The Scorpion King (DVD, 2002, Widescreen) Reviews
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The Scorpion King (DVD, 2002, Widescreen)

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Prequel of a Sequel of a Re-make - Try That WWF (WWE) Move!

Oct 13, 2002 (Updated Oct 23, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Mindless entertainment.

Cons:What happens after the mind comes back on.

The Bottom Line: The Rock slam dunks! Wait, I mean body slams! Or maybe is a slam, sham, bland, scorpion man?

The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson (I see why he changed his name – Introducing Dwwwwayne!) brings his form of toughness, sweetness, and eye brow-ness to the screen as Mathayus a leader who for a sum tries to bring peace and prosperity to his land – and of course gets to bed a really hot sorceress.

The movie has for the most part everything The Mummy had. Lots of sand, women in skimpy clothing, and even a joker aka Philos Grant Heslov/Bernard Hill for comedic relief. Oh, and lets not forget the camel who Heslov jokes “It’s not the size of the hump, it’s the motion of the camel.” I get it! Wait, I don’t.

Plus we have scorpions, who’s poison eventually find its way into Mathayus (hence the name The Scorpion King), bad looking cobras, fire, swords, and enough fight sequences set to loud music to put Hulk Hogan to shame. Oh and of course god-figure turned ape man Balthazar/Michael Clarke Duncan blessing us with his really deep voice.

But The Scorpion King has none of the magic The Mummy had. The Rock is just incapable of making us laugh, no matter how many times he tries to raise his eye brow to signify some inner deeper emotion. Some have said that he is a new-aged version of Arnold Schwarzenegger – minus the accent. Same psychic, same writers to give him plenty of one-liners, and enough muscle presence to scare this writer if he ever found himself in the same room. But unlike Arrrrnold, The Rock so far in his career takes himself too seriously – even when he’s clearly delivering lines meant for us to chuckle. And unlike Brandon Fraser, the hero in the first two Mummy movies – The Rock doesn’t posses the same amount of fear one would have – nor the charisma of a hero.

All that being said however doesn’t make The Scorpion King into a bad movie. Just switch off the brain, focus your eyes on the gleaming swords (and Kelly Hu’s very skimpy dress), and get ready for some smack down!

The Rock’s opponent in The Scorpion King is Memnon/Steven Brand who as the movie sets up is the best fighter in his land. The best fighter is automatically made the leader and rules over his land with an iron fist. He tears apart other lands led by a Sorceress/Kelly Hu who foretell him where he will find victory and where he will not. The Rock, I mean Mathayus sets his sights on Memnon especially after he slits the throat of his brother, and to avenge his brother, Mathayus ends up capturing The Sorceress for a little one on one. Thrown into the mix is some guy who invents what we call gun powder and a traitor Arpid/Peter Facinelli who shows his cute face only to eventually have it cut off.

Unlike the original Mummy movies which had an archaeological/historical aspect to them – The Scorpion King is simply a movie to showcase Mathayus’ fighting ability. He wins most of the time and loses almost as much as he wins. The Mummy’s had a book of the dead and a book of living – The Scorpion King has just the Cliff Notes on “How to Properly Handle a Sword”.

One credit I will give to The Scorpion King is never once did I really see bloody evidence of violence. Yes, plenty of people get killed and plenty of sound effects are delivered of a sword penetrating flesh – but other than a decpated head being held high – there is no overt bloody violence in The Scorpion King. We don’t need to see blood splattering across a wall or see ketchup splashed on the camera lenses (Aka, Mel Gibson’s Braveheart). Clearly if the scribes department had been given the cue – The Scorpion King would have easily become an R rated movie – but without it it’s a family affair for at least the 13 and older crowd.

There isn’t really that much to The Scorpion King. Even in the beginning with the introduction of Balthazar one could assume that he’d return towards the end, as he does. And that, The Rock (I mean Mathayus, can’t separate the two!) would have to fight him. The action sequence is fast, there are plenty of grunts and head-butts, and even a few body slams, only to end with a knife to the throat – similar to a metal folding chair to the back.

As for the scorpion king – he doesn’t arrive until the very end – in that one moment when peace has been restored and The Scorpion King rules. Aka, time for another sequel based on a prequel, based on a sequel from a re-make. If the movie is to stay true to its past – for some reason yet unknown, The Rock will turn into a computer generated plastic-looking scorpion and snap claws with Brandon Fraser. How he turns to the dark side – only time will tell.

One last note: the movie probably is better than what I have described here. I was able to switch off my brain and enjoy the movie, the digital video and sound effects, and just lie on my floor in the comfort of my two favorite pillows and just enjoy the moment. But, once you stand up and sit in front of a computer all that what you wanted to say – but didn’t because you’d probably be kicked out of the room – comes to life. In other words -- sit back – lay back, and just enjoy the movie. Just be prepared for a little wooziness once you stand back up and always watch out for that clothesline.

Recommend this product? Yes

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