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Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

St. Petersburg Times Online

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Struck by the Rock in 'Scorpion King'

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Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 29, 2002

Movie: The Scorpion King

Rating: PG-13

Summary: The Scorpion King is set 5,000 years ago in a desert sparsely populated with a few remaining tribes. The others have been wiped out by a malicious warlord named Memnon (Steven Brand), who thought he should reign over all the lands. The few helpless tribes still standing know their survival is not likely. So in an effort to prolong their existence, they decide to enlist the help of a skilled assassin by the name of Mathayus (Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson) to eliminate Memnon before he eliminates them. Mathayus kidnaps Memnon's psychic girfriend, who can foretell the future, and uses her, his trusty camel and a few wacky sidekicks he picks up along the way to obliterate Memnon's rule once and for all.

My view: In spite of the sheer stupidity of this film, I actually found myself liking it. I was really expecting this movie to bore me to tears, and I thought the Rock would be an absolutely horrendous actor. But, when you think about it, the kind of "wrestling" he does is all about acting anyway. So it seems as though his wrestling career has given him a niche for this business as well. Sure, the fight choreography was slightly reminiscent of the Mortal Kombat movies. And, yes, Mathayus' immortality seemed a bit unrealistic -- but hey, that kind of stuff works in a movie of this nature, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Favorite part: The Rock's interjections of sarcastic humor and sharp, witty remarks are the icing on the cake for this film.

Recommendations: This is a fun, let's-go-have-a-good-time flick, but because of the constant violence, I would recommend it only for ages 12 and up.

Grade: B

-- Billy Norris, 14, is in the eighth grade at Seminole Middle School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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