the summer movie season.
   Long lines.
   Sold out shows.
   Lots of action.
   "The Mummy Returns" kicks off this year's blockbuster bash in grand fashion. It wraps up its audiences with eye-popping special effects and action sequences that move as fast as The Rock can lay the smack down.
   Beetle-like creatures attack human beings from the inside out, football fields of canine-bodied warriors stretch across the screen ready for battle and a tidal wave even comes alive, complete with a mouth large enough to swallow the Titanic.
   The film opened Friday and wrapped up the biggest box office return for a non-holiday inaugural weekend, a whopping $70.1 million.
   While it isn't the epic feature that embodied "Gladiator," or the achievement of the first "Mummy" _ as far as sequels go _ it's some kind of treasure.
   The first installment worked so well because of the performances of Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz and they're back. Fraser stars as adventure man Rick O'Connell, Weisz is now his wife and along for the ride this time is their son Alex (Freddie Boath), who is just as adventure-crazy as his fearless parents.
   The mummy Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) has risen from the dead (big surprise) to conquer the world and fulfill his quest for immortality. But even if the O'Connell clan survives the mummy's evil tricks, they will still have to lock horns with The Scorpion King (WWF wrestler The Rock), a villain even more feared than the dreaded Imohtep.
   From just about start to finish, this film moves. The action sequences roll at lightning speed _ almost too quickly. The audience barely has a chance to breathe, although the special effects are so good, it's worth the nausea.
   If you're going to see this film for The Rock, pick another reason. The wrestler appears only for a few minutes in the beginning and then is gone forever. His face comes back at the end, but only poorly digitally placed on a computer-animated scorpion. Don't worry though, the superstar is already filming "The Scorpion King," due in theaters next summer.
   "The Mummy Returns" is an action packed winner. It's filled with colorful characters and dreadful villains. Some scenes may cause young children to cover their eyes at times, but those are the exception, not the rule.
   If anything, they will cover their eyes with one hand, only to slightly open their fingers to eagerly watch once again.
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