Movie Reviews: The Scorpion King




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     Universal (90 min.)
     Action-adventure set 5,000 years ago in the notorious city of Gomorrah.
     The Rock, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kelly Hu, Steven Brand
     PG 13
Bottom Line:


All of those who remember the Scorpion King from the third act in "The Mummy Returns" raise your hands.


You might have rely on that dusty memory to get you through "The Scorpion King" the movie.

How so?

Because all the wizardry, special-effects and camp that made the current "Mummy" series a guilty pleasure is absent from this film.

With his signature arched eyebrow, WWF muscleman The Rock reprises his role as Mathayus, the legendary Egyptian warrior known as the Scorpion King. Mathayus is hired by terrorized nomadic tribes whose populace are being wiped out by a ruthlessly ambitious warlord named Memnon (Steven Brand) who believes he’s destined to rule the scattered peoples of the desert.

Mathayus sets out to kill Memnon and his sorcerer, whose visions Memnon uses to inspire his army. Every five minutes the Rock is unsheathing his sword and chopping up so many baddies, even "Blade" fans will be impressed.

However, when Mathayus finally meets the evil sorcerer, he discovers the visionary is a beautiful woman (Kelly Hu). Rather than eliminate her, Mathayus kidnaps her.

Again, "The Scorpion King" isn’t as visual or as campy as "The Mummy," but it does have a blaring hard rock soundtrack - which is somewhat campy in a biblical sense, since the story happens in Gomorrah. And surprisingly, The Rock really can act when he’s holding something other than a WWF script. Which is good news since "The Scorpion King" is the season’s first action-packed Saturday matinee popcorn muncher. A word of caution, however: If you're going to see "The Scorpion King" at full evening prices, take along the Tums for heartburn relief.



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