The Scorpion King (HD-DVD/DVD Combo format)
B/B- Sound: B/B- Extras: C- Film: D
days, when Hollywood gets encouraged by profits over shallow nothingness, they
go overboard and the career of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a great example of
this. Pushing someone, anyone to be the
next Schwarzenegger, Chuck Russell’s The
Scorpion King (2002) was an early Rock release and Mummy spin off
essentially meant to sell him as just that.
A spin-off of The Mummy
films, it is dreadful and if it had been greenlighted any later, 9/11 probably
would have canceled or altered what we got.
is the title character and that simplicity is matched by the oversimplicity of this
mess. The action sequences are so over-choreographed
and sloppy that the film’s attempt to be hip and aspire to Music Video editing
is tired on arrival. Michael Clark
Duncan is even here as a sort of parallel to James Earl Jones in the
Schwarzenegger/John Milius Conan,
but he is especially wasted in this exercise without any of the balls, edge,
guts or style whatsoever. Think of it as
for idiots. The only idiots now
are those who pay to see films with The Rock, but from the recent lack of
performance on Gridiron Gang, that
is a very, very small crowd. Note that
we have seen no sequel to this mess nearly five years later.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is on the HD side is better than the
anamorphically enhanced DVD side, but with all the phony digital and close
shots, that is not saying much. Some
aspects of some scenes are sharper and clearer than others, but that is ruined
by the second-rate production. At least
the Mummy films looked like they
belonged on a larger screen. Colors are
made to match those films, with an emphasis on the signature orange brown that
is dullsville all the way. John R.
Leonetti’s cinematography is more appropriate for a dumb comedy than action
film, but since this is just a dumb film, it’s a losing situation.
surround mix on this film epitomizes everything not to do with such a
production. Does every sound have to be
overly sweetened? Maybe this is to cover
up for the lack of script, but dialogue is sadly clear so we can hear all the
smart-ass comments. One begins to think
Bugs Bunny or Woody Woodpecker will show up.
The HD side has Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 and standard DVD standard Dolby
5.1, with the plus just being a boosted version of the standard mix. John Denbey’s score is like elevator music
badly mixing with the lame Rock approach.
This one gives a bad reputation to surround.
are slightly more interesting than the film including two overly long (i.e.,
full length) audio commentary tracks, outtakes, trailer, Godsmack Music Video
and several featurettes about the making of the film that are
self-congratulatory to the point of embarrassment. But then, the whole affair is, so skip it.
- Nicholas Sheffo