5.5/10
122,147
427 user 171 critic

The Scorpion King (2002)

Trailer
1:50 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
A desert warrior rises up against the evil army that is destroying his homeland. He captures the enemy's key sorcerer, takes her deep into the desert and prepares for a final showdown.

Director:

Chuck Russell

Writers:

Stephen Sommers (story), Jonathan Hales (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,309 ( 103)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Walking Tall (2004)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A former U.S. soldier returns to his hometown to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which prompts him to clean house.

Director: Kevin Bray
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Scott, Johnny Knoxville
The Rundown (2003)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A tough aspiring chef is hired to bring home a mobster's son from the Amazon but becomes involved in the fight against an oppressive town operator and the search for a legendary treasure.

Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Christopher Walken
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The mummified body of Imhotep is shipped to a museum in London, where he once again wakes and begins his campaign of rage and terror.

Director: Stephen Sommers
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah
Gridiron Gang (2006)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Teenagers at a juvenile detention center, under the leadership of their counselor, gain self-esteem by playing football together.

Director: Phil Joanou
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell
Faster (2010)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ex-con gets on a series of apparently unrelated killings. He gets tracked by a veteran cop with secrets of his own and an egocentric hit man.

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Maggie Grace
Snitch I (2013)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son, who was imprisoned after being set up in a drug deal.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In the Far East, Alex O'Connell, the son of famed mummy fighters Rick and Evy O'Connell, unearths the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin -- a shape-shifting entity cursed by a witch centuries ago.

Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Michael Copon, Karen David, Simon Quarterman
San Andreas (2015)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter.

Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario
Pain & Gain (2013)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong.

Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie
The Mummy (1999)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.

Director: Stephen Sommers
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah
Fast Five (2011)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Dominic Toretto and his crew of street racers plan a massive heist to buy their freedom while in the sights of a powerful Brazilian drug lord and a dangerous federal agent.

Director: Justin Lin
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dwayne Johnson ... Mathayus (as The Rock)
Steven Brand ... Memnon
Michael Clarke Duncan ... Balthazar
Kelly Hu ... The Sorceress
Bernard Hill ... Philos
Grant Heslov ... Arpid
Peter Facinelli ... Takmet
Ralf Moeller ... Thorak
Branscombe Richmond ... Jesup
Roger Rees ... King Pheron
Sherri Howard ... Queen Isis
Conrad Roberts ... Chieftain
Joseph Ruskin ... Tribal Leader
Esteban Cueto ... Third Akkadian
Nils Allen Stewart ... Torturer
Edit

Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Warrior. Legend. King.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | Germany | Belgium

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Scorpion King See more »

Filming Locations:

June Lake, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,075,875, 21 April 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$91,047,077

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$165,333,180
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the final showdown between Mathyus and Memnon, Memnon says "The assassin and the sorceress. How romantic!". The line was written as a nod to another action adventure film set in a desert The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984). The film is a remake of Yojimbo (1961). See more »

Goofs

When Mathayus pulls a naked Cassandra out of the fountain, her flesh-colored shorts are visible, and somewhat see-through. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[the barbarian chieftain is holding up a skull]
Barbarian Chieftain: We have killed Babylonians!
[the barbarians cheer, he holds up another]
Barbarian Chieftain: We have killed Mesopotamians!
[the barbarians cheer]
Barbarian Chieftain: But we have never had the pleasure of killing... an Akkadian.
Jesup: [Tied up] May the gods have pity on you, for my brother will not.
[Mathayas storms in and kills the Barbarians]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, only with the Universal logo and the title for the film at the beginning. See more »

Alternate Versions

German version was shipped to cinemas prior to final certification with UIP Germany expecting a "Not under 12" rating. But the German ratings board slapped the film with a "Not under 16" rating so the film was edited for violence two days after release for the more commerical lower rating. See more »

Connections

References The Goonies (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Marching-In
Written by Sho Kosugi
Performed by The Taiko Drummers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Fun for the shear cheese of it

The ability to win over new fans is not easy when one is shoved into the limelight so quickly. After briefly appearing as The Scorpion King in Stephen Sommers' anticipated sequel The Mummy Returns (2001), Universal Studios believed that it was time to create their spin-off starring none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Originally only taking part in wrestling, Johnson was bit by the acting bug and agreed to star in this film as his feature debut. As known by many, this spin-off movie was a prequel, to a sequel of a movie that was a remake of an older movie. Sounds confusing, but it can be understood. Once you think about it, it does make sense. As for being a well-written story,..not really. There are a lot of pluses to this film but it has its drawbacks too.

