MUMMY RETURNS, THE (SUPERBIT): DVD
In 1933 former Legionnaire Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his Egyptologist wife Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) return from an expedition with a bracelet said to have the power to revive the legendary Scorpion King (The Rock). At their London home they are confronted by agents in the employ of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), a 3000 year-old mummy who has been resurrected eight years after being defeated by Rick and Evelyn in a spectacular battle. Their son Alex (Freddie Boath), who now wears the bracelet, is kidnapped by Imhotep's minions and taken to Egypt where Imhotep plans to destroy the Scorpion King and use his army of canine-bodied warriors to rule the world. The trail leads to the fabled desert oasis and pyramid of Ahm Shere, a place from which no mortal has ever returned.
Review by Louise Keller:
Now, for the first time, you can enjoy the joyous escapism of The Mummy Returns with the added quality of Superbit, in which the movie has been encoded at as much as double the normal bit rate, using space on the disc usually allocated to special features or multi audio streams. It delivers on every count in a spectacularly thrilling adventure with charismatic performances and a non-stop barrage of astounding visual effects and stunts.
In the hands of lesser actors, some of the lines might have fallen flat, but the fabulous cast headed by Brendan Fraser, dazzles every step of the way. Fraser certainly has a way about him. Epitomising the hero of our dreams, he is a man's man and a gal's dreamboat, combining sensual good looks, athleticism and sensitivity; perfect for physical action and action of the heart. With effortless comedic timing, he has the knack of delivering lines with a shrug or on a razor sharp edge.
Together with Rachel Weisz, the chemistry is hot, hot, hot, while newcomer Freddie Boath impresses as the cheeky, plucky 8 year old son who reads ancient Arabic and is not short of ideas or pluck to squeeze out of sticky situations. There's comic relief from John Hannah, while Arnold Vosloo, Patricia Velasquez (exotic, intriguing), Oded Fehr (enigmatic) and The Rock are all rock solid. The Rock's grand entrance as the extraordinary Scorpion King is nothing short of gob-smacking. If you thought the effects in The Mummy were fantabulous, wait until you see these!
The mood and style is similar to that of the first film – the amber, rich production design and costumes are gorgeous, the score is genuinely exciting, the locations spectacular, and the effects amazing. But commendably, they are always in context of the story, and the wonderful thing is that we believe! We believe the characters, their plight and while we never doubt for a minute that the world will be saved, it's a ripper of a yarn that amuses, thrills and entertains. Be it mummies crashing through walls or chasing red double decker buses in 20th Century London, walls of water cascading through phenomenal vistas or an old-world balloon cruising through a galaxy of stars, this is a terrific yarn and the story telling is convincing. Cleverly intermingling the past and present, the script weaves in and out of centuries as smoothly as an asp slithering. The ultimate adventure, The Mummy Returns has it all!
Published November 27, 2003
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MUMMY RETURNS, THE (SUPERBIT): DVD (M)
(US) - 2001
CAST: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velasquez, The Rock, Freddie Boath
DIRECTOR: Stephen Sommers
SCRIPT: Stephen Sommers
RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes
PRESENTATION: Superbit; 16 : 9; Audio set up – English, English 5.1 digital;
SPECIAL FEATURES: none
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia Tristar Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: September 10, 2003