Starring: The Rock, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kelly Hu
Written by: Stephen Sommers, Jonathan Hales, William Osborne, David Hayter
Directed by: Chuck Russell
The Scorpion King went into development during the filming of The Mummy Returns, after the film's producers saw the initial footage of The Rock's (Be Cool, The Rundown) performance in his small role. If there were any concerns on their part about giving a leading role in a large budget to an actor who was trying the always unpredictable art of crossing over from one medium to another, they were likely soothed by The Rock's critical and popular success in two appearances on Saturday Night Live.
The Scorpion King also takes on the challenge of taking The Rock's villainous character from The Mummy Returns and turning him into the hero of his own story. To do this, the story goes back to the days when Mathayus (The Rock) is a skilled, hired assassin. Not a hero, but not out for world domination either. Matahyus is hired to eliminate a sorceress upon whom the treacherous King Memnon (Brand) depends to help expand his empire. Mathayus has a change of heart upon meeting the sorceress (Kelly Hu, X2: X-Men United) and kidnaps her instead, counting on Memnon to come after him instead. The final battle between Mathayus and Memnon provides the catalyst for Mathayus' journey to becoming the character seen in The Mummy Returns
The Scorpion King has the same appeal as the 1999 version of The Mummy, a fun summer movie that keeps its silliness in check by not taking itself all that seriously.
More on The Rock
Story: Rock proves king in the ring and on big screen
Toronto Sun review: The Rock helps Scorpion King hit its target
Calgary Sun review: Potent sting in Scorpion King
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and can be emailed at email@example.com -- SLAM! Wrestling.