The Scorpion King (2002)

(In theaters, April 2002) Sword-and-sorcery films are usually terrible beyond words, and The Scorpion King is no exception. Where it manages to be good, though, is in the fun department; despite the awful dialogues and the linear plotting, this film never takes itself too seriously. It’s no Conan, naturally, but it’s much better than trash like Kull The Conqueror. (Some of you may remember that The Scorpion King is supposed to be a “prequel” to The Mummy Returns. If so, forget it, because there isn’t any strong link between the Mummy series and this film. At all.) “The Rock” isn’t much of an actor, and the film wisely avoid asking too much of him, with two shudder-inducing exceptions. Otherwise, well, the battles scenes are well-choreographed, and skilfully edited in a coherent whole that Gladiator didn’t even attain. Even the logical flaws are deftly handled; one particularly glaring mistake is covered by the spectacular entrance of Asian co-star Kelly Hu, wet and naked save for her strategically-placed long hair. The enjoyably multicultural female extras do wonders to distract from the rest of the incoherencies. Beautiful ladies, good battles scenes, swordfights and a smirking tone; what else could you possibly want from a B-movie? It’s exactly the type of movies you will like if you like that type of movies.

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