The Mummy Returns (2001)

17 factual errors

When Brendan Fraser & his son are running to reach the pyramid before the sun hits it, the sunrise line approaches the pyramid along the ground, but the sun would naturally have hit the pyramid at the top first and worked its way down to the ground. [Some people insist on trying to correct this - think of it this way. If the sun's illuminating the ground from way up in the sky, what's keeping something higher up than the ground in darkness?] (01:34:40)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Despite the additional comments this posting is wrong. The terminator line - the distinct boundary between sunlit day and dark night - moves horizontally across the surface of the earth, from east to west. It is perfectly feasible for the land behind Rick (i.e. to the east) to be in bright sunlight while the pyramid - to the west - is still in darkness. What is not feasible is anyone outrunning the terminator line, which moves at around 1500 kmh in the latitudes they are in.

Try it for yourself - get a round object, such as a basketball, a map tack and a flashlight. As you shine the flashlight on the ball you will see the equivalent of the day/night terminator line. Now stick the map tack into the ball and slowly rotate the ball with the light still shining on it. As it moves, the terminator moves and the map tack will become illuminated before the surface of the ball at the base of the tack. The light will move down from the top of the tack. The only way it would work as shown in the movie is if everything is exactly flat - with no differences in altitude above the ground. Obviously that is not the case. (Of course, if you don't want to poke holes in your basketball, you can use any combination of something round and something to stick to it.)

The original post is correct. Because of its sheer height, the top of the pyramid would receive direct sunlight first, just as a mountaintop receives sunlight before it appears on level ground.

Charles Austin Miller

It is perfectly possible for a mountain to be in complete darkness and the low lying land nearby to be brightly sunlit if the mountain is to the west and has not yet been reached by the terminator line. I repeat, the terminator line moves horizontally (in all practical terms) across the surface of the earth and as a result anything west of the line will be in darkness regardless of its height and will stay that way until the line reaches it.

Look, you're talking about mountains miles away beyond the terminator (so far away that they would be beyond the range of sight anyway). We are talking about a pyramid, easily the tallest thing in the immediate vicinity, in the near background, only a mile away at most. Under the physical conditions and locations present in this film, the pyramid should be illuminated top-down. Period.

Charles Austin Miller

There were no jet engines outside of a few top secret military laboratories in the mid-Thirties, and there has never been a jet propelled airship ever, anywhere. Even using jet engines as auxiliary power, as this one does, the acceleration would rip the airbag to pieces.

The design of the dirigible is rubbish. The gas bag would need to be about twenty times that size to lift the boat-shaped caboose and its passengers, their weapons, equipment and luggage.

In the scene where the airship has crashed, Izzy uses a modern day fire extingusher that was painted black. (01:17:50)

When Rick and Jonathan (in his mysteriously foam free tux, as noted elsewhere) vault over the fence outside Rick's house, a thug is firing at them with a machine gun from an upstairs window. Look at the bullet impacts on the top of the fence - some of them could only happen where they do if the bullets had passed straight through Jonathan's body.

When Rick and Evy find the first sand castle Alex left, there is one point where Evy lightly brushes some sand off of the top. If the sand had fully dried, the castle would have crumbled. (Confirmed in DVD commentary).

Rick and his kid run to the pyramid, desperate to reach it before it is illuminated by the sun. This means that they will have to outrun the terminator line, the distinct line between night and day created by the rotation of the earth. They are in central Egypt, and at that latitude the terminator line moves at about 1300 kmh.

After Evie is stabbed and dies in Rick's arms, if you look closely at her neck, you can still see a pulse in her neck. Dead people don't have pulses. Yes, obviously they couldn't have actually killed her for the shot, but at the same time they shouldn't have had a close-up of her neck either... (01:33:05)

We get a panoramic view of London with the houses of Parliament, St Paul's Dome and Tower Bridge. The problem is that Tower Bridge has been moved next to the Houses of Parliament (they have put it in place of Westminster Bridge) and it should in fact be not visible at that point but several miles down river. St Paul's is also on the wrong side of the river. If this is where Tower Bridge is in the film then there are no low bridges for the bus to hit in the chase which follows the escape from the British Museum. Were it in the proper place there are quite a few. (00:20:35)

If rockets were to attached to the basket of a balloon, the balloon would remain in the same spot but the basket would spin around it, due to the flexible ropes between the basket and balloon. (01:19:00)

Our Heroes are running after the Bad Guys who have kidnapped their "Precocious Kid." They are chasing them in a dirigible. We see them flying across the full Moon. A few nights later, we see them flying across... the full Moon. The phase of the Moon is probably the single most abused astronomy idea in movies (besides sounds in space). The Moon goes through phases as it orbits the Earth. The phase changes every night, and the difference over even two nights is pretty clear. It's possible, just, that over three nights the Moon can be almost full, then full, then a little past full. But usually the Moon is very different over the course of that much time. Really, the phase should have changed quite a bit during the chase. (01:00:25 - 01:22:50)

When the dirigible is passing Abu Simbel (where the four sitting statues are), the second one from the left is broken, which is accurate. However, in reality, the rubble is sitting at the foot of that statue, not a considerable distance in front of it like it was as they passed.

