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The Scorpion King (2002)

DVD Cover (Universal)
Movie Connections:
The Mummy
> The Mummy (1932)
> The Mummy's Hand (1940)
> The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
> The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
> The Mummy's Curse (1944)
> The Monster Squad (1987)
> The Mummy (1999)
> The Mummy Returns (2001)
> The Scorpion King (2002)

The Scorpion King
> The Mummy Returns (2001)
> The Scorpion King (2002)
Adventure, Costume Adventure, Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure, Mummy Movie
Chuck Russell Chuck Russell
Dwayne Johnson Dwayne Johnson
Steven Brand Steven Brand
Michael Clarke Duncan Michael Clarke Duncan
Kelly Hu Kelly Hu
Bernard Hill Bernard Hill

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: June 04, 2017
After Dwayne Johnson's debut character was introduced in a glorified cameo in The Mummy Returns, the wrestling superstar known back then as The Rock was given the opportunity to take on a leading role in this prequel, showing us the rise of the Scorpion King.

Long before the time of the Pharaohs, a vicious king named Memnon is sweeping over the land with his armies, conquering kingdom after kingdom. With the help of a precognitive sorceress, he can see the outcome of any battle before it's fought, giving him an unstoppable edge in is conquest. Having nearly conquered the entire region, the few remaining tribes band together in a last effort to stave off Memnon's reign. Much to the chagrin of the others, the leader of this coalition has charged Mathayus the Akkadian with a special mission: assassinate this sorceress. The mission doesn't go completely as planned, but he's able to kidnap her in a second encounter. Naturally, Memnon isn't about to give up his greatest asset and those armies that steamrolled ancient Egypt are now focused solely on Mathayus.

Despite spinning off of the The Mummy franchise, The Scorpion King has absolutely none of its charm. This is a typical, early-00s action movie. It's an empty affair with a cliche story, an alt-rock soundtrack, and an adolescent sense of humor centered on lame one-liners. Let's look at this plot. A rogue warrior who's drawn into a war against a massive evil force and brings it down single-handedly. We've seen it a hundred times before and this one sure didn't do anything to separate itself from its competitors, right down to its predictable love angle. Likewise, there's nothing special about its anachronistic comedy either. I knew what kind of schlock I was in for right in the opening scene, where Mathayus reveals himself to a horde of enemies and whispers "boo". It's a facepalm-inducing moment and things sure didn't get any better as the movie rolled on. In addition to its own lack of merit, the movie takes a pretty bad hit from its Mummy connection as well. In The Mummy Returns he's a vicious warmonger bent on destruction. Here, he's a freedom fighter challenging the very archetype he apparently becomes. It doesn't make any sense and only serves as a disconnect in its place in the franchise.

Although Dwayne Johnson is now one of the biggest names in Hollywood, at this time he was known surely for his career in a WWF ring. However, considering said wrestling career is easily described as one of the most charismatic and entertaining men in the business, it should come as no surprise that he was able to put those skills to use in front of the camera. The film around him might have been a forgettable affair, but even in his first role it's easy to see how he become such a sought after star. On the secondary level, we have Michael Clark Duncan, Grent Heslov, and Kelly Hu in various stock character roles. None of them were bad per se, and given the movie around them I suppose that's the best we could hope for. Having Kelly Hu was a treat though; it's always nice seeing my Jason alumni popping up in other projects. On the villain side of the table, Steven Brand carried the warlord, Memnon, very nicely. It's kind of shame he wasn't given a better movie to shine in.

Sure, I'll admit there's some vague entertainment in the action and cliched story points, but certainly not enough to go out of your way for. And to think, as of this writing, they've made three additional Scorpion King movies to boot. 3/10.
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