A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Mummy Returns is the 2001 sequel to the 1999 movie The Mummy. There is frequent battle violence -- fights with swords, bows and arrows, thrown knives, kicks and punches. A woman stabs herself to death with a sword. Frequent demonic imagery: demon dogs, small skeleton demons shoot arrows, scorpions bite soldiers to death, and kill one by eating him from within before exploding out of his skin. A boy of about 10 says "goddamn" and "ass." After being taken prisoner, he uses an extremely filthy train rest room in which the walls are covered in hand-smeared excrement.
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What's the story?
In The Mummy Returns, Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz return as Rick and Evie O'Connell, now married and the parents of 8-year-old Alex (Freddie Boath). This time, the Mummy has to defeat the Scorpion King (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) to get control of his army and take over the world. In order to find and wake him, they need a special Scorpion-King-finding bracelet, which happens to be stuck on the wrist of Alex O'Connell. But don't worry about the plot. It really doesn't matter how or why mummies and bad guys are chasing them; all we need to know is that they are, and that Rick and Evie have to find a way to rescue Alex, send the mummies back where they came from, and save the world from being utterly destroyed. Fortunately, there's always just enough time for a kiss or a wisecrack -- sometimes both -- before entering into the fray.
Is it any good?
Grab some popcorn and settle in for some old-fashioned movie fun. The special effects of The Mummy Returns are dated but the fight scenes are well staged and very exciting. One of the movie's great strengths is the art direction. It brilliantly creates the mood, helped along by a period-sounding score.
It's a shame that The Rock is onscreen for such a short time. He makes a real impression in the prologue, but doesn't reappear until the end, when he's part-Rock, part-scorpion. Fortunately, there's an entire sequel titled The Scorpion King just about his character.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how views on archeological digs have changed since the era in which The Mummy Returns is set, and about current controversies over the ownership of antiquities. Families can also visit local museums to see some of their Egyptian treasures.
How was violence used in this movie? Did it seem relevant to the overall story, or forced in to provide more excitement?
How is this similar to and different from other action-adventure movies? What are some elements of this genre?
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