The artifacts of ancient Egypt are always interesting to archeologist. They love to study them and try to piece these relics and pictures together into a historical context. Each piece presents Egypt as the birth place of civilization, and now, scholars are rewriting history to include information about a Scorpion King as they having found a Scorpion Tableau that tells about a battle between a Scorpion King and King Naquada to unite Northern Egypt. Archaeologist believe that the very first writing system may have been developed to catalog The Scorpion King’s riches and predates all other forms of known writings by 200 years.
That is all of this historical investigation that we have the fictional unveiling of The Scorpion King. A fearsome horde laid waste to the ancient world. Their leader, Memnon, slaughtered all who resisted him. One survivor, a warrior named Mathayus, would one day become The Scorpion King.
Hollywood has enjoyed many successes from well-built men. We’ve had Steve Reeves as Hercules, Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan and Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk. The Scorpion King is another attempt at this successful area of movie industries stock and trade in the 21st. Dwayne Douglas Johnson is casted and have done an outstanding job in this sword-and-sorcery The Scopion King as he having a likable wit and charm. Still, spin-off movies are risky ventures, and The Scorpion King is perhaps riskier than most since it takes a relatively minor character from The Mummy Returns, then, strips him of the special effects which made those movies so enjoyable and him so memorable.
The story begins with Mathayus as one of the last survivors of the Akkadians – an ancient tribe of assassins. He is hired to kill or capture the blood-thirsty warlord Memnon (Steven Brand) who is aided by a sorceress (Kelly Hu) that enables him to rule with a prophetic advantage. His kingdom headquarters are in the city of Gomorrah. Mathayus is also aided by the Balthazar (Michael Clark). The two of them try to unite the oppressed people in the land to defeat Memnon.
The Scorpion King is Dwayne’s chance to reprise his exaggerated cameo from The Mummy Returns. The movie is a prequel for Universal Studios and a financially lucrative spin of a popular franchise. It is their latest attempt at B-movie action and that cult-campy humor we love to enjoy. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s roots in this flic are found in a character named Mathayus.
The violence in The Scorpion King is way over the top for other PG-13 movies of this genre. It’s not as scary as the two Mummy movies, but Director Chuck Russell gives the swordplay a gruesome accent. The sensuality is within “one centimeter from an R-rating”. This is more than the adolescent peek-a-boo looks that Hollywood used to throw in, and add to this prostitution, there are pre-marital sex, harams and sex with more than one partner. It’s obvious what the producers are aiming at.
In the opening sequence, in which Mathayus rescues his brother from what look like aggrieved extras from Xena: Warrior Princess, bodes well. However, the rest of the movie never matches it despite the shape of Hawaiian hottie Kelly Hu and an impressive but under-used Michael Clarke Duncan. Perhaps, this bit stands out because Universal brought in Sommers to film something exciting.
Russell instead delivers a straightforward barbarian fight-fest with a fraction of the appeal of The Mummy Returns. Besides, any movie too lazy to name a ‘Comedic Sidekick’ who has almost as many lines as the lead deserves universal scorn.