The movie opens with a history lesson — narrated by Cleopatra (Virginia Madsen) herself — where we learn that after the Romans sacked Alexandria, Cleopatra fled down the Nile, vowing that she would protect the ancient treasures of her people, which entailed hiding them in a secret tomb beneath the Great Sphinx. She informs us that, “Within this tomb was an impenetrable maze of traps and secret dangers, forever guarded by an ancient horror. The army of the undead, a thousand mummified warriors awaiting the call to rise from the grave and defend Egypt’s last great treasure,” and then to top it off, she invokes the gods, “Under the golden crown of Isis I cast my curse, the Curse of Cleopatra, let it be written!”
Does this mean marrying Caesar was off the table?Historical Note: Now, one can’t be expected to find much historical veracity in a Scooby-Doo movie, but this film takes historical ignorance to a whole new level. Though the burning of the Egyptian library of Alexandria was Caesar’s fault, it was accidental, and though it was done during the siege against Cleopatra's younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, the Romans were actually in support of Cleopatra over her brother. Yet this movie fails to even mention the likes of Caesar or Mark Antony, two key figures in Cleopatra’s life, and she certainly wasn’t known for building elaborate booby-trap-laden tombs, laying nasty curses, or even creating armies of the undead. Mores the pity.
This looks like a job for Ash Williams.We then jump ahead a few centuries to find Velma (Mindy Cohn) working as an archaeologist for Prince Omar (Ajay Naidu) on his restoration project of the Great Sphinx, and it’s while working on the Sphinx that she uncovers an ancient necklace that reveals the hidden entrance to the tomb of Queen Cleopatra. And before you can say “Jinkies,” the rest of the Scooby gang arrives for a surprise visit — in a scene that kind of implies that Fred (Frank Welker) drove all the way to Egypt via The Mystery Machine — but the group is then shocked to find that Velma is reticent to let the gang investigate this latest mystery, citing it’s “too dangerous.” Which is very uncharacteristic of Velma “We have a mystery to solve” Dinkley. Unfortunately, Velma doesn’t have much time to make her case before a tomb-raiding treasure hunter named Dr. Amelia Von Butch (Christine Baranski) arrives with a mercenary team of G.I. Joe rejects.
Lara Croft’s lawyers will be in touch.This is when things get messy. Von Butch and her gang march everyone down under the Sphinx where she quickly sets an explosive off to open the tomb, unleashing a curse made by Cleopatra: “A curse against those that defile this sacred tomb of the pharaohs. The Nile will fall and the desert will rise, the army of the undead will awaken, and all who enter will be turned to stone.” We’re talking your basic ancient Egyptian curse. Von Butch scoffs at the curse, but moments later, after being separated by the group, Prince Omar is found to have been turned to stone. It looks like we have a mystery on our hands. Now, is there actually some credence to the Curse of Cleopatra, or could some person or persons unknown be pulling off an elaborate hoax? Only time will tell.
What a petrifying mystery.Where’s My Mummy? is a Scooby-Doo movie that is simply chock full of suspects, but with the upfront criminality of Dr. Amelia Von Butch, it changes the show’s usual dynamic somewhat. It's quite apparent that Von Butch can’t be behind "Cleopatra’s Curse," because everything that occurs is against her own best interests, with legions of mummies trying to stop her at every turn, so who could be behind this Egyptian puzzle? When the gang first arrived, they ran into reality show host Rock Rivers (Jeremy Piven), whose show “Fear Facers” was canceled after it was discovered that he’d faked footage, so could he be back at it again, creating this elaborate hoax to get his show back on the air? Then we have the mysterious Egyptian nomad Amahl Ali Akbar (Oded Fehr), who keeps showing up in the nick of time; could his enigmatic helpfulness just be a clever ruse? And then there is Hotep (Ron Perlman), the leader of an underground hidden Egyptian city that Scooby and Shaggy (Casey Kasem) stumbled upon while fleeing the army of the undead, a city of people who have given up the modern world for the ancient one, and did I mention that Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) is mistaken for the returning pharaoh Ascoobis?
Scooby-Doo tends to fulfill a lot of prophecies.It’s this “Lost City” element of the movie that just doesn’t work; it’s a side quest that is clearly there simply to pad out the film's run-time — important because this movie actually had a limited theatrically release — and when Hotep is revealed to be a brilliant civil engineer named Armin Granger, who has been illegally damming the Nile River for his grand underground city, it basically comes across as a mini-mystery that Shaggy gets to solve on his own — which in itself is a nice little twist — but it has no real impact on the larger mystery pertaining to Cleopatra and her curse.
We do get a fun fight against a giant Scorpion.Stray Observations:
• The songs that appear in this movie try really hard to sound like Alan Menken’s song from Disney’s Aladdin.
• During one chase sequence, Shaggy and Scooby take off on a flying carpet. That’s not Egyptian mythology, that’s Arabian you stupid hacks!
• When the Scooby gang first hooked up with Amahl Ali Akbar, they discovered that the Nile had dried up; this is pretty much impossible — the Nile is one of the largest rivers in the world, and if it had suddenly dried up, it would have devastated much of the continent, yet no one even bothers to investigate such a calamity.
• The Nile drying up also fits the part of the curse “The Nile will fall,” but we discover that it was Armin Granger who had diverted the Nile for his own purposes, and thus had nothing to do with Cleopatra’s curse, so that’s a clue. Also, even a fraction of the Nile’s volume would have overflowed Armin’s stupid Egyptian utopia.
• Our heroes come across a large catacomb full of Cleopatra’s mummified dead, and Daphne (Grey Griffin) notes that these mummies looked undisturbed, covered in a century's worth of dust, so it clearly wasn’t them chasing the gang up and down the catacombs. So there’s another clue.
• Velma is turned to stone just like Prince Omar, with that ancient Egyptian necklace still around her neck. Did this show just kill Velma?
• Cleopatra herself shows up, demanding that the infidels leave the tomb, and she then unleashes a plague of locusts. She must have been a fan of the Old Testament God ... or more likely the Brendan Fraser Mummy movie.