As a film that tells the background to how Mathayus, The Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson) got his name, it doesn't really declare itself publicly. Yet somehow, everyone knows by the end. Originally, Mathayus belonged to a group of hired assassins during a time when a ruthless dictator known as Memnon (Steven Brand) was looking to conquer everybody and anybody. Mathayus and his fellow assassins were hired to take out Memnon and a powerful sorceress (Kelly Hu) who sees visions of the future. All the same like other assassins hired to kill, they end up getting caught caring too much. This happens when Mathayus and the sorceress become attached to each other. As an origin story, the narrative is mostly predictable. Also, since it is a prequel, audiences already have an idea of what is going to happen. However, this doesn't make the viewing experience unwatchable. Aside from the story being a touch too cliché, there are a couple of other setbacks.

The first belongs to the sorceress' powers to see into the future. There isn't any logic behind this other than it just being shown that she has these powers. In other words, the audience just has to accept this as a fact and not care about the reasoning. Yet for viewers who have a harder time shutting off their brain or are just more inquisitive, the understanding behind how she acquired her powers would've been appreciated to have. The other issue is the tone of the script, which constantly flip-flops in the midst of goofy and serious. Thus, the end result tends to be an entire cheese fest because you want to take the story seriously but can't because of how certain situations are handled. Having a character give a rather immature nod to the audience because someone went to bed with them, kind of breaks the rules on how serious a viewer can take this story. Another example is pairing up the protagonist with mildly unneeded sidekick named Arpid (Grant Haslov). Most of his comments are just too obvious to be even said.

As for who wrote those moments into the script, it most likely belonged to William Osborne (best known for writing Twins (1988) & everyone's hated Stallone film Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)). The other writing credits belong to Stephen Sommers (rightfully so) and David Hayter (X-Men (2000), X-Men 2 (2003) & Watchmen (2009)). So it's not like every writer behind this production didn't have the credentials. The directing was also headed competently by the underrated Chuck Russell (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), The Blob (1988) remake & The Mask (1994)). Even with its cheese factor, the main cast is able to perform okay. Dwayne Johnson was no doubt the right choice to be Mathayus because what would a spin-off origin movie be if the actor doesn't return to play the role he made? Steven Brand is a worthy opponent to Johnson but it probably would've been an even better idea if Michael Clarke Duncan (who plays along side Johnson) was the enemy. It just would've been a better showdown.

Kelly Hu is attractive in her own right and doesn't give a bland performance either. The rest of the cast (including Grant Haslov) also act okay but nothing that is of much importance. They do help near the end and add to the overall cheese at times but they a necessity. Cinematography was ably contributed by John R. Leonetti who was able to mimic Adrian Biddle's work from Sommers' The Mummy (1999) universe. There are lots of desert shots, while the set pieces appear grand and ancient. The action was also well choreographed and since sword fights aren't exactly the most used types of action sequences; it entertains. For the musical score, John Debney composed behind the film. For this listening experience, Debney uses a blend of organic orchestra with what also sounds like occasional rock/pop beats. This was probably used in order to accommodate Johnson's fans but the beats actually don't mess with the score too much. The action cues sound appropriate with the scene it follows and it's in line with the genre. If the story to this movie was taken a little more seriously, this probably would've entertained more.

Its script is not clear on everything and its unequal tone makes the actors look occasionally cheesy on film. It's okay in some ways and others not so much. Luckily, the camera-work, action, music and main cast are able to manipulate it in their favor to entertain on very mindless level.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 427 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed