THE SCORPION KING
STARRING: The Rock, Steven Brand, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kelly Hu
2002, 94 Minutes, Directed by: Chuck Russell
At the beginning of The Scorpion King a man hit by an arrow fired by the
hero flies through the air as if a gigantic hand swatted him. Now I have
seen people in movies reacting like this to the force of a shotgun or
cannonball blast, but an arrow fired from a bow? This is novel. I may have dozed
off during my physics class, but logic dictates that an arrow - now matter
how fast it travels - would at most probably pass straight through a human
body. But like I said, I never paid much attention in physics class . . .
The makers of The Scorpion King probably didn't either, but at least
they are not trying to sell us the guy flying through the air. Instead The
Scorpion King has its tongue tucked firmly in its cheek. The film-makers
are also not taking this piece of hokum derived from Sword & Sorcery pics such as Conan the Destroyer and the Indiana Jones movies (but
supposedly "inspired" by a character from The Mummy Returns,
itself a hugely unoriginal piece of work) seriously either.
"It is a Saturday matinee flick and nothing more," they seem
to be saying. In that they are right, and to its credit, The Scorpion King
never tries to be anything else. It is after all a movie about a super
powerful (though not superhuman) assassin played by The Rock, a Wrestling
champion with minimum acting capabilities, squaring up against an evil
dictator in ancient times. Along the way he picks up a scantily dressed
female sidekick played by TV star Kelly Hu (however due to the PG rating,
there are no gratuitous nudity alas).
Fast-moving and at times funny, The Scorpion King becomes a bit of a
drag towards the end as the endless sword fights just carries on for too
long and gets repetitious. It's a load of cheesy nonsense all right, but if
you're in the mood for some brainless entertainment then The Scorpion King
might just fit the bill . . .