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The Scorpion King (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

A movie directed by Chuck Russell

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"Live free. Die well."

  • Nov 16, 2006
Pros: Entertaining; outtakes, yay!

Cons: Funny where it shouldn't have been

The Bottom Line: Wasn't serious enough to be taken seriously - or at least it didn't feel like it.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

If you’ve seen it, think of Conan The Barbarian for a minute. Huge, muscled, sword-wielding dude striving to defeat evil during the days of Samarians. That movie wasn’t meant to be funny. Now let’s take The Scorpion King. Huge, muscled, sword-wielding dude striving to defeat evil during the days of…well, early tribes before the days of golden Egypt and pharaohs. I don’t think this movie was meant to be funny either…but it, ah, kind of was.

There are only three Akkadians left in the world; Mathayus, his brother, and another tribe member. They specialize in assassinations, and have just been hired by a group of scattered tribe leaders to kill someone very important – a wizard. This wizard foretells the outcome of every battle for a man named Memnon. It is Memnon who is taking control of every man, woman, and child, and slaughtering any who stand in his way.

It is during the attack what Mathayus finds himself in an ambush, leading to the deaths of his tribe member and brother. He manages to escape, and from then on has plans to return – maybe this time he’ll forget about the wizard and go right for Memnon instead, plans that lead to something much bigger than he’d ever dreamed of.

Righto, so it doesn’t sound funny, but it is. No offense to The Rock, or anyone who enjoys him, but he doesn’t really seem to fit the part. I can’t quite take him seriously as the badass Akkadian killer he’s supposed to be. I’m not going to deny that he looks good holding a sword, looking menacing, and with nothing but barbarian-style pants on, but he’s still The Rock. He even does his little eyebrow cocking thing when he finds himself in a room full of ladies hoping for a piece of him. It’s funny, but it’s his trademark, so it distinctly takes him out of character. I think the whole deal is that it’s just too cliché. There are Amazon-like women involved, it’s obvious who The Rock is going to hook up with, the near-end shot of him with his woman and the full moon shining behind them. It has cheap fantasy/romance novel written all over it.

Now, it isn’t a bad movie. Trust me – I’ve seen much, much worse (try Kull the Conqueror with Kevin Sorbo on for size), but it’s almost like an upbeat, funny version of Conan. I can’t take it seriously in any sense of the word. However, aside from the clichés and amusements, it’s very clear, vibrant movie, with well done special effects and acting that is on par with the movie. Steven Brand made a good Memnon and actually felt like the most serious part of the movie, Kelly Hu as Cassandra did well with what she had to work with, but like most others, wasn’t all that magical. Grant Heslov as Arpid, the horse thief, semi-decent comedy relief (not like we needed one), and I actually liked Peter Facinelli as Takmet – his betraying jerk-like sentiment is nicely done, so he falls second to Memnon (no pun intended).

It has its ups and downs, and I honestly think it could have been better than it was. If you look at some of the deleted scenes, you can see they were indeed trying to get rid of some of the cliché material. Then of course, there is the inconsistency with Mathayus’s good nature and the way The Mummy Returns starts out, with him attempting to conquer everything just like Memnon, but we’ll pretend like we didn’t know about that…


P.S. I friggin’ love outtakes.

While not an entry, this has been an official Lean n’Mean review, a concept brought to you by sleeper54.

Related Movies
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns


Viewing Format: DVD

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More The Scorpion King reviews
review by . March 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
      THE SCORPION KING      Dwayne Johnson has come along way since his wrestling days as far as the movies are concerned. I personally have always liked "The Rock" especially when he was a heel in wrestling, so when I heard he was going to be in "The Mummy Returns" it seemed a natural fit. Maybe some day I will get into that movie but my over all feeling from him was he did a good job with his first role. As a pro wrestler it seems a …
Quick Tip by . March 12, 2011
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This movie is an enjoyable one but this is not the classic it could have been but at least it is better than most of the things out there. As far as The Rock's first starring film he did a good job and you could see back then that we was on his way to becoming a star. And for those wondering or if you do not know this is a WWE or at the time WWF film, Vince McMahon is an executive producer on this film. This is a fun movie that I would recommend to lovers of action flicks or people who like …
review by . May 25, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
It took me forever to finally rent this movie. I'm a huge fan of action and costume movies, and this one had both.  This is packed with quirky humor ( just like bits of it in the mummy) and great fighting seqences. The Rock is a good actor, i must say. There wasn't one moment where I was thinking "god, he can't act".  I've been a big fan of Kelly Hu since she was seen on Martial Law, a series with Samo Hung, canceled a few years ago.  I think she can fight better than …
review by . April 16, 2002
Pros: Some good action can be fun     Cons: Nothing original here     The Bottom Line: Nothing original here but can vbe a fun Popcorn Film     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. The spin off like the sequel has long been a staple of Hollywood. Simply put, if a show is a success, and if sequels are pending, then a new creation using situations, characters, or events from the original may be a success …
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Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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About this movie


There's nothing original inThe 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 inThe 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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Director: Chuck Russell
Release Date: April 19, 2002
DVD Release Date: October 1, 2002
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
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