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"THE SCORPION KING"
(2002) (The Rock, Steven Brand) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None None Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A trained assassin sets out to find and kill the seer who's providing an evil warlord with the information he needs to conquer and rule the world.
PLOT:
Long ago and in a distant land, the evil warlord Memnon (STEVEN BRAND) has conquered and now rules most of the known world and its people. While possessing a physical prowess and fighting skill of near unmatched proportions, his greatest weapon is a seer who has visions of the future and thus allows him to know when, where and how to strike his opponents.

Desperate to stop him and the carnage, the few remaining tribes have decided to hire three highly trained Akkadian assassins to find and kill the sorcerer and thus eliminate Memnon's knowledgeable advantage. Much to the disdain of Balthazar (MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN), another of the rulers, the assassins - led by Mathayus (THE ROCK) - set out on their mission.

They quickly find the seer's location, but Mathayus' partners are killed and the sorcerer turns out to be a sorceress named Cassandra (KELLY HU). Mathayus' surprise and hesitation in killing her allows him to be captured and then left to die a horrific death. As luck has it, Arpid (GRANT HESLOV), an opportunistic vagabond, rescues Mathayus in exchange for getting to travel with him.

After meeting Philos (BERNARD HILL), an enslaved inventor, and avoiding the palace guards, Mathayus kidnaps Cassandra and sets out for the Valley of the Dead, only to be pursued there by one of Memnon's top men, Thorak (RALF MOELLER). Following another deadly battle, Cassandra's return to Memnon, and a precarious encounter with Balthazar, Mathayus and his unlikely team head back toward Memnon's palace in an effort to rid the world of him once and for all.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of wrestler turned actor The Rock, anyone else in the cast, or either of the "The Mummy" films they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sequences of action violence and some sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • THE ROCK plays an assassin hired to kill a sorcerer (who turns out to be a sorceress that he kidnaps instead). Along the way, he does kill or injure many people, most if not all of them villainous in nature. He also has sex with Cassandra.
  • STEVEN BRAND plays an evil warlord who wants to conquer all of the lands and is responsible for the deaths of scores of people.
  • MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN plays a leader of one of the rebel tribes who initially despises Mathayus, but eventually joins forces with him in battling Memnon. He's briefly seen "in bed" with two women.
  • KELLY HU plays a seer enslaved by Memnon to see into the future regarding his goals. She eventually sleeps with Mathayus.
  • BERNARD HILL plays an inventor also enslaved by Memnon who's been working on perfecting gunpowder.
  • GRANT HESLOV plays a vagabond who rescues Mathayus in exchange for becoming something of his irritating sidekick.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this action/adventure film that's been rated PG-13. While relatively blood and gore free (beyond the sight of a man holding a severed, but not particularly bloody head, and various scratches and cuts), the film's violence is rampant. Many people are killed or injured in various fashions and with various weapons during all sorts of battles and fights that permeate the film.

    Although not fashioned to be terribly suspenseful, it's possible very young viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such mayhem (and scenes with fire ants on faces and cobras slithering about or contained in pots where hands are placed) might come off that way. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some of that fighting and other material might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.

