Thursday, June 2, 2016

Movie Review: "The Scorpion King" (2002)

Image Source
Movie"The Scorpion King"
Director: Chuck Russell
Year: 2002
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Akkadian assassin Mathayus (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is hired to kill the evil ruler Memnon's (Steven Brand) sorceress (Kelly Hu), who is able to foresee the outcome of a battle before it ever happens. 

"The Scorpion King" is a spin-off and prequel of "The Mummy" series. It is directed by Chuck Russell and stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, who is reprising his role as the titular character of Mathayus the Scorpion King from "The Mummy Returns." This movie, though not his debut, marks the first starring role for the WWE superstar. Given the obvious amount of clear on-screen charisma and charm, Johnson manages to display just how clear it is that this wholly mediocre movie was able to start the transition of 'The Rock' from pro-wrestler to genuine movie star. With a sarcastic wit and flashy smile, Mathayus goes on a mission for hire to kill Memnon's sorceress. The Rock might give it his all here, but what he's working with is a clear mixed bag.

There's no doubt this film exists as purely a mindless popcorn flick to appeal to 14-year old male WWE wrestling fans. It is loaded with cheesy dialogue and a lot of over-the-top action, especially the opening action scene, which is exaggerated far beyond any of the other action in the film. With a slightly more modest budget than either of "The Mummy" films, "The Scorpion King" has far less CGI and utilizes more practical effects. However, when the movie does use CGI, it still looks pretty bad and very dated, not giant scorpion monster in "The Mummy Returns" bad and dated, but bad nonetheless. And The Rock doesn't digitally raise his eyebrow, so there's that. The practical effects range from really intricate looking objects to cheaply made ones you might find at a party store as part of an "Egyptian Halloween costume."

Despite all of the faults of this flick, it does have a modicum of entertaining qualities, mostly thanks to its rising, shining star. It does have the occasional (albeit unintentional) laugh and a few genuinely fun moments. It only received modest box office success and a less than mediocre critical reception, and it also went on to spawn numerous far worse straight-to-DVD sequels often starring random MMA fighters. In the end, this movie is relatively harmless, but it does feel unnecessarily long despite its run time. Though it may be a nostalgic guilty pleasure for some, it definitely doesn't hold up well. Don't go into a movie like "The Scorpion King" looking for depth or the answers to life's questions, and if you try to turn your brain off going into it, you'll probably have a reasonable time and enjoy it for what it is.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 41%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment