The Mummy Returns
Rating: * * * Japanese title: Hamunaputora 2Director: Stephen Sommers Running time: 129 minutes Language: EnglishNow showing at Shibutoh Cine Theater and other theaters

One of the better summer flicks of recent years was 1999's "The Mummy," which was everything that this sort of film should be: fast-paced, silly and genuinely fun. The filmmakers spent their money wisely, on swirling sandstorms and labyrinthine pyramids, while getting some likably tongue-in-cheek performances from Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz in the leads.

The movie's better-than-expected showing at the box office proved that the "Indiana Jones" market was there for the taking, so it's no surprise that director Stephen Sommers is back with a sequel, "The Mummy Returns." As you might guess from the generic title, it's pretty much more of the same, but if creepy-crawly crypts full of black scorpions and vast armies of jackal-headed undead sacking all known civilization are what you need, look no further.

"The Mummy Returns" picks up where the first film left off, and it sure doesn't waste any time idling -- this one shifts straight into overdrive. A flashback to ancient times shows how the feared barbarian Scorpion King (WWF wrestler Dwayne Johnson, a k a The Rock) made a pact with the black god Anubis, unleashing an army of darkness that terrorized the land until the Scorpion King's soul was sucked into the underworld. There he lies until someone awakens him.