Around 1290 B.C. in the land of Egypt, the high priest Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) is having an affair with the Pharaoh's mistress. Anck-su Namun (Patricia Velasquez) is taking a risk by doing so because to be caught will be the death for both. One night, the Pharaoh does show up and confronts the two of them. Acting together they slaughter him, hacking him to pieces. The guards are summoned and Anck-su-Namun commits suicide. Thinking the High Priest can bring her back to life. Imhotep is buried alive with a container full of scarabs. The ritual he is buried under will allow him to stay alive and feel the pain but if he is ever unearthed and set free the planet could be in trouble.
Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) is an Egyptologist who has just been given a secret box from her brother Jonathan (John Hannah). In the box is a map supposedly to the secret city of Hamunaptra. Jonathan tells his sister that he got the box from a man who is currently in prison. Richard O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) is an American who served in the Foreign Legion. He and his men were at the city when they were attacked by arabs lead by Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr).
After getting O'Connell out of prison a deal is made and they start the journey to the lost city. Once there they don't really know what they are going to do. Evy as she is called and her group run into another who are also wanting to get to the lost city. They are led by Beni Gabor (Kevin J. O'Connor) a former Legionnaire and also known to O'Connell.
The groups run into Ardeth Bay who informs them that to go to the city would mean possible death. He knows the foreigners will not listen as the dreams of riches are too much. He will follow and later actually help them.
Imhotep will be brought back to life and his first wish is to bring Anck-su-Namum back from the dead. In doing so he will bring his priests who were killed with him back from the dead to protect him. Once all this takes place chaos will take over. Greed is the enemy here and everybody wants something from this expedition. What they need to be doing is worrying about how they will get out alive.
Director Stephen Sommers brings us a tale of greed, history, and love all rolled up in one movie. We see the fever that men can have when they are brought face to face with gold as far as the eye can see. This is one of those movies that you will come back to see again and you will love seeing the second time just as much as the first time. Enjoy.