The Mummy & The Mummy Returns

The recommendation for tonight was The Mummy Returns, but watching a sequel as a standalone movie just seems like bad practice, so I decided to watch the two back to back. First up: The Mummy.

I had apprehensions about watching The Mummy Returns. I thought that maybe the movie would be gruesome or scary, but it wasn’t either of those things – creepy at points, but an adventure story at its roots. This movie was one of the reasons my List watching project for so long – I didn’t want to watch this franchise. I was avoiding it. That was totally not justified apprehension.

Good:

  • Dual wielding pistols
  • Good animation on the mummy, especially for the time when this came out. Not what I expected.
  • Smart lady characters who are the only one who can figure out whats going on are a weakness of mine
  • Winston Havelock
  • To be fair to the Mummy, that’d distract me too
  • Literally riding off into the sunset

Bad:

  • Presumably experienced librarian makes really stupid rookie mistake and destroys the entire library
  • Really poor artifact handling practices
  • Scarab-based body horror
  • Flying low to escape a sandstorm seems like objectively the wrong choice
  • Why are treasure rooms always such a goddamn mess?

And then, the Mummy Returned. The protagonists of the last movie, apparently not having learned his lesson from the last movie, are still fucking around in ancient Egyptian burial sites.

This franchise really didn’t need a lore expansion. The first movie was weird, but self contained. If there had been some hints of some of the meta-plot and wider scope worked into the first movie, I’d be less bothered by the sudden expansion of the scope of weirdness. But this is a modern idea, so it isn’t quite right to expect it from these movies – blame Marvel, basically.

They also really didn’t explain why the Mummy wasn’t permanently destroyed at the end of the last movie. Whatever.

Good:

  • And so the dark god accepted, because mortal souls are both tasty and full of fiber and B vitamins
  • Henchmen with really henchman-y accents
  • Those pillars fell over just like the shelves in the lib- ooooooh.
  • The fights are still properly bombastic (this style grew on me during the first movie)
  • Little mummies

Bad:

  • I’m sure the magic visions will totally be explained to my satisfaction
  • They never wanted anyone to find this, let’s open it
  • Just for once, I’d like it to be the male half of the leading duo that gets kidnapped
  • ‘Just because I’m a kid, doesn’t mean I’m stupid’. Uh, yes it does, sorry
  • CGI monster kissing
  • Stormtrooper-level aim (unless your character is named, and then you can’t miss)
  • Character death that came out of nowhere and served literally no purpose other than momentary man pain

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