while riding a marginally faulty roller-coaster. About half-way through, you’ll realise you desperately need the bathroom, but daren’t leave for fear of missing something Really Neat. My advice is just to go; the film perpetually promises but never quite delivers – save, perhaps for a cool duel between Weisz and Velasquez, inspired by Crouching Tiger.

The CGI effects were a big disappointment. The army of Anubis never looked half-real, and as for the climactic monster… oh, dear. Couldn’t we have had another cat-fight instead? A wobbly grasp of London geography (the first shot places Parliament next to Tower Bridge) is countered by a cameo from a 12 bus, the very route I used to take from Dulwich. That this is more memorable than anything Brendan Fraser has to offer, tells you everything you need to know. I can’t deny I enjoyed it, but do I ever want to see it again? Fewer ideas, better executed, would probably have helped.