The Mummy and The Mummy Returns gave us some memorable characters such as Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser), Imhotep (Arnold Vasloo) and The Scorpion King (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). However, there was one character who was memorable for how far she had come from one movie to the next–Evelyn “Evy” Carnahan/O’Connell (Rachel Weisz). She goes from a naive museum librarian to a tough adventurer, explorer and mother.
We are first introduced to Evelyn “Evy” Carnahan in the early scenes of The Mummy. She is a librarian and an expert on Egyptology at the Cairo Museum of Antiquities in Cairo, Egypt. Unfortunately, she does not have enough field experience for her research to be noticed by the Bembridge Scholars. She is clumsy especially when she knocks over the bookshelves after being stuck on her ladder trying to put books away. Evy is excited to go on an adventure with her brother Jonathan (John Hannah) when he finds a map leading to Hamunaptra in one of the sarcophagi. When she first meets Rick she is unimpressed, and perhaps disgusted, by his brash attitude and unkempt appearance. As the adventure goes on and she gets excited about seeing the tombs; she begins to open up to Rick and begins to fall for his American charm. We see Evy start to change as she finds the courage to fight and falls in love with Rick.
In The Mummy Returns, we see how Evy has been completely transformed over the ten-year time lapse between movies. She is married to Rick and they have a son named Alex. Being a mother, Evy has a sense of the world now so she is much more daring, aware and less naive. She gets the notoriety she always felt she deserved with Bembridge. When she and Rick are raiding the tomb, she sees images of Ancient Egypt. It turns out in a past life, she was Nefertiri, daughter of Pharaoh Seti I who is killed by Imhotep and Anck-su-Namun. She is a much better fighter as seen when the cult breaks into the house and in the two fight scenes with Anck-su-Namun. Her appearance is edgier, reflecting her personality change. She is wearing sultry dresses and a tank top and khaki pants during expeditions. It’s a far cry from the Evy we met in The Mummy.
Evy is such a wonderful character in how she changes throughout both movies. Rachel Weisz played an amazing part and had great chemistry with the entire cast, especially Brendan Fraser. It was a shame she did not return for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor but her performance in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns is so memorable and enjoyable. She had beauty, charm and personality combined with toughness and assertion and ended up giving cinema a fantastic heroine that we could continually cherish upon repeat viewings and screenings.