In had heard nothing but pretty bad things about The Scorpion King before I saw it, but saw it anyway. Movies should be judged within context, so you can't judge this movie against all movies. You can only judge it against the sword and sorcery / fantasy genre.
And that's what I'm doing.
And it's still pretty bad.
Dwayne "THE ROCK" Johnson stars here as the title character. The last of the Arkadian people, he's basically a mercenary out to kill a sorcerer. But then things happen and lo and behold, we have a hero. Johnson does a pretty good job. He's got plenty of charisma and presence, which is why he's one of the most popular professional wrestlers ever. A good professional wrestler is at once a skilled stunt man, and actor, and first and foremost, an entertainer. Like I said, The Rock does a good job here, it was just hard sometimes difficult to see where "The Rock" ends and 'The Scorpion King" begins.
The villain of piece was ably played by Stephen Brand…but he's kinda blah, you know. He doesn't have an interesting look or an imposing presence. More imposing is Michael Clarke Duncan as a warrior. That guy is huge, but this role was kinda cheesy and I expect bigger and better things from MCD soon. The token comic relief comes in the form of Grant Heslov. He's kind of funny, but you're only as good as your material, and this script is on the bad side of ugly.
Visually, there's plenty to admire about this film, especially Kelly Hu as Cassandra. Wow. She is one gorgeous woman, and a decent actress to boot. Unfortunately this flick is marketed to kids and teens, so even though she's barely dressed throughout the movie, she's always covered up.
Actually, that's probably my biggest complaint about The Scorpion King. Sword and sorcery flicks need to be R Rated…Conan The Barbarian, The Sword and The Sorcerer both very cool fantasy flicks, and both Rated R. I'm not into the whole violence scene, but these kind of movies need some blood, you know? A hundred people probably die on screen in this flick, killed by swords and knives, but I don't remember seeing any seeing any blood. What's up with that?
I guess being brought to you by the PG-13 makers of The Mummy and THE MUMMY RETURNS, as well as being released in association with the World Wrestling Federation, required this flick be more kid friendly, but it definitely would have worked better in a more adult format.
Hey, but at least the direction by Chuck Russell was pretty good, despite spme of the CGI effects sucking badly. And then there was the music, which like Kull The Conqueror, another pretty bad example of this genre, utilized both typical fantasy score music with crunchy guitars to soothe the savage beasts in all of us. Good stuff, but I wanted more.
Some of us are never happy.