The Scorpion King
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of action violence, meaning that it is not too graphic or gory. There are some vivid images, including attacking cobras, an impaled body, and a dead child. And there are very vivid sound effects making on- and off-screen violence more explicit with spurting and squishing sounds. There are sexual references and non-explicit sexual situations, including two women in a man's bed. There are no four-letter words, but there are some strong epithets.
What's the story?
Some very scary looking guys are about to kill a guy who would be even scarier-looking if he wasn't tied up. But then everyone steps back in awe of a guy who steps in looking scariest of all and as they hesitate, he cocks an eyebrow and says simply, "Boo." That is the Rock (WWF star Dwayne Johnson) and he plays Mathayus, the title role, in this prequel to the Mummy movies, giving us the background of the character who appeared briefly but memorably in the second one as half-man, half very large bug. In THE SCORPION KING, Mathayus and two others are hired by local tribes to kill the evil tyrant Memnon (Steven Brand).
Is it any good?
The Scorpion King doesn't pretend to having anything like the wit and charm of the Mummy movies, which were a loving tribute to Saturday morning serials. But it works pretty well, largely due to its star. The Rock has genuine screen presence. He even manages most of the material better than Michael Clarke Duncan who is just too much of an actor to deliver the cheesy dialogue with the right mix of sincerity and irony, and Peter Facinelli, whose thin-voiced delivery doesn't convey the necessary petulant malevolence.
There is one innovation worth mentioning. In action movies, the hero is almost always stoic, even when he gets hurt. Think of Rambo sewing up his own wounds. But the Rock, carrying over the conventions of professional wrestling, grimaces in pain when he gets hurt. It doesn't rise to the level of acting, but in a funny way I think that it adds some heart to the story.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Memnon's claim that order was better than freedom. They may also want to talk about how the sorceress protected herself from Memnon.
|Theatrical release date:||April 19, 2002|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||October 1, 2002|
|Cast:||Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Kelly Hu, Michael Clarke Duncan|
|Run time:||92 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||violence and sexual situations|