The Scorpion King

Rated NR

Recent Hollywood lore says producers were so impressed by WWF superstar The Rock (called Dwayne Johnson by his accountant) in his supporting performance as the Scorpion King in last year’s The Mummy Returns that they signed him up—before that Brendan Fraser vehicle was even released—for the lead in a film based on the muscle-bound Conan-like warrior. Cheesy though it is, the movie deserves to be a hit, and its arched-brow hero a movie star. That’s not to say anyone involved with this flick will show up at next year’s Academy Awards ceremonies. But there’s something intoxicating about the endless, kinetic battle scenes, the attitude unleashed by The Rock as well as co-stars Michael Clarke Duncan and Kelly Hu and the pure pulp-novel joy of this unabashed trash directed by Chuck Russell (The Mask,Eraser). The Scorpion King is, if you can dig this, a painting by swords-and-sorcery artist Frank Frazetta brought to the screen, complete with the Bronze Age cheesecake.

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