Published on April 22nd, 2002 | by Erich Becker0
Review: The Scorpion King
While a heated dispute on the Entertainmentopia Forums over the past few days as to the acting merits of Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) all of those doubts and inhibitions can be put to rest after viewing last weekend’s The Scorpion King, because without The Rock, this just wouldn’t be a good movie. Take what I say with a grain of salt, but The Rock can act, and act very well. While the script of The Scorpion King doesn’t leave much room for a story, or fleshed out lines and character development we are used to seeing in the two previous movies in The Mummy franchise, King uses the amazing screen presence of The Rock, and some over the top action to get the job done.
The Scorpion King tells the story of Mathayus (The Rock), one of three professional assassins left of an ancient race that live in the desert badlands of Egypt before the time of the pharaohs and the pyramids. Mathayus is hired by a coalition of the remaining nomadic clans to seek out the sorceress (Kelly Hu) being held by Memnon, the evil ruler of the land. He uses the sorceresses powers to win every battle, and is slowly conquering the known land. When Mathayus discovers her, he kidnaps the beauty and retreats to the safety of the desert.
After a series of action-filled battles, and one very cool outing in a cave during a sand storm, the movie makes its way to the final battle at the city of Gomorrah where some of the movies’ best action sequences take place.
The Scorpion King is like a low-budget Mummy because of it’s small $60 million dollar value. The special effects are notably toned down when compared to the two previous movies in the series, and the movie is also notably shorter. On the plus side, Universal, the studio releasing this movie, should not have any trouble making the movie into a very nice cash cow.
The acting from most of the supporting characters is on par with the cheese flavored acting of the first two movies, nothing should be taken very seriously for the fact that it isn’t meant to be. The movie rides on the cheese-factor to give it the edge to stand out from all of the other movies set in ancient Egypt. While the movie theatre I saw this in had the volume way to low for such an action fest, it still was a great show.
The only thing that really bugs you about it is you know what happens to the character in the later movie. Wanting him to win and become king makes you feel like you are going for the bad guy, which is almost sad because I like the character more as a good guy than anything else, but that is just me, and I have been told I am a nut-case sometimes.
You will have to look beyond some of the major inconsistencies in the character between the early scenes in The Mummy Returns and the entire Scorpion King movie, but what you get in the end is an enjoyable movie experience that you can get a tub-o-butter a Cherry Pepsi and enjoy one and a half hours of guilty entertainment.
Closing Note: The Scorpion King was number one on opening weekend with an estimated $36.2 million dollars.