The Scorpion King Review
By Shawn McKenzie 04/16/2002
I am predicting that many critics are going to hate The Scorpion King. Why? The movie follows what I like to call the "Last Action Hero rules" of action movies. What is that? It is any action movie that forgoes logic and complete believability for the sake of fun and adrenaline.
Now I don't necessarily disapprove of this practice. I never really expected The Scorpion King to be a think-piece. I hate to use a clich? but I was just looking for some "high-octane fun." I don't need everything in a movie to make complete sense to enjoy it, if it is a movie that was never intended to be more than a pure popcorn flick. That is what this movie was, and I had fun watching it.
If you are not familiar with the history of this movie, let me get you up to speed. The Scorpion King is a prequel to last year's The Mummy Returns, which is a sequel to 1999's The Mummy, which is a remake of a movie that came out almost 70 years ago!
Even if you have never seen any of those movies, you can still see The Scorpion King. It makes no reference to those movies, though if you have seen The Mummy Returns, you may get "Episode I syndrome" (this is a reference to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, where the whole time you are rooting for young Anakin to succeed, you can't get out of your head that he is the future Darth Vader.) My brother went with me to this movie and afterward he commented to me how he thought it was weird to think that the character we just finished cheering on will go on to be the nemesis of Brendan Fraser & Co.
What is the movie about (or does it really matter?) Well, there isn't a huge complicated back-story. Mathayus, a.k.a. the Scorpion King (played by Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock) is an assassin who, with his brother, is hired by a group to kill a king's prophet who has been predicting the outcome of battles for the king, named Memnon (played by Steven Brand.) The prophet turns out to be the hottie Cassandra (played by Kelly Hu.) In the assassination attempt, his brother is killed. Instead of killing Cassandra, he kidnaps her to draw out the king to kill him out of revenge for his brother. Mathayus, along with Cassandra and a goofy sidekick, meet up with another group of rebels led by Balthazar (played by Michael Clarke Duncan) and do battle with Memnon's army. Oh the fun flows!
In the end, if you are looking for a movie that is just a fun, action-packed no-brainer, check out The Scorpion King. Don't expect it to be realistic, just a pleasant diversion. Did you really expect more from a movie starring a wrestler?
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