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Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2009

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"The Scorpion King" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

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Synopsis


In an ancient desert land, the evil ruler Memnon (Steven Brand) is conquering all lands around him with the help of his future-telling sorceress (Kelly Hu). The remaining free people of the world hire a band of three Acadian assassins to kill the sorceress in an effort to make Memnon's armies vulnerable to attack. Led by Mathayus (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), the Acadians quickly realize that Memnon is no easy mark and that the future of the world may hinge upon their success.

 

Specifications

  • Universal Pictures
  • 2002, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 32 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kelly Hu, Bernard Hill, Grant Heslov, Peter Facinelli, and Michael Clarke Duncan
  • Directed by Chuck Russell
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Strong
  • Sex: Some sensuality
  • Language: None

Commentary

"The Scorpion King" may not be an Oscar-worthy film, but it certainly was fun. The plot was simple, yet effective, and keeps the story progressing nicely. The action sequences were entertaining, with some good swordplay and fight sequences. Overall, the acting was okay, but this is not a dialogue driven film. The Rock played the part of Mathayus well, and it was nice to see him use his natural comedic talents. His signature "eye arch" when he falls (quite literally) into the home of Memnon's concubines is simply priceless. "The Scorpion King" was an entertaining movie, and certainly worthy of a viewing for those who enjoy a good popcorn flick.

Technical

Video quality was consistently good througout the film. The image was sharp, without significant edge enhancement. Colors were vibrant, yet not over the top. Film grain appeared to be befitting of the source material, though there was the occasional bit of dust or dirt on the print. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack did not disappoint either. Bass impact was forceful and the surrounds were used to good effect, as they should be in an action movie. The overall sound was very clear and well balanced, though I thought that the soundtrack could have come through with a bit more punch. If you listen to the song that plays during the end credits, it sounds like it was recorded from within a paper bag, with no force or energy. I own the soundtrack to this movie on CD, and the hard rock songs have far more life and dynamics to them on the CD.

Extras

There was very little in the way of bonus content on this disc. There is a commentary track from the director and some U-Control-based behind the scenes footage that can be accessed while watching the movie (but only if you enable U-Control).