Directed by: Chuck Russell

Written by: Stephen Sommers, William Osborne, David Hayter

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Steven Brand, Kelly Hu, Bernard Hill, Grant Heslov

Rating: [2.5/5]

When famous in other areas and then making a turn into acting, seeing where these stars elect to delve into makes for some entertainment. They can either go against type or very much go with what made them famous, to begin with, but just translate it to the silver screen. Dwayne Johnson has evidently chosen to roll with what has brought him success, which was his physicality as shown in The Scorpion King even if it gets paired with a subpar story. 

In ancient times, Memmon (Steven Brand) and his armies seek to take over every area they can. As the last remaining survivor of his people, Mathayus (Dwayne Johnson) seeks to put an end to this tyranny even if it comes at the risk of it taking his life. 

When watching films with remarkable but brief supporting figures, a common wish from audiences may result in them wanting more backstory on the character. Perhaps a look back to see what made them who they are. Several can come to mind when thinking of a character deserving of this attention in getting a solo film. After watching The Mummy Returns, I cannot say I sought a solo film for the Scorpion King but we received it nonetheless. With the potential existent for this film, none of it really feels consequential and the moments of silliness fail to make up for it. 

Setting up this feature displays an unstoppable force of a man leading an army of the finest warriors and it all comes down to one individual trying to take him down. At first, it comes from a sense of pride then shifts towards vengeance. It becomes quite personal Mathayus as you can imagine but never something much more interesting in its plotting and it certainly does not have any action sequences worth looking forward to. This leaves me asking what can be enjoyed about this feature. 

The most interesting aspect comes from the Sorceress (Kelly Hu) who can evidently see into the future, which has aided Memnon during his campaign to take over everywhere he goes. The film navigates her presence as a bit of an enigma in deciphering whether she holds an actual power and what can impact it. She also represents a symbol for the soldiers as a whole only further highlighting her importance to the plot while also serving as the love interest for Mathayus as one could expect as the sole female character of note in the story. Unfortunately, all of the story beats  feel half-baked and never amount to anything truly substantial other than the somewhat clever reveal regarding what would make her lose this incredibly valuable ability. 

Some sequences provide some peril in some intriguing and terrifying ways with the ant molehills providing a nightmare scenario. Just imagine getting buried from the neck down with fire ants on the way to devour you. Holy cow, that’s not something I ever wanted to think about or even fathom and the fear it brings to someone as gargantuan as Mathayus portrayed by Dwayne Johnson actually made for a somewhat riveting scene. Well, then you have him biting some of them to death as they come his way. Most likely the entire highlight of the film as a whole with others just not having anything to truly pull you in throughout leading up to the big fight between Mathayus and Memnon that will eventually decide the fate of everyone in the story. 

At the very least it can be said Dwayne Johnson tried in this movie as he still sought to polish his acting and attempt to find a groove. Looking at his career here and looking back on this performance you can certainly see where he has let his natural charisma become more pronounced. In this feature, he just relied on smoldering looks and little smirks acknowledging the situations he finds himself in. None of it can be considered good acting but he undoubtedly needs to get the best material to work with as a whole. 

Films set in times like The Scorpion King generally gain my initial interest but this one certainly does not do much to maintain it. A straightforward story with not much intrigue building within it. The feature struggles mainly because of the foundation set, which does not allow these characters to thrive and nothing to really pop leaving this to be quite forgettable and something we look back on as something that got Dwayne Johnson starting but does not represent his best.

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