Silvestri, Alan (b. 1950)
The Mummy Returns (2001)
The movie begins without any sort of title screen other than for the production company. The action begins immediately following in order to captivate the audience.
Beginning with a minor second oscillation, the brass melody expands this idea to a minor ninth, followed by what would suggest some sort of Phrygian scale. The wordless chorus enters at the moment the Universal globe-logo is transformed into a radiant sun on some random warrior’s staff. The transformation happens with a flash, as though this visual cue transports us as the audience back to ancient Thebes of 3,000 B.C., as the caption soon after indicates. The chorus provides the first break in harmonic content from the previously introduced material.
This opening clip closely resembles the opening of the earlier The Robe (1953) since in both cases the movie company has their logo presented before the action proper, yet accompanied by exotic music and wordless vocalization. However, in the case of The Robe, the vocalization begins immediately, with the very first notes of the orchestra, whereas in The Mummy Returns the chorus arrives only later, following the corporate logo. Doesn’t it sound like a rip-off from Ben Hur (1959), or some other such film score? I think so.