After witnessing his father's murder by the hand of the ruthless General Sargon, Mathayus travels to the Underworld to retrieve the enchanted Sword of Damocles from the dark deity, Astarte. Can he thwart the usurper's megalomaniac vision?
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 wide away. By objecting to young Mathayus joining the corps, Ashur incurs the undying enmity of ruthless generalissimo Sargon, gets killed and the orphaned knave is shipped off to a desolate training camp for six years by king Hammurabi's clemency. When he returns as a Black Scorpio, Sargon has bloodily seized the throne and demands cruel proof of blind loyalty. Mathayus refuses, becoming a chased hero. With youth friends, the resourceful Greek Pollux and various mercenary warriors, he embarks on a daring quest to obtain a legendary sword from Sargon's magical ally, the war-goddess Astarte.Written by
Not bad for what it is - a straight-to-DVD prequel
Don't take this film too seriously - the filmmakers obviously didn't. Although it's set in a period "long, long ago", most of the characters look, talk and act VERY contemporary. Equally contemporary is the use of "bullet time" in some of the fight scenes! I wouldn't count on it for a lesson in mythology, either (hmmm, and I thought the Minotaur was killed by Theseus!). And there are a few too many scenes where the characters are simply walking around, while we're waiting for something to happen. On the bright side, Russell Mulcahy is an experienced B-movie director, and the film delivers enough spectacle, with clear cinematography and some imaginative special effects (the best being the transportation from the labyrinth to Hades). The script is basically yet another "quest for vengeance" story, but it does have a nice double-twist at the end. Oh, and I hope we'll get to see more of the breathtakingly beautiful and exotic Karen David in the years to come. Wow, what a woman. Smart move to put her, and the also beautiful and exotic Natalie Becker, on the DVD cover - without those two, I would never have rented this film. (**1/2)
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