In Ancient Akkad, Mathayus grows up as the proud son of Ashur, a captain in the world-renowned military corps of Black Scorpions, first-rate bodyguards, most of which are sent to courts ... See full summary »
Since his rise to power, Mathayus' kingdom has fallen. Now an assassin for hire, he must defend a kingdom from an evil tyrant and his ghost warriors for the chance to regain the power and glory he once knew.
In an ancient time, predating the pyramids, the evil king Memnon is using the psychic powers of his sorceress Cassandra to fortell his great victories. In a last ditch effort to stop Memnon from taking over the world, the leaders of the remaining free tribes hire the assassin Mathayus to kill the sorceress. But Mathayus ends up getting much more than he bargained for. Now with the help of the trickster Arpid, tribal leader Balthazar and an unexpected ally, it's up to Mathayus to fufill his destiny and become the great Scorpion King. Written by
Someone in the snow-covered opening scene mentions Mycenaeans, a culture which did not exist yet when the movie took place. See more »
[the barbarian chieftain is holding up a skull]
We have killed Babylonians!
[the barbarians cheer, he holds up another]
We have killed Mesopotamians!
[the barbarians cheer]
But we have never had the pleasure of killing... an Akkadian.
May the gods have pity on you, for my brother will not.
[Mathayas storms in and kills the Barbarians]
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Makes The Mummy look like Battleship Potemkin but will probably satisfy teenage boys with its MTV version of a swords and sorcery adventure film
Mathayus is a legendary warrior but his people face a deadly foe in the form of Memnon and his evil army that is sweeping through the lands. Despatched to assassinate Memnon, Mathayus is forced to save a child and misses his opportunity. Fleeing the city, he kidnaps Memnon's sorcerer Cassandra (who he is also meant to kill) and heads into the desert. Deep in the Valley of the Dead, he intents to use Cassandra to draw Memnon out of the safety of his loyal city and into the desert where he will be more vulnerable and easier to kill.
Despite not being impressed at all by Mummy Returns, I thought I would veg out in front of this prequel/sequel/spin off thing which was just as well since vegging out mindlessly in front of it is pretty much all it is good for. The plot is essentially a collection of action scenes held together by some overly-serious plot with a bit of flesh and titillation thrown in just in case the teens get restless. It is very derivative and very obvious and, if you are actually paying much attention to it then you'll find it pretty tiresome at times. Of course in my brainless state I found it to be brightly colourful and noisy which was enough to keep my eyes busy and let my head rest. It would have been much more fun if the material had had its tongue in its cheek and allowed the performances to match this, but by taking itself a bit too seriously at times it only ends up looking silly.
The Rock is a solid star for this sort of thing but he isn't very versatile he needs the material to match him rather than the other way round. By having a big character in an overly serious tale, he looks ill at ease and doesn't suit it that well. Brand is a by-the-numbers villain who fills the role but not much else. Hu is undoubtedly attractive and at first I felt that she was being exploited by having her in tiny clothes and as much flesh as possible; however then I watched her performance and realised she was just playing to her strengths. Duncan takes himself too seriously and his scenes lack fun surprisingly even in the action scenes. Support from Hill, Heslov and others don't do much other than fill out the cast.
Overall then a fairly bland, uninspiring action movie that lacks excitement, tension, characters, story and indeed fun (which is where the biggest problem lies). It is probably enough of a film to satisfy teenage genre fans but I must confess that there was so little that was special that I could barely care about it when it was on and found it unmemorable by the time it was finished.
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