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The Scorpion King

Release Date: 
Star Rating: 
2 out of 10
Maybe we’re out of the loop, but isn’t it customary that the cheesy amusement-park stunt show comes out after the movie, rather than being passed off as the movie? You know how those things always feature some low-rent stunt man in a bad costume dodging explosions—well, replace “low-rent stunt man” with “The Rock” and you’ve got The Scorpion King. (Actually, no need to replace that at all.)

Mark this day down on your calendar, because we’ve never said this before and we’ll likely never say it again: We miss Brendan Fraser. The original Mummy movies were cornball fun because they had that Indiana Jones–esque adventure to cut down on some of the even cornier sword-and-sorcery elements. The Scorpion King is all sword-and-sorcery bollocks with no chaser, and it takes place in that magical Hollywood “ancient time” when Near Eastern rulers were British guys with mullets and leather pants. We had no idea the foundation of that culture came from the Manchester club scene. Now, we realize the Mummy movies weren’t exactly Discovery Channel documentaries, but The Scorpion King can’t help but feel like a bloodier Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. We’re sure The Rock will get better roles as, um, a guy who beats the stuffing out of people. (What? You think he’s going to jump right into Robert Altman films?) So let’s call this one beginning’s bad luck and be done with it.