Any one who has no knowledge of “The Mummy” series won’t know that this is a spin-off/prequel to the lame sequel which was a tell tale sign that this franchise has already lost steam. In the sequel to the mummy there were bad special-effects, a terrible story and only about five minutes of The Rock. Three of which, had his computer generated head attached to a giant scorpion body that resembled a lobster on a rampage. The reason why people won’t know the significance of this to the mummy movies is that this basically has no connection to the movies whatsoever and tries really hard to be its own. The movie says: before the pyramids were even built the scorpion king reigned. Now here’s where logic enters: there’s a large plot hole in the movie’s storyline that conflicts with “The Mummy’s” storyline.
The movie is said to take place before the pyramids were built. This is when the scorpion king was alive. The pyramids weren’t built for another hundred years so the scorpion king at that time would have to be very old, or dead. In “The Mummy Returns”, he is clearly young and healthy and becomes the evil demon guy. That’s just one of the many flaws; let’s pick one out of the hat: The acting is bad. We have The Rock who raises a brow and growls at every moment he gets, attempting to make the wretched dialogue believable but fails miserably. He’s likeable but barely even believable with his hilarious long hair. It’s hard to imagine he turning into the evil “Scorpion King”, which I won’t waste my time with, because there won’t be a sequel. Kelly Hu cannot display her acting or martial arts chops, because all she does in this is spout corny dialogue and stand half-naked.
Not that I’m complaining. She’s never fully naked, though. No. She’s naked enough to attract attention from the target audience but her hair is always surprisingly down on her chest covering her breasts, even when she’s sliding down a waterfall. The rest of the characters are so limited; especially Michael Clarke Duncan, who is a great actor, but is oddly out of place and does barely anything in this movie to begin with. He appears sometimes to speak a dramatic monologue, throw down in a wrestling style fight with The Rock, and battle with baddies in the end. There’s no emphasis on his character to make him likeable, so he’s pretty dispensable. The special-effects are standard with laughable computer generated snakes here and there, and some poorly constructed fire scenes.
The fighting is nothing new and failed to impress me at all. A lot of it reminded me of the “Conan” movies, never making anything original or breathtaking. It looks like the choreographer copied a lot of the fight moves from old barbarian movies. A lot of the choreography is so slow and annoying, it’s hard to enjoy any of it at all. They also tend to exaggerate a lot of the scenes. At one point, it seems The Rock’s character is so powerful, that whenever he shoots his arrow at a bad guy, they’re thrown into walls like they were shot with cannons. It’s all just so laughable. The movie’s mood is all wrong; it should be dark and grimy and gritty yet is so cheery and light-hearted making it accessible to young boys to like but loses the older audience in the mix. It goes without saying that this is a bad movie, but it’s entertaining because of that. Come for the cheese, stay for Kelly Hu.