The Scorpion King

sorceress: "If you face Memnon, you'll die! That is your destiny."
Mathayus: "I make my own destiny."

release year: 2002
genre: epic mindless action
viewing setting: home Bluray 7/24/14 and theater, 5/3/02

synopsis: One man challenges an empire.

impressions: This is the ultimate testosterone movie. It has everything, including but not limited to: swords, spears, axes, arrows, blood, guts, gore, battle, fire, magic, catapults, carnivorous fire ants, scorpions, explosions, stupid comic sidekicks, corny macho one-liners, giant fortresses, mighty sandstorms, and hot half-naked women (to be fair to the ladies, there are also plenty of beefy half-naked men for you to look at.) The plot is simple and free of needless elements, and it moves along fast - there is damn near constant action of some sort. It's fun watching the good and the evil plot, plan, advance, retreat, regroup, and finally clash in a great and violent battle. This is what "entertainment" is all about : being able to see and enjoy all of this without having to apply much attention or analysis.

things to watch for: Aside from the dozens of battles, I thought the scene with the fire ants was pretty cool.

acting: This movie has caused Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, to be compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even heralded as the NEXT Arnold Schwarzenegger. While that is debatable, the Rock does have the presence and charisma to live up to this. He does a good job here as the warrior/assassin Mathayus. Kelly Hu, as the sorceress/seer, displays a brain to go with her beauty. Steven Brand does a good job as the evilly evil king, Memnon. Michael Clarke Duncan is memorable as a giant black warrior who eventually allies himself with Mathayus; guys like this, who can lift a table and take out a dozen foes at once, are a vital part of the modern action blockbuster. There are several others who also do well in supporting roles which are fairly generic: the comic-relief complaining sidekick who can't really fight, the street-thief kid, the half-crazy old tinkerer, the #1 evil henchman.

final word: Pure entertainment. Unless you have a pressing date with "The English Patient", you will enjoy this.

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