In the beginning when Anck Su Namun is holding the black snake and says "Egyptian asps are very poisonous." The snake she is holding is a Mexican Black King Snake, a species native to Mexico and commonly kept as a pet in the U.S. (00:26:30)

In the bus chase scene the 'prewar' bus has fleetnumber LT1097. Actually it's a postwar RT-class AEC Regent III bus built circa 1950. Although the LT class AEC Renown was a prewar class of London bus, these had three axles, two at the back. And - for the record - LT1097 did exist, but it was a 'Scooter' type single decker. (00:42:55)

The dynamite Rick destroys the log bridge with appears to damage a very localised area. It makes a very narrow, clean cut down the centre, when any explosive you place on a log would naturally cause a wider area of damage to the top than the bottom.

During the vision of killing the pharaoh Seti I, When Nefertiti called the pharaoh's guards to save him, and after Evelyn jumped off the magic carpet, the guards shout in Arabic " Yalla ya reggala!" This means in English "Hurry up men!" No one in Egypt was speaking Arabic in this period of history. They should had shouted in Ancient Egyptian, not Arabic. (01:11:31)

Mahmoud Motawea

When Rick uses dynamite to destroy the log bridge, the log snaps several seconds after the explosion has gone off. The force of the blast would snap it instantaneously.

Mistakes

When Brendan Fraser & his son are running to reach the pyramid before the sun hits it, the sunrise line approaches the pyramid along the ground, but the sun would naturally have hit the pyramid at the top first and worked its way down to the ground. [Some people insist on trying to correct this - think of it this way. If the sun's illuminating the ground from way up in the sky, what's keeping something higher up than the ground in darkness?] (01:34:40)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Despite the additional comments this posting is wrong. The terminator line - the distinct boundary between sunlit day and dark night - moves horizontally across the surface of the earth, from east to west. It is perfectly feasible for the land behind Rick (i.e. to the east) to be in bright sunlight while the pyramid - to the west - is still in darkness. What is not feasible is anyone outrunning the terminator line, which moves at around 1500 kmh in the latitudes they are in.

Try it for yourself - get a round object, such as a basketball, a map tack and a flashlight. As you shine the flashlight on the ball you will see the equivalent of the day/night terminator line. Now stick the map tack into the ball and slowly rotate the ball with the light still shining on it. As it moves, the terminator moves and the map tack will become illuminated before the surface of the ball at the base of the tack. The light will move down from the top of the tack. The only way it would work as shown in the movie is if everything is exactly flat - with no differences in altitude above the ground. Obviously that is not the case. (Of course, if you don't want to poke holes in your basketball, you can use any combination of something round and something to stick to it.)

The original post is correct. Because of its sheer height, the top of the pyramid would receive direct sunlight first, just as a mountaintop receives sunlight before it appears on level ground.

Charles Austin Miller

It is perfectly possible for a mountain to be in complete darkness and the low lying land nearby to be brightly sunlit if the mountain is to the west and has not yet been reached by the terminator line. I repeat, the terminator line moves horizontally (in all practical terms) across the surface of the earth and as a result anything west of the line will be in darkness regardless of its height and will stay that way until the line reaches it.

Look, you're talking about mountains miles away beyond the terminator (so far away that they would be beyond the range of sight anyway). We are talking about a pyramid, easily the tallest thing in the immediate vicinity, in the near background, only a mile away at most. Under the physical conditions and locations present in this film, the pyramid should be illuminated top-down. Period.

Charles Austin Miller

Quotes

Ardeth Bay: By putting this on, you have started a chain reaction that could bring about the next apocalypse.
Rick: [to Ardeth] You, lighten up. [To Alex] You, big trouble. [To Jonathan] You, get in the car.

Trivia

In the tomb, Alex knocks over the columns the same way Evie knocked over the bookcases in "The Mummy."

Questions

After Alex translates the hieroglyphs as "This way to Scorpion King," Jonathan quietly responds by saying "It's just my work." What exactly did he mean by that? He's not a translator of ancient Egyptian like his sister Evie, so I don't think he literally meant "work" as his profession.

Chosen answer: He says, "this just might work" meaning he and Alex trying to bring Evie back using the book of the dead.

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