Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Scorpion King (Collector's Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Starring:
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Mathayus, The Scorpion King
Steven Brand as Memnon
Kelly Hu as Cassandra
Michael Clarke Duncan as Balthazar
Grant Heslov as Sidekick
Peter Facinelli as Takmet
Ralph Moeller
Scott L. Schwartz as Torturer
Andrei Sterling as Balthazar's Bandit
Sherri Howard as Queen Isis

Special Features:
Enhanced Feature Commentary with The Rock
Feature Commentary with director Chuck Russell
Outtakes
Alternate Versions of Key Scenes
Spotlight on Location: The Making of The Scorpion King
Ancient World Production Design
Preparing the Fight
The Rock and Michael Clarke Duncan
Working with Animals
The Special Effects
Godsmack Music Video - "I Stand Alone"
King Scorpion
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes
Cast and Filmmakers
Universal Showcase (Trailers for Hulk and other films)
DVD-ROM Features, Including Total Axess
The Scorpion King Special Offers
The Scorpion King Movie Club
WWE Legends

Other Info:
Languages: English, Spanish, French
2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Running Time: 1 Hr. 32 Mins.
Dolby Digital
5.1 Surround
Captions Subtitles

Synopsis:
This movie is a prequel to "The Mummy Returns" and tells the origins of The Scorