The Mummy Returns is a 2001-adventure film produced by Universal Pictures, and the second installment of the studios’ remake Mummy trilogy. Starring the returning cast of Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah and Oded Fehr, and introducing Freddie Boath, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in new roles.
The Scorpion King's Campaign
In the year 3067 B.C, the Scorpion King, a fearsome warrior who led a vicious campaign to conquer ancient Egypt, marches to the city of Thebes intending to rule. After a violent campaign between the Scorpion King's army and the army of Thebes which lasts for seven years, the battle goes to the army of Thebes, who cast out the invaders into the desert of Ahm Shere.
The Scorpion King soon finds himself the last living member of his army, all the others having died from the desert heat, exhaustion, and lack of food or water. At that point, the Scorpion King himself is dying, and in his last moments, he prays to the god Anubis, pleading for the chance to win one last battle in exchange for his soul. In response, the god sends out a large black scorpion from the sands, which the warrior chews up, despite its successful attempts to sting him, which results in a great oasis sprouting from the desert.
The Scorpion King, with his fallen soldiers replaced with the Army of Anubis itself, returns to Thebes and continues his siege, winning the city and killing many. Once the battle is ended, however, the Scorpion King's soul is taken to the Underworld, as is the Army of Anubis. The Bracelet that the Scorpion King had once worn is left in the sands.
Finding the Bracelet
5,000 years later, in 1933 A.D, Rick O'Connell has long since married Evelyn Carnahan and sired a son, Alex O'Connell. The O'Connells have reached a temple along the banks of the Nile where Evelyn seeks the Bracelet of Anubis, the emblem of the Scorpion King. Evelyn knows about the temple and how to access the Bracelet from visions that she has been having. As Evelyn looks at some carvings on a wall, Rick is told by his son Alex that the tattoo on his wrist is alike to a symbol that appeared in the atrium of the temple that they are exploring. Later, three thieves, Spivey, Red, and Jacques, arrive to retrieve the bracelet. While Red goes after Rick and Evelyn, Spivey and Jacques stay behind to look for other artifacts. Meanwhile, Rick and Evey find and enter the chamber where the bracelet is kept. Back at the main chamber, Alex secretly harasses Spivey from on top a wooden platform, but is later found out by Jacques.
The scene then turns to an excavated Hamunaptra. The excavators are paid by a cult lead by Baltus Hafez, curator of the British Museum. In a tent, a warrior named Lock-Nah states that the Book of the Dead gives life. A woman named Meela Nais also states that the Book of Amun-Ra takes life away. Just then the excavators unearth a swarm of scarabs that devour some of the excavators and a couple cultists. The cultists then force the scarabs back into the pit using flame throwers. Just then, a call sounds out, and Hafez exclaims, "We've found him." Most of the excavators and cultists rush over to the site.
While Lock-Nah and a handful of armed cultist thugs head to confront Evelyn O'Connell as to the chests whereabouts, Hafez himself, accompanied by Meela, Shafek and two other thugs head upstairs to interrogate Rick O'Connell about it. The cultists find Jonathan Carnahan instead, with a woman named Sheila, and the cultists thus mistake him for O'Connell. The cultists force Sheila out and confront Jonathan about the Bracelet of Anubis, but Jonathan, thinking Hafez is working for a man named Johnny that Jonathan was indebted to, pleads for more time to pay what he owes. Hafez stated that he knows no-one named Johnny, and began to ask about the Bracelet of Anubis. Jonathan states honestly that he has no idea what they are talking about, but Hafez does not believe him, having Shafek take a dagger and hold Jonathan back. Jonathan then lies, saying that he lost the Bracelet in a card game, and at that moment, Hafez's attention is diverted as he eyes the Spear of Osiris in Jonathan's hand; Jonathan had claimed the Spear years ago when it was taken from Hamunaptra. Meela Nais then walks into the room with a basket in her hands, asking where Jonathan's wife is, believing him to be O'Connell. Jonathan lies that Evelyn had gone off to Baden-Baden or Tibet, but this excuse does not register with Meela, who pulls out a venomous Egyptian asp from the basket and brought it closer to Jonathan so that it would bite him. As Meela steps further with the snake, Jonathan lies once more and stated that the Bracelet is in a safe downstairs, furthering his lie and giving a combination; Meela was not distracted by this, as she moves closer with the asp in her hand.
At that moment, Rick O'Connell steps in, seeing Jonathan being held back and tortured with a snake and a dagger. O'Connell, thinking that it is another of Jonathan's wild parties, asks the "guests" to cease their activity, but is stopped as Meela throws the asp at O'Connell. O'Connell catches the snake and throws it back at one of the cultists, and in a reciprocal move, another cultist throws a dagger at Rick, almost hitting him, but dodging once O'Connell throws it back, hitting another cultist instead. Another cultist open fires with a machine gun, but O'Connell and Jonathan escape, with Jonathan pocketing the Spear from the curator's hands.
