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Scorpion King, The Movie Review

originally posted many years ago

Groan. The Scorpion King, directed by Chuck Russell (Bless the Child), must
come from some parallel universe in which every movie is a turkey. In that
alternate world, it strives to be king. Unlike Battlefield Earth, which was
so laughably bad that it was almost enjoyable at times, The Scorpion King is
stupefyingly terrible from beginning to end. Starring the WWF wrestler
known as 'The Rock', the movie can best be thought of as a non-stop, violent
video game for 12-year-old boys who love watching the WWF's choreographed
mayhem.


For those of you who have never cultivated a taste for professional
wrestling, you will probably remember 'The Rock' from The Mummy Returns, in
which he had a small role. The Scorpion King is a spin off from The Mummy's
lucrative franchise.

Perhaps the movie's biggest surprise is that it took only four writers,
Jonathan Hales, David Hayter, William Osborne and Stephen Sommers to come up
with something this awful. Typical of the homilies it gives us is "Live
well. Die well." Dramatic moments merit such treasures as, "I've come for
the woman -- and your head."

An instant candidate for worst-of-the-year lists, it doesn't have anything
on its mind other than brawling with big knives and shiny swords. The setup
has Mathayus ('The Rock') fighting Memnon (Steven Brand) to the death in a
long series of battles. (Mathayus eventually wins the title of Scorpion
King, and shortly thereafter sets us up for a sequel.) Kelly Hu is on board
as a character called Cassandra. Her only purpose is to show off as much of
her breasts as possible in a PG-13 movie. Michael Clarke Duncan, as
Balthazar, comes to Mathayus's aid, and Grant Heslov plays Mathayus's
canonical comedic sidekick.

Still, if you are a 12-year-old boy -- plus or minus a year or two -- this
is just the motion picture for you, filled with mindless moments of
breathtaking idiocy but with lots of action.

The Scorpion King runs 1:25. It is rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of
action violence and some sensuality" and would be acceptable for kids around
10 and up.

My son Jeffrey, who just turned 13, gave it *** 1/2. He liked the sets, the
costumes, the cleavage, the story and the action.
The film opens nationwide in the United States on Friday, April 19, 2002.

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