"I went into "The Scorpion King" with pretty low expectations. Being a lover of the first two "Mummy" films, I was terribly disappointed, like many, to learn that the next film in the series would be a prequel and not involve the usual charming cast of Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. I also went in expecting The Rock to be boring, cheesy, and annoying. It seemed to me that "The Scorpion King" would serve one purpose, to show off The Rock's fighting ability (like we don't know already).Boy was I wrong! "The Scorpion King" turned out to be a top quality action flick! It was funny and filled with plenty of the witty humor that made "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" such enjoyable films. The story was actually quite exciting and involving, quite the opposite of what I expected!Believe it or not, The Rock was oddly charming in his role as Mathayus, The Scorpion King. I actually ended up really loving him! Mathayus's jittery sidekick, Arpid (Grant Heslov) steals the show! Heslov is so charming and utterly hilarious, it's almost as if he was made for this role! My only complaint as far as acting goes is that of Kelly Hu, who plays the sorceress (and Mathayus's love interest). Her lines were cheesy to begin with, but an actress of greater talent could've delivered them with more enthusiasm and character. The movie begins rather unimpressively with Mathayus rescuing his brother from some barbaric enemies. The fight sequence was fantastic, but what really turned me off about this scene (and made me question how good the rest of the film would be) was when Mathayus came barreling in to save his brother with his bow in hand and said "Boo" and everyone started screaming. Come on; how cheesy and clichéd is that line? Thank God the rest of the movie isn't like that!Here's a quick summarization of the plot:Mathayus is hired by a band of rebels to murder the wizard who is helping the evil Memnon win battles by seeing into the future for him. Mathayus is set on completing his mission until he sees the wizard, who is actually the beautiful witch Cassandra. Because of Mathayus's hesitation, Memnon's guards capture him and are about to kill him when Cassandra announces that she has had a vision and he is not to die by "Memnon's hand or any that he orders". Yeah, right. The movie takes off from there.Yes, this movie is dumb and ridiculous, but it somehow manages to rise above that to bring us a truly enjoyable film."The Scorpion King" is short but sweet, running at a convenient 90 minutes.Rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of action violence and some sensuality". Would be acceptable for around 10 and up."
Great action, good story.
James Robert Dator | Greensboro, NC USA | 04/18/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When WWF superstar 'The Rock' decided to use his worldwide wrestling stardom as a segue into acting it was an enormous risk that paid off in 'The Mummy returns', but now it's time for Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to step out in his own film, a prequel to the 'Mummy', 'The Scorpion' king.The film was released on the 17th April in Australia and I had the chance to catch the first session in the country, and I have to admit I was very exited. I mean who wouldn't be? 'The Mummy' and 'The Mummy Returns' that have been dubbed `silly' by many were I feel two fabulous films. A wonderful mixture of action, comedy, romance and overall fun. 'The Scorpion King' follows this same formula, but misses the mark ever so slightly and thus loses marks in my books. The film takes place before any of the pyramids have been built, back in the ancient land where warlord Memnon has conquered all the lands of the Old Kingdom, and where few people stand to fight his forces. When the scorpion king and his brother are sent to assassinate Memnon's sorcerer (who provides much of his power) they are caught and the scorpion king's brother is killed. This needless to say makes him very mad, and yearning for revenge. The story from here takes a turn when the scorpion king kidnaps the sorceress and consequently they fall in love.The biggest plus the film offers is the amazing fight scenes, which are some of the best seen in a long time. In fact for a movie that has a run time of 110 minutes, probably 40 minutes of this is just the fighting. Wrestling fans may perhaps be disappointed that 'The Rock' doesn't do one 'Rock Bottom' or a 'People's elbow' is the course of the film, but in my mind this may have made the film feel a little hokey, relying on the wrestling angle too much.So where does the problem fit in? Well 'The Scorpion King' isn't directed by Stephen Sommers (director of 'The Mummy' and 'The Mummy returns') and believes me it shows. The screenplay has all the wit and sparkle the other films had, but often the directing lets it down, at times making the story line fit into the action, rather than the other way around. Occasionally the film suffers for this. 'The Rock' Dwayne Johnson puts in a commanding performance as 'The Scorpion King' and in my mind his style can be likened to Arnold Schwartzenegger, hey, lets not forget just as 'The Rock' is using wrestling as his foot in the door Arnie did the same with his bodybuilding. His characterization is commanding and his knowledge of choreographed action is visible, as the fight scenes are some of the best around. It also need to be seen the Michael Clarke Duncan ('The Green Mile') playing Balthazar is hilarious, I mean the guy is 'The Rock's' biggest fan in real life and here they are fighting together.Arguably the most popular character in the other two films was Jonathan (John Hannah) in 'The Scorpion King' the character is rehashed in the form of an all but nameless horse thief. Admittedly the character is hilarious, but on occasion his quips fall a little flat, plus part of Jonathan's charm in the other films is his flawed British attitude towards life.While 'The Scorpion King' lacks some of the charm 'The Mummy' and 'The Mummy returns' possessed the film is nevertheless competent. The fight scenes are amazing and it easily holds up to any other action film out there. Even more so the film may serve Vince McMahon (executive producer) a way to gain some of his lost funds after the failure of XFL. This film is one that has to be watched in order to see the first major work of one of the futures greatest action stars in Dwayne Johnson. Overall a 3.5 star film."
