The Scorpion King
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Adventure rules! As the spectacular Mummy series explodes into a new realm of breathtaking, non-stop action in The Scorpion King! Unleashing WWE superstar The Rock as the most feared warrior of the ancient world, The Scorpion King plunges you into a sweeping tale filled with stunning fight sequences, awe-inspiring battles and pulse-pounding thrills. It's the ultimate special effects-powered epic and the must-see-and-see again adventure of the year!
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Mathayus manages to grab the sorceress and escape with her. But instead of killing her, he falls in love, then fights Memnon to keep her. The great Nubian Balthazar (the late Michael Clarke Duncan) is an ally that Mathayus has at last befriended. Together they attack Memnon's fortress city.
What makes this movie good is the interaction between The Rock and Hu. They are extremely likeable characters. And they seem to fit together. There is plenty of action and fighting which carry this rather brief film along. Hill, Heslov and Clarke give good believable performances and the movie has humor in it, even in some of the fight scenes. With these guys after him, Memnon's chances are like a snowball in hell.
I especially like the final scene where Mathayus is standing victorious with the sorceress by his side, with the Sumerian pillars, fires burning and the moon in the background. It reminded me of a Frank Franzetta painting.
The movie was great. Director Chuck Russell did an outstanding job. I enjoyed it very much.
Perhaps it should be called a "legendary" film instead of "fantasy", for it really contains no "magic" (unless you consider "prophecy" to be "magic" -- even the sorceress is really just a psychic), but otherwise it has all the typical trappings: assassins, thieves, amazons, barbarians, a prophecy (or two), a throne to be won, etc. Films of this type seem to fail in at least one of the following areas, while TSK excelled:
1) Casting was brilliant: The Rock was unexpectedly good, and every character not only matched his stereotype, but performed so well that one forgets it IS a stereotype.
2) Special Effects were outstanding: neither corny nor outrageous.
3) Humor was perfectly integrated: TSK takes itself seriously, but injects humor at just the right places to keep the film from becoming either too serious or too absurd.
4} The Story was focused: Characters have good reasons for doing what they do, and do what they have good reasons to do. Incidentally, there was neither need nor excuse for divine or magical intervention; even the prophecies' fulfillment was logical and seamless.
TSK manages to combine all of the usual stereotypes and come out with a "typical" fantasy that is anything but typical. Even if it is "just" a legendary film, it is well done and quite entertaining. DVD quality was superb.
Certainly worth a look, but don't have any great expectations as to award winning presentation.
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