Alex is captured by the cult who have resurrected Imhotep; they wish to use Imhotep's power to defeat the Scorpion King, which would give him command of the Army of Anubis. The cult, led by Baltus Hafez, the curator of the British Museum, includes a warrior named Lock-Nah and Meela Nais, the reincarnation of Imhotep's love Anck-su-namun. The O'Connells set out to rescue Alex, accompanied by Evelyn's brother Jonathan and the Medjai Ardeth Bay. Rick's associate from his past adventures, Izzy, a pilot, provides the group transportation.
The bracelet of Anubis gives Alex visions, directions to Ahm Shere that the cult follows. 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 Nais the soul of Anck-su-namun. Lock-Nah discovers that Alex has been leaving clues, so Imhotep makes a wall of water that attacks the dirigible. The O'Connells crash in Ahm Shere. Izzy stays with the dirigible in hopes of repairing it. The O'Connells attack the cult, and both groups are attacked by pygmy mummies. Rick retrieves Alex while Ardeth Bay kills Lock-Nah. They escape from the pygmies, which kill most of the cult except for Baltus. Imhotep and Anck-su-namun are unharmed due to Imhotep's powers.
Return of the Scorpion King
Rick and Alex run to the pyramid, barely making it before sunrise. The bracelet detaches from Alex's arm. Ardeth regroups with the Medjai in case the army of Anubis rises. However, Anck-su-namun and Imhotep snuck up on the group, and Anck-su-namun stabs Evey in the belly and kills her, and enraged Rick pursues Imhotep. Baltus puts on the bracelet and wakes the army of Anubis. As Imhotep walks into the pyramid, Anubis takes his powers, wanting Imhotep to fight as a mortal. Rick finds Imhotep summoning the Scorpion King and they fight. The Medjai engage the army of Anubis. The Scorpion King interrupts Rick and Imhotep's fight. Imhotep tells the Scorpion King that he is the Scorpion King's slave, but Rick was sent to kill him. During Rick and the Scorpion King's fight, the Scorpion King kills Baltus. Jonathan and Alex collaborate to steal the Book of the Dead from Anck-su-namun. Alex uses the book to resurrect Evey, who duels with Anck-su-namun.
Alex and Jonathan go to help Rick. It is revealed on carvings on the walls that the scepter that Jonathan has been carrying extends into a spear that can kill the Scorpion King. The Medjai seemingly defeat Anubis' army despite heavy casualties, but see that they have only defeated the vanguard, and the full army is charging towards them. However, before the Anubis warriors hit the Medjai lines, Rick succeeds in killing the Scorpion King, sending him and his army back to the Underworld. The Scorpion King's death causes Anubis to turn the oasis back into a desert, and the oasis is being sucked into the pyramid. Rick and Imhotep are hanging from the edge of a pit that leads into the Underworld. Evey risks her life to save Rick, but Anck-su-namun refuses to save Imhotep. Seeing Anck-Su-namun abandon him, Imhotep willingly lets go. Anck-su-namun later falls into a scorpion-filled pit and dies.
The O'Connells reach the top of the pyramid, which is being sucked into the desert. Izzy arrives with a modified dirigible and saves the O'Connells. Jonathan grabs the diamond at the top of the pyramid. Ardeth Bay salutes them as they fly over him.
- Brendan Fraser … Richard O'Connell
- Rachel Weisz … Evelyn O'Connell/Nefertiri
- John Hannah … Jonathan Carnahan
- Arnold Vosloo … Imhotep
- Oded Fehr … Ardeth Bay
- The Rock … The Scorpion King
- Freddie Boath … Alex O'Connell
- Patricia Velasquez … Anck-Su-Namun
- Alun Armstrong … Baltus Hafez
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje … Lock-Nah
- Shaun Parkes … Izzy Buttons
- Bruce Byron … Red
- Joe Dixon … Jacques
- Tom Fisher … Spivey
- Aharon Ipalé … Pharaoh Seti I
- There is a shot in the film where, in London, Tower Bridge and the dome of St. Paul’s Church and Big Ben are all scrunched-up into one frame. This is geographically anachronistic to the landmarks’ true locations in the city.
- The movie was released on DVD on October 2, 2001.
- The soundtrack was released on May 1, 2001.
- One of the big errors in this movie is the date compared to Alex's age. The movie places Alex's age at about 8 years old and takes place in 1933. But the previous film took place mostly in 1926. Meaning that if the O'Connell's got married right away and had Alex immediately he would have been born late 1926, or sometime in 1927, making his age 6 or maybe 7 years old.
- Furthermore, while on the train, one of the thieves states that the chest connected with the Hom-Dai curse was last opened nine years ago; Since the last movie took place in 1926, that should place the movie in 1935, thus plausibly making Alex eight years old.
- The movie taking place in 1933 was likely a production error.
All appearances are considered first appearances. For character appearances see the "Cast" section.
- Ramses(Mentioned only)
- Anubis(Mentioned only)
- Alexander the Great
- Julius Ceasar (Mentioned only)
- Napoleon Bonaparte(Mentioned only)
- The Siege of Thebes
- The Battle for Ahm Shere