The Scorpion King [Import]
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There's nothing original in The Scorpion King, but this derivative action franchise gets off to a rousing start by cleverly stealing from a lot of better movies. Capitalizing on his brief cameo in The Mummy Returns, Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. World Wrestling Federation star the Rock) stars as Mathayus, an Akkadian assassin in the age preceding Egyptian pharaohs, who vows to avenge his brother's murder by an undefeated warlord (Steven Brand) prophesied to become the desert-ruling Scorpion King. Their battle for supremacy comprises most of the film's brisk 95-minute running time, punctuated by comic relief from Mathayus's obligatory sidekick (Grant Heslov), romance with a beautiful sorceress (Kelly Hu), and alliance with a massive Nubian (Michael Clarke Duncan) on the eve of their climactic showdown. There's no rhyme or reason to the film's depiction of ancient civilization (the costuming is particularly ludicrous), but the Rock demonstrates adequate action-star potential, and director Chuck Russell (The Mask) wraps it all in a slick, professional package. --Jeff Shannon
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Needless to say, you don't care about any of these generic Hollywood do-gooders, and there's never any doubt that they'll all come out okay in the end. Even the action sequences leave you with the feeling that that you're watching the World Wrestling Federation, where one guy might lose the fight, but he'll be back in the next episode good as new. It's not like anyone's getting gruesomely dismembered like in a real barbarian movie.
Basically, if you want to see an adventure movie, but it has to be something the kids can watch as well, you might get stuck with this. If you're looking for a real, involving adventure, get something else.
Mathayus swears revenge on Memnon because, why else, he killed his brother, and spends most of the movie falling in love with the sorceress and body slamming everyone else. Along the way he decides his second purpose is to free and unite and nomadic tribes, keeping some shred of historical value in the story.
Teaming up with a tribal king and his band of Amazon warriors, the plot culminates as Mathayus finally comes up against his nemesis in a battle to the death. And if you were thinking that because of the ancient setting you would be free of the typical fiery pyrotechnics ending, you were wrong. Yes, gunpowder was actually invented before the pyramids.
Despite a lacking script and ridiculous plot, the film has decent action and special effects. The Rock actually comes off well onscreen and his bantering lines with the comic relief character make it mildly amusing. Basically though, the main draw is watching The Rock kick butt. Did we really expect more?
The plot is nonsense of course. Ditto for costuming, architecture, and historical accuracy. But no one goes to see action films of ancient empires to quibble over anachronisms. The Rock is Mathayas, a hired assassin whose job it is to kill a sorcerer. Unfortunately, for his mission, the sorcerer turns out to be a sexy, leggy sorceress (Kelly Hu), with whom Mathayas falls predictably in love. Along the way, there are sword fights every two or three minutes. The special effects are first rate, and despite the legions of soldiers killed, no one really seems to possess any traits that would cause one to mark his passing with true emotion. In movies like this, the fun of watching the emergence of a new action star unfortunately is built on the oldest of Hollywood's gimmicks: the dispatching of hordes of extras in so a bloodless manner that the viewer soon overlooks the rather quaint notion that extras are people too. If Hollywood ever learns to build up an action hero without resorting to gratuitous bloodless violence, then it will be the first time for that.
Most recent customer reviews
This first movie is in my opinion the best of all the Scorpion King adventures, particularly Dwayne Johnson is great in this role. It fits him perfectly. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ella1
Really good, really funny too and loved it since i first saw this movie!! Always good and full of action! I recommend it!Published on Oct. 15 2013 by LiLy
this film is a prequel to both of "The Mummy"films and stars "The
Rock"(Dwayne Johnson)in the title role. Read more
a assassian in biblical times is hired to kill some big shot wizard elsewhere.rock is the assassian.the only popular character is the rock. Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by abe