I have no idea what a “roody poo candy ass jabroni” is, but Mark Batalla of PixelDrip Gallery apparently does. Here’s his look back at The Scorpion King.
Finally… The Rock has come back… to Ten Years Ago. In The Mummy Returns, the world got a taste of The Rock through minimal dialogue and crappy CGI modeling. So when it came time for The Scorpion King one year later, that film went in a whole different direction from the Mummy franchise. In The Scorpion King, no longer would Mathayus be playing second fiddle as Imhotep’s tag team partner nor would he get jobbed out to Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell. This time he would be the camel riding, tower diving, sorceress saving, tribe uniting, Akkadian assassin who would guarandamntee to kill the evil warlord Memnon. Matheus, the great one, truly was the people’s champion.
Right around a decade ago is when The Rock was reaching the height of his popularity in World Wrestling Entertainment. The Rock had won the Tag Team Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the WWE Championship. The Rock had layeth the smacketh down on every roody poo candy ass jabroni in the WWE roster. With the millions… and millions of The Rock’s fans chanting The Rock’s name wherever he went, there was only one thing left for The Rock to do. And that was to take over Hollywood.
Shortly before The Scorpion King‘s release, Hulk Hogan had made his return to the WWE. Before The Rock came along, the only other professional wrestler to transcend the industry and achieve significant mainstream popularity was Hogan. Their match at Wrestlemania XVIII was a dream moment between two of the most iconic figures in pro wrestling from two separate eras. It wasn’t just a passing of the torch like with Hogan’s match versus Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III. The Rock’s victory over Hogan also meant that there was nothing left for him to accomplish in pro wrestling. He had to decide on his future because The Rock as a wrestler could not exist at the same time as Dwayne Johnson the actor. And with The Scorpion King‘s success, that decision was made for him. It would be two more years before The Rock finally transitioned away from wrestling and into Dwayne Johnson.
Is It Better Or Worse Than I Remember?
Worse. The Scorpion King was the first film co-produced by WWE Studios and it shows. Much like how you can spot a Happy Madison film from a mile away, so can you with this. Even without knowing that the star is a pro wrestler, it still feels like you’re watching an Attitude-era WWE video promo with all the posturing, quipping, and nu metal. If you were going into this as a fan of the Mummy franchise, then the change in tone will be a little jarring. The actors do little to change their line delivery from the way that they normally talk.
However, if you loved watching Universal’s Hercules and Xena, then you’ll enjoy this film. The costumes and set design are at least interesting to look at, despite the historical inaccuracies. The character actors like smarmy douche Steven Brand, wise old Bernard Hill, weasley Grant Heslov, and muscled thug Ralf Möller fit right into their archetypes. The action choreography is well done and there’s plenty of it to keep you distracted from the fact that nothing in plot makes any damn sense. Whatever, I still prefer Mathayus as a protagonist who is still clearly exerting himself to overcome obstacles rather than Rick and his here-we-go-again-business-as-usual family in the Mummy sequels.
So now The Rock comes back to the WWE and things have gone full circle. John Cena is currently the face, in every sense of the term, of the company. He’s also dabbled in film with The Marine and 12 Rounds. Their recent match at Wrestlemania XXVIII has now put Cena in the same position as The Rock was when Hogan came back. But things came out different. This time, Cena lost to the returning superstar and he has vowed to remain in the WWE. But then again, The Rock said that he would never leave.
I believe this film is when I finally stopped incorrectlly saying “Michael Duncan Clarke” instead of “Michael Clarke Duncan.”
Peter Facinelli is the poor man’s Eric Bana.
What? How did Arpid escape from being buried in the ground? And how did he get Mathayus out before the ants could swarm them?
Can we talk about Kelly Hu for a minute? In my Blade II review, I mentioned that I still own the Maxim issue from ten years ago with Leonor Varela. I also still own the Maxim issue that came out a month afterwards with Kelly Hu. Good lord, that slinky outfit she wears as Cassandra puts the one worn by Patricia Velasquez in The Mummy Returns to shame. This period of time has got to be the hottest that Kelly Hu has ever looked. And take into account that she hasn’t aged! Have you seen her in The Vampire Diaries or Hawaii Five-O? Anyways, this is one of Kelly Hu’s last prominent feature film roles. After X2, she would refocus on her television career.
Wait. So how does Mathayus survive that fall from the top of the tower?
Leading up to this year’s Wrestlemania XXVIII match, John Cena made fun of The Rock for getting a boob job. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought I could see the scars on the underside of The Rock’s pecs upon this rewatching.
Maybe holding the bow sideways gives it extra power. Every person that gets hit with an arrow goes flying. Or maybe Mathayus just turns that sumbitch sideways so when he runs out of arrows, he can shine it up real nice and stick it straight up Memnon’s candy ass! If you smell-ell-ell-ell-OW, what The Rock… is… cooking!
I have to give props to The Scorpion King for not re-using any footage from The Mummy Returns. Also, I’m amazed that The Rock didn’t perform his Rock Bottom move on anyone in the film.
One of my main complaints during my original viewing was the disconnect between the ending of this film and the scenes featuring evil Mathayus in The Mummy Returns. It was as far removed as Anakin’s characterization in The Phantom Menace was from Darth Vader’s in A New Hope. Little did I know that Universal had intended to explore that particular plot point, a heel turn if you will, in The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, which came out earlier this year.