Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 191: The Scorpion King (2002)

PG-13, 1 hr. 31 min.  Directed by: Charles Russell, Chuck Russell.  Release Date: April 19, 2002. DVD Release Date: October 1, 2002.

I've been tossing and turning for the last several hours, and I decided that I might as well watch today's movie earlier than normal... or later than normal depending on your point of view.  When I stumbled across this on Netflix's streaming menu, I figured if nothing else, it would put me to sleep.  However,  I suspect watching this movie delivered the headache that I'm now suffering through and I'm no closer to sleep now than I was at 1am when I popped this in.

I should have known better after my lukewarm reaction to the second installment of The Mummy franchise and knowing how very, very much I despised the third installation in the series.  I should have left well-enough alone.  But no, I rationalized to myself in a dialogue that took probably ten minutes.  I'd never seen this all the way through and I should probably see it all before I really got critical.  Kelly Hu is remarkably nice to look at.  There was even a camel that did tricks.  So I sat through this in its 91 minute entirety.

If Beastmaster had a baby with Live & Let Die, it would look a lot like this.  You have some guy with lots of muscles and not enough clothing with an affinity for animals other than sheep.  He takes on some local bad guy bent on ruling the world and crushing the little people beneath his boot.  He "takes" the woman that "belongs" to said bad guy and unleashes what should be a world of hurt on himself and his ferrets.  I should probably note that in this case the ferrets were human, and there were considerably more of them... although most had fewer lines than the ferrets.  Add in the Live & Let Die aspects:  a sexy woman in a completely ludicrous costume with the ability to tell the future... so long as her virginity is intact.  Who comes up with that crap?  What a bore.  300's approach to that problem was MUCH better.  Said woman belongs to the bad guy and he guards her jealously, frequently threatening to ruin her gift himself if she mouths off too much.  Blah blah, cobras, blah blah tarot cards.  Blah.

If I subtract out the details, what you get is a well-used sword and sorcery bit.  The story of a warrior who does all the right things for vengeance, who is rewarded beyond his wildest dreams, and who bags the babe in the process.  I know I saw it on a ton of fantasy back in the 80s, and I'm guessing that at least some of the costuming was recycled.  Thank the powers that be that someone thought to wash those get-ups.  

If you want to see The Rock lose an argument to a camel, check this out.  If you're under 16, you'll probably appreciate the, um, finer points of the film, by which I mean a semi-nude Kelly Hu, the rest of us have probably seen it before.  If you're looking for special effects, a story, or an actual point, keep lookin'.