Christian critic Michael Elliot came out of The Mummy Returns unimpressed. "This is The Mummy slightly repackaged, definitely revisited," the Movie Parables critic writes. "Watching it is a bit like having déjà vu because it sticks pretty close to the original formula." He notes that the film is "high on action and CGI effects but quite low on originality." Similarly, a critic for the U.S. Catholic Conference responds that this "overblown action flick is all non-stop physical confrontations and splashy special effects, with characterizations and narrative lost in all the sound and fury."
Mainstream critics are using adjectives that action movies try to avoid … like boring. FilmCritic.com's Christopher Null shrugs at what he calls "a bunch of cheap fright gags, lame jokes, and boring traps, all of which we've seen countless times before. For much of the film I simply sat there feeling bored." Boredom was the experience of Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert as well: "Imagine yourself on a roller coaster for two hours. After the first 10 minutes, the thrills subside. The mistake of The Mummy Returns is to abandon the characters, and to use the plot only as a clothesline for special effects ...1
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