The Scorpion King

Critics Consensus

Action adventure doesn't get much cheesier than The Scorpion King.



Total Count: 136


Audience Score

User Ratings: 293,095
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Movie Info

The Rock has his first starring role in this prequel to The Mummy films, which was developed while The Mummy Returns was still in production. The film takes place in ancient times, when a mighty swordsman, Memnon (Steven Brand, making his film debut) ruled over nearly all the known world. Memnon, a brutal tyrant, defeats his enemies in battle with the help of a beautiful sorceress, Cassandra (Kelly Hu), who can predict the future. The last of the "free tribes" form a fragile alliance to fight Memnon, and hire a trio of Akkadian assassins, led by Mathayus (pro wrestler The Rock, who made his big-screen debut as this character in The Mummy Returns), to kill the sorceress and thus remove Memnon's advantage. Balthazar (Michael Clarke Duncan of The Green Mile), the powerful leader of the Nubians, objects to hiring mercenaries, but the plan goes forward. The assassins are betrayed by Takmet (Peter Facinelli), the son of one of the tribal leaders, and Mathayus finds himself unable to kill Cassandra. Thanks to the unlikely machinations of Cassandra, and the aid of a horse thief, Arpid (Grant Heslov of True Lies), Mathayus escapes to the desert. He eventually abducts Cassandra, who explains that Memnon was holding her against her will. Mathayus thwarts Memnon's efforts to re-capture Cassandra, then uses his newfound sense of justice to convince the surviving tribal leaders to join forces again to defeat Memnon. The Scorpion King was directed by Chuck Russell. Jonathan Hales (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones) was credited with the story, and WWF owner Vince McMahon has an executive producer credit. The film, which was shot in the U.S. (very unusual for a big action film), reportedly underwent extensive re-shoots when the first cut came in with a running time of 70 minutes. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

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Kelly Hu
as Cassandra
Roger Rees
as King Pheron
Sherri Howard
as Queen Isis
Conrad Roberts
as Chieftain
Joseph Ruskin
as Tribal Leader
Estaban Cueto
as Third Akkadian
Andre Henschel
as Memnon Soldier
Mike Hilow
as Guard at Ant Pit
Nick Hermz
as Guard at Ant Pit
Wesley John
as Guard at Gomorroh Gate
Michelle Baney
as Bazaar Barmaid
Barry Kramer
as Sword Merchant
Marissa McMahon
as Bird Merchant
Tim Iannello
as Perfume Merchant
Sonia Vera
as Harlot
Tutu Sweeney
as Street Urchin
Al Leong
as Asian Training Master
Woon Young Park
as Asian Training Fighter
Marcus Young
as Asian Training Fighter
Paul Sloan
as Soldier
Talani Rabb
as Harem Girl
Sole Alberti
as Harem Girl
Penelope Jimenez
as Harem Girl
Sean Michael
as Boy at Well
Adoni Maropis
as Doubting General
Bernard White
as Falconmaster
Amy Hunter
as Warrior Woman
Diana Lupo
as Warrier Woman
Heather Burton
as Warrior Woman
Nikki Flux
as Warrior Woman
Rachel Moore
as Warrior Woman
Summer Altice
as Warrior Woman
Brandon Gonzalez
as Boy With Dates
Peter Quartaroli
as Vision Archer
Peter Navy Tuiasosopo
as Night Gate Guard
Amanda Bentley
as Courtesan
Jim Maniaci
as Palace Guard
Shant Demirjian
as Army Leader
Gus Rethwisch
as Barbarian Guard
Richard Cetrone
as Barbarian Guard
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Critic Reviews for The Scorpion King

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (81)

Audience Reviews for The Scorpion King

  • Jun 27, 2017
    When The Scorpion King first came out in '02, it would be hard to imagine that between this franchise and its forebears (The Mummy & The Mummy Returns), that it would be The Scorpion King who would continue to live on in the following decade. Though that's maybe less shocking knowing that Tomb of the Dragon Emperor happened. Scorpion King delivers on a small amount of the hammy fun it could have been, though I can't help but wonder just how amazing it would be if we had gotten a Fast & Furious level Rock portraying Mathayas.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2015
    A spin-off of The Mummy series, The Scorpion King is a fun sword and sandals film. The story follows an Akkadian warrior named Mathayus who's hired to assassinate a warlord's sorcerer, but he's betrayed and left for dead. Starring The Rock, Kelly Hu, and Michael Clarke Duncan, the cast is pretty solid, and they do a good job at handling the campiness of the material. Also, the action scenes are dynamic and have a lot of energy to them. However, the script is rather weak, with a fairly generic plot and poorly written dialog. Yet despite its problems, The Scorpion King is a lighthearted and entertaining action film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2012
    So oddly enough this character was actually loosely based on a real Egyptian leader which does make things a little more interesting, not a franchise saver by any means but its cool to read up on it. This spin off is set 5000 years before the events of 'The Mummy' which does seem rather a long time to me. Great title, slightly dull execution, we all knew what to expect here, Johnson running around half naked killing endless enemies with no apparent fighting skills. I will be completely truthful here and say this film isn't too bad, if you squint at it its almost pretty good, the fights are solid along with the stunts, cast does the job for the type of film this is and more importantly it actually looks good without any silly cgi to spoil the broth. If you took out the historical setting you could quite easily say this was a sequel/prequel to the 'Conan' franchise really, its your basic swords n sorcery fantasy just without any monsters, its better than the recent official Conan effort. So yeah...this is not too bad, Kelly Hu looks lovely and Johnson is clearly learning the ropes showing promise.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2011
    I remember disliking this film, this was due to the fact it wasn't in a similar tone to The Mummy. Rewatching this film and probably having a large Johnson presence now compared to the limited exposure I had before watching this film, I found the film to quite good. The film wasn't a classic by any means but it wasn't the dud everyone made it out to be. It is much better compared to both Mummy sequels and had filmmakers kept the franchise going with Johnson, this could have been a continuing franchise. I honestly believe if this film was made today, it would've been a hit, the film was a little too rough around the edges. I thought the characters were interesting and Kelly Hu walking around in next to nothing gets my vote any day of the week. The villain wasn't the best and it weakened a key ingredient for the success of the film. It's a shame this film didn't set the box office on fire but a revisit excluding the dud prequels and sequels they made wouldn't be a bad thing. I like these films and this film deserved a franchise, this will go down as an uneventful solo film. 25-06-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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