The Rock was too busy making kiddie flicks so he didn’t have time to star in this direct to DVD prequel to 2002’s The Scorpion King, which itself was a prequel to 2001’s The Mummy Returns; the sequel to 1999’s The Mummy, which was a remake of the 1932 Boris Karloff film. Phew!
Instead of The Rock we got the kid who played the Blue Power Ranger starring as the Scorpion King. He kinda looks like The Rock if The Rock went on one of those Tom Hanks in Cast Away diets and lost 100 pounds of muscle mass then gave himself one of those Emo haircuts. At least he can raise The People’s Eyebrow in a serviceable enough manner.
Anyway, the plot of this mother is Scorpion King is a lot younger and skinnier than ever before and he wants to prove himself by growing up and becoming a great warrior like his old man. When the evil Sargon (played by Ultimate Fighting Champion Randy Couture) murders his father, his brother AND his king, he does what any good soldier would do, which is hop on a boat to Egypt, make friends with a whole bunch of annoying side characters who hang around and eat up screen time, battle a minotaur, run through an ever-changing maze and steal a sword from a MILFy looking witch. Then he’s finally ready to get a little payback; only he didn’t know that Sargon had the power to change into an invisible scorpion and…
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Randy Couture turns into an invisible scorpion at the end of this movie. How fucking hilarious is that shit? I mean it’s not ENTIRELY invisible because you can see quick glimpses of it whenever it runs through fog or smoke; but for all intensive purposes, the fucker’s invisible. It’s probably a good thing too considering how horrible the effects were for The Scorpion King monster from The Mummy Returns. The filmmakers are probably better off with a goofy invisible scorpion monster than a goofy scorpion monster that looks like it escaped from a Nintendo 64 game.
I don’t know about you, but whenever the weight of your movie is on the shoulders of a Power Ranger, you can only do but so much. Maybe that’s why the screenwriters gave him an overabundance of supporting characters like the weasly poet guy and the acrobatic Asian. He also gets the obligatory love interest chick who can fight like a man too. She’s not much in the looks department though and seems like she’d fit right in on a Tuesday night riding the stripper pole at Lui’s Canton Inn. (Except that she doesn’t have any skanky tattoos. Or tract marks. Or C-Section scars.) Couture isn’t bad as the villain and is about as good an actor as say, John Cena. If he had been the hero, the flick might’ve been something; though I’m not completely sure what.
And Randy, I know they offered you some decent dough to appear in this thing, but under no circumstances should you have to lower yourself to being beaten up by the Blue Power Ranger. I know that this is a movie and we have to suspend our disbelief, but I’m sorry; there is just no way that the fucking Blue Power Ranger could kick the ass of the Ultimate Fighting Champion.
Lame heroes and invisible monsters aside, this flick ain’t that shabby for a direct to DVD cash-in. There is an adequate amount of action as well as a semi-respectable “Underworld” sequence in which the Scorpion King runs around a swamp filled with Lucio Fulci style zombies. Russell Mulcahy was an ideal choice to direct this puppy since it features nearly everything he’s done previously in films before. Since this movie features swordfights (Highlander), slobbering monsters (Razorback), zombies (Resident Evil: Extinction), and weapons with a mind of their own (The Shadow), this was like a walk in the park for him.
In fact, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink fantasy aspects of this movie reminded me a little bit of Krull in a way. (Except there was no Glave. Or Cyclops. Or Beast.) I really think the flick had the potential to be entertaining; it’s just too bad that they were trying to do Conan on a Hercules budget. It DOES however feature some of the best barbarians fighting invisible monsters scenes since Cave Dwellers and it’s a Hell of a lot better than The Mummy Returns, I’ll give it that.
The annoying poet guy gets the best line when he says, “I just stepped in someone!"