    Some off-screen sex occurs and/or is implied, while a female character is often seen in very skimpy and/or revealing attire that shows a great deal of skin, but nothing explicit enough to bump the rating up to an R. Other women are also seen in revealing attire, including ones who come on to the protagonist in a sexual manner, and some non-explicit, sexually related comments are made.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people drink what's presumably liquor of some sort during a celebration.
  • A guard drinks some sort of liquor. Arpid later drinks some and uses the rest to blow fire toward some attacking fire ants.
  • Mathayus orders some wine for Arpid (where others drink), and we later see Arpid and others drinking.
  • Various people in a village drink.
  • Various people drink what's presumably liquor.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • One of Mathayus' fellow warriors has a little bit of blood on his face.
  • A man holds his father's severed head (with a little bit of blood on the end).
  • One of Mathayus' fellow assassins is a bit bloody.
  • Mathayus has a slightly bloody cut on his arm.
  • We see a body impaled on a sharp rock formation (the end of the rock sticks out of the chest).
  • We see a tiny bit of blood on Mathayus' leg wound as he pulls out an arrow from it.
  • The inside of Balthazar's mouth is bloody after a fight.
  • Mathayus has a few bloody cuts on him during the fight.
  • Memnon has a little bit of blood on his lip during a fight.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Memnon and his men obviously have extreme cases of both for killing a great deal of people.
  • Balthazar initially has a bad attitude toward Mathayus, but eventually changes his mind and ways.
  • A man betrays and kills his own father, the ruler of the rebel tribes, to join forces with Memnon.
  • Some street urchins steal a small pouch from Mathayus and then race around, handing it off to each other to confuse and elude him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • All of the battle scenes and fighting may also be tense or suspenseful to viewers, but most are played in a pure action fashion.
  • Mathayus awakens to find himself buried up to his chin in the desert where Memnon's men smoke out fire ants from their nests. The ants then approach Mathayus who tries to strike a deal with Arpid to free him before the huge ants attack him (a few crawl near and then on his head and he crushes several with his chin and chomps down onto another before spitting it out). Arpid, who earlier hit several guards (one of whom fell into a nest of such ants that attack the man), then blows fire onto the ants, burning some and driving the others away.
  • Guards prepare to cut off a boy's arm (allegedly that he stole something), and Mathayus must decide whether to save him or assassinate Memnon.
  • Doubtful of her faithfulness to him, Memnon places deadly cobras in four of six large pots. He then spins them around and forces her to choose which ones are empty by placing her hand down inside them. She succeeds at the first one, and he then forces her to choose from the remaining five (she puts her hand down inside it again, and then pulls out a cobra with which she threatens him). Later, the snakes are out and slithering among Mathayus and Memnon as they fight.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Knives/Arrows/Spears/Clubs/Gunpowder/Crossbows/Miscellaneous other weapons: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill many people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Yak piss," "Live free, die well" and "Tighter than a crab's buttocks."
  • All of the swordplay and other fighting and stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • After being captured, Mathayus spits on Memnon's face.
  • Arpid blows liquor across an open flame to create some fireballs from his mouth (to drive away attacking fire ants).
  • Some street urchins steal a small pouch from Mathayus and then race around, handing it off to each other to confuse and elude him.
  • Memnon has one of his minions shoot an arrow at him and Memnon catches it with both hands before it strikes his body.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A cobra nearly gets Mathayus.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film, along with a great deal of the action-oriented variety.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 use of "Good Lord" as an exclamation.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • At some sort of celebration, we see a man making out with a woman (and feeling her thigh), while various women show varying amounts of cleavage in their revealing attire.
  • Cassandra appears scantily clad and shows cleavage in various scenes.
  • Memnon tells Cassandra that when he becomes king, she'll join him on the throne and in his bed. She then comments that if she sleeps with him, she'll lose her psychic sight.
  • More women show varying amounts of cleavage in a town, including some scantily clad prostitutes, one of which tells Mathayus that she can help him relax (adding "Perhaps all of us"). He just smiles and keeps on walking.