Easy on the brain, good fun
David Koski | San Jose, CA United States | 04/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you liked Kull the Conqueror, I am sure you will enjoy the Scorpion King. It has a lot of the same tongue in cheek action/comedy elements. In theory it is a prequel to The Mummy Returns, although the connection is week. It is not as over the top and action packed as The Mummy Returns, but I enjoyed every minute of it.Wrestling superstar, The Rock, plays Matthias the Acadian who is a pretty dangerous fellow. The opening sequence was incredible - Matthias rescues his brother from the evil horde of crooked-teeth-folks single handedly. The bow that fires five arrows at once and knocks the people halfway across their camp was just what I was hoping to see. Unfortunately this same type of action is really not repeated later in the movie, it tends to get more realistic (hah, I feel ashamed for saying that, but note the use of the word more). Also, I have to admire the ancient sub-bikini styles and technology. From what I saw, modern times have really lost a lot in that area.If you are looking for some good old fashioned entertainment, then I find no shortcomings in this movie. If you are looking for high drama or an intriguing plot, look elsewhere."
sweetmolly | RICHMOND, VA USA | 12/04/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I went into this movie cold. I had no idea who "The Rock" was (I'd read about him, but somehow did not connect him with this film) I did not know "The Scorpion King" was supposed to be a prequel of the Mummy movies, neither of which I had seen. So me and my popcorn had a clear, unbiased mind.The setting is long, long ago. Gommorah is still in business and gunpowder has yet to be invented. Arkkadian Assassin Mathayus (the Rock) has been hired to kill a sorcerer whose predictions are far too dependable. Mathayus' brother is tortured to death, and he vows revenge. When he discovers the sorcerer is a gorgeous young lady in a harem costume, he "liberates" her. His steed is a camel, the odds against him are never less than 50 to 1, and he lays them out like dominoes. After 90 minutes of mayhem, the good guys win the kingdom, the castle and the babe.Dwayne Johnson was a charmer in this potboiler. He has almost too good a sense of humor (I thought he was going to crack up a few times over his ridiculous lines. Shades of Crosby and Hope in a "Road" picture!) His face is expressive, his movements agile, and he is definitely eye candy. I wish him well in a movie career. I think he would be a fine action hero. I felt sorry for his sidekick, Philos (Bernard Hill). The script was so bad that the feeble jokes he was forced to utter wouldn't get a giggle out of a pre-schooler. With the exception of a few reprehensible villains and mighty Balthazar (Michael Clarke Duncan), the cast was uniformly beautiful right down to the starving children. The action is non-stop, so time passes quickly and all in all, I had a good time. "The Scorpion King" makes a good non-think rental. Laugh along with The Rock.
Good movie, great product!
T-Man | Virginia Beach, VA | 01/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I liked this movie for its action and ancient civilization plot. I could care less if anything is historically accurate. I like the tough characters, the plot of betrayal, the oppression of the weak. My only criticism of this movie is that many people, especially The Rock, act too modern. Many commanding people have to appear strong, tough, and superior. The actor who plays Memnon, the bad guy, does a good job at this.
As for the DVD, the HD DVD industry strikes again! I love the fact that it is making hybrid discs, with HD on one side, standard on the other, so you can build an HD DVD collection even before you get an HD player. And, unlike the Blu-ray, you get ALL the special features that the standard DVD has, even if it's not a hybrid disc. Blu-ray movies have erased many of the special features that the standard DVDs have. GO HD DVD. Fight Blu-ray!"