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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12
Cast
Dwayne Johnson
Steven Brand
Kelly Hu
Michael Clarke Duncan
Grant Heslov.
Directors
Chuck Russell.
Screenwriters
Stephen Sommers
Will Osborne
David Hayter.
Running Time
91 minutes

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The Scorpion King


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Plot
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...


Review
Spin-off movies are risky ventures — for every Leon there’s an Ewok Adventure. And The Scorpion King, Universal’s off-shoot of the Mummy franchise, 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 (though not for the best of reasons).

In that box office-guzzling sequel, WWF star and (eek!) bestselling author Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson played a half-man, half-scorpion beast which turned up late but stole the show (even if director Stephen Sommers berated the efforts of ILM in this very magazine). Now, the future of one of Universal’s most successful franchises has been put in the giant mitts of a professional wrestler and the uncertain hands of director Chuck Russell, whose last effort was Bless The Child.

Although the opening sequence, in which Mathayus rescues his brother from what look like aggrieved extras from Xena: Warrior Princess, bodes well, the rest of the film never matches it, despite eye candy in the shape of Hawaiian hottie Kelly Hu, and an impressive but under-used Michael Clarke Duncan. Perhaps this bit stands out because, rumour has it, 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 — and barely a scorpion or a special effect in sight. Besides, any movie too lazy to name a ‘Comedic Sidekick’ who has almost as many lines as the lead deserves universal scorn.


Verdict
Although not a patch on Mummy one or two, The Scorpion King himself comes across as Conan with charisma. If only the story was as well-developed as its leading man’s body.


Reviewed by Genevieve Harrison

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Scorpion King
Empire Star Rating

Rough

This review was harsh....watched it after the original Conan which I love....and it stands up well. Just awesome simple fun.... and Kelly Hu is pretty Steamy. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Samurai7 at 14:09, 19 December 2011 | Report This Post


the rock

the rock could have been the next big action star, but he let it slip away, in saying that i enjoyed this film, like a Burger King, good at the time but instantly regret it afterwards ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monodogg at 10:32, 08 August 2008 | Report This Post


the rock

the rock could have been the next big action star, but he let it slip away, in saying that i enjoyed this film, like a Burger King, good at the time but instantly regret it afterwards ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monodogg at 10:32, 08 August 2008 | Report This Post


excellent action performance from a raw rock. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by apbircham at 21:02, 07 October 2007 | Report This Post



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