  • A catapult fires Mathayus through a window, across the palace and through another window where he lands in some sort of harem. The women instantly come on to him, pawing him and stating that they know how to please him and that they can make every fantasy come true (in reality, they're quietly disarming him so that they can call the guards).
  • Mathayus crashes through a building and lands in Cassandra's bathing suite where she comes out of the water nude, with her long hair covering her breasts (an object in the foreground blocks a view of her lower body). After the two are washed out through the immense drain, we briefly see her bare breasts from a distance in a large body of water. She then pops up in a well where a boy is pleased upon seeing her (after throwing money into it like a wishing well). He apparently sees her frontal nudity as she stands there (we see her bare back).
  • We see Arpid joking with some men at a bar as he states, "It's not the size of the hump, it's the motion of the camel."
  • Cassandra wears a robe of some sort that's open on the top front (thus showing cleavage) and is somewhat transparent (although we don't see any detail). Later, she wears an outfit that's pretty much open on the sides and when Mathayus pins her to the ground (as she tries to escape), we see a lot of skin in such regards, including the side of her bare butt. She later straddles him (to remove poison from him), and we see a great deal of cleavage and bare thigh as she does so.
  • More women show cleavage.
  • Mathayus and Cassandra passionately kiss and then lie down. We then see them afterwards lying together (implying they had sex). He's bare-chested and on his back, while she appears to be completely nude (lying on her side with his body blocking any explicit shots of her, but we see her bare side).
  • Cassandra then wears an outfit that's essentially the equivalent of a small bikini (very tiny top and even smaller bottom) that shows a great deal of skin (she also wears some sort of flowing gown, but it doesn't cover that outfit).
  • Balthazar wakes up and gets "out of bed" and we see that there were two women there with him.
  • We see some somewhat scantily clad belly dancer type ladies.
  • Mathayus makes a comment to Cassandra about her losing her powers "If you..." (and he knowingly smiles and raises his eyebrows, referring to them having sex).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • What life must have been like thousands of years ago in a setting like the one portrayed in the film.
  • How the various forces, some of them not friendly to each other, come together to battle and defeat the villain.
  • Prophets and seers.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Most of the violence that's listed here, while intense and often brutal, is relatively bloodless and gore free (unless noted otherwise).
  • A large projectile impales a man in the head, while various people push or hit others.
  • We see arrows hitting people in their bodies as Mathayus arrives and fights, wounds or kills many men who try to attack him with various weapons. During this, he hits various attackers while others try to kill the bound man he's trying to rescue (throwing knives and other things at him). One of those objects impales a man in the chest as Mathayus throws him in its path. He then wraps a rope around another man's neck and jumps down from a height with him (with a chandelier of sorts catching another man and slamming him into the ceiling). Mathayus then lets go of the rope and the man with it (around his neck) and he flies upward.
  • We see flashback footage of Memnon's warriors attacking and fighting others. We see arrows being fired and hear their impact, but don't see it.
  • Balthazar, who initially doesn't like Mathayus, throws an ax at him (Mathayus catches it).
  • Mathayus and his two companions throw ball and chain like weapons that hit and knock various guards unconscious. Mathayus then flies down an impromptu zip line and strikes a guard with something. He then fights off various men who attack him with swords, striking them with his.
  • Mathayus punches and knocks out Arpid (who's been strung up upside down) to make him be quiet.
  • Guards fire arrows that repeatedly strike Mathayus' partners (killing one, injuring the other).
  • Mathayus nearly shoots Cassandra with an arrow, but shoots another person instead. More sword fighting then ensues, with Mathayus slicing and/or punching many people. He flips one over and stabs down into a man (we hear, but don't see the impact). Guards then catch Mathayus and bind him, and Memnon violently backhands him.
  • A man holds his father's severed head (with a little bit of blood on the end), implying that he killed him to join Memnon's forces.
  • Memnon's men then bring in Mathayus' wounded partner and slit his throat (we hear, but don't see the actual cutting).
  • Mathayus awakens to find himself buried up to his chin in the desert where Memnon's men smoke out fire ants from their nests. The ants then approach Mathayus who tries to strike a deal with Arpid to free him before the huge ants attack him (a few crawl near and then on his head and he crushes several with his chin and chomps down onto another before spitting it out). Arpid, who earlier hit several guards (one of whom fell into a nest of such ants that attack the man), then blows fire onto the ants, burning some and driving the others away.
  • Mathayus punches and knocks out Arpid to act like he's captured and is returning him for a bounty.
  • Memnon spars with several training partners who try to attack him with what look like short bamboo poles. He easily defeats them, kicking or hitting them with such poles while doing so. Then, he has one of his minions shoot an arrow at him and Memnon catches it with both hands before it strikes his body.
  • Guards prepare to cut off a boy's arm (alleging that he stole something), and Mathayus must decide whether to save him or assassinate Memnon. He opts for the former and shoots an arrow that impales the guard's weapon. He then fires another arrow at Memnon who deflects it, and the various guards then fire arrows at Mathayus as he flees.
  • A catapult fires Mathayus through a window, across the palace and through another window (he crashes through both). Guards then rush in and Mathayus, who's been disarmed, punches and throws the guards about, eventually getting a sword and fighting others. More guards enter and fire arrows at him, hitting someone else in the back instead. More fire at him as he flees behind a huge rolling gong out onto a balcony where he jumps and falls a great distance, smashing through various levels of a structure on his way down toward ground level (some guards also jump but crash onto a roof).
  • Cassandra slices Mathayus with a knife, slightly cutting his arm. Later, she tries to escape from him, but finds herself tied to him. She then tries to attack him, but he pins her to the ground.
  • Mathayus charges (on camelback) toward men sent after him and the others. As a sandstorm sweeps over and engulfs them, he attacks them (and might decapitate one, but it's briefly seen and mostly obscured). He strikes more and the men then follow him into a cave where several sink and disappear into sand holes. As the remaining men slowly look for him, Mathayus takes them out one by one (grabbing two into a sand waterfall of sorts where we hear their screams) and we see a shadow of him slicing another man with a sword. He hits others, but we don't see the impact, although we see one's body impaled on a sharp rock formation (the end of the rock sticks out of his chest). Mathayus then fights one more man, and stabs him in the gut (we don't see the impact), but not before a wounded man stabs him in the leg with an arrow covered in scorpion venom (he nearly dies from the poisoning).
  • Mathayus strikes several men before battling Balthazar. Their swords break when they hit and the two men then punch, kick and throw each other around, with Balthazar slamming Mathayus' head into a pole several times. More fighting ensues, with Balthazar hitting Mathayus with a bucket of sorts and then trying to spear him until Mathayus finally gains the upper hand and holds a spear to Balthazar's neck.
  • Cassandra has a vision of a village burning, various people dead with arrows in them, arrows being fired at others, and Mathayus being hit in the back with an arrow.
  • Balthazar punches a man, and various women then hit other men, while Mathayus yanks a man off a wall (he falls a great distance, but we don't see the impact). Mathayus then hits another man, slams him into a wall and then flips him over. He also throws two knives that impale two men (injuring or killing them) who just shot arrows at him.
  • Memnon stabs one of his own men in the gut for being doubtful.
  • Some women stab two guards in the guts, while other fighting also breaks out (with swords and spears).
  • Balthazar and others fight with and strike many people in another battle.
  • Mathayus enters and kicks Memnon away when he comes at Cassandra who's holding a cobra with which she threatened him. The two men then have a long swordfight (with Mathayus being slighted sliced a few times), while more fighting occurs outside the palace (people being stabbed, hit, sliced, etc.).
  • As Mathayus and Memnon fight, Mathayus slices several large cobras looming about them (apparently cutting some in two).
  • Arpid accidentally knocks himself out by hitting his head on a low underpass.
  • Men try to kill Cassandra and she defends herself, including kneeing a man in the crotch and stabbing one in the foot.
  • More stabbing and slicing continues in the various battles, with many people being injured or killed.
  • Cassandra falls to a table, hitting her head and appears to be briefly knocked unconscious.
  • Balthazar kills a man.
  • Memnon tries to hit Mathayus with two flaming swords atop the palace, with more punching and Mathayus head-butting Memnon (causing him apparently to fall on his head).
  • A man shoots an arrow that hits Mathayus in the back and he falls. Moments later, however, he pulls out the arrow and shoots a man dead with it.
  • Cassandra stabs a man in the gut.
  • A huge explosion (from a great deal of gunpowder) destroys part of the palace, sends many guards flying through the air outside it, and presumably kills or injures a great deal of people (seemingly incinerating some of them).



  • Reviewed April 16, 2002 / Posted April 19, 2002

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