Wed April 17, 2002
The Scorpion King
The plot is so thin, I’m afraid to walk over it for fear of disappearing through its icy logic.
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
No one makes trashy action flicks better than Hollywood. Don’t worry about challenging your brain on "The Scorpion King." First introduced in "The Mummy Returns," the King is again played by wrestling hero "The Rock." The plot is so thin, I’m afraid to walk over it for fear of disappearing through its icy logic.
Taken from stories about a famous Egyptian warrior, "The Scorpion King" unfolds 5000 years ago in the infamous Gomorrah, ruled by a ruthless barbarian with an uncanny success in slaughtering or enslaving other tribes. The Rock is hired by the remaining tribes to assassinate the warlord’s sorceress, who has supplied him with the key visions for victory.
The Rock fights an interesting villain played by TV actor Steven Brand, whose Brit bite reminds me of a young, subtle Peter O’Toole. Rock absconds with Brand’s visionary sorceress, actress Kelly Hu, the key to ruler Brand’s martial successes. Guess who falls in love. Guess who is defeated.
The martial arts are rudimentary, despite Hu’s real life black belt and Rock’s considerable wrestling talents. She would have been more at home in "Crouching Tiger," where the fighting is ballet. Here it is just quick cutting and no blood.
The comparison with Arnold is inevitable: Well, Rock speaks more clearly and is handsomer, but Arnie makes fun of himself a whole lot better. This is a relatively short and harmless sword and sandler -— take your nearest adolescent boy and watch his eyes dart between the steroidal Rock and the buxom girlies -— Ah, Hollywood, at least you have fun.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time" and vice-chairs the board of The Film Council of Greater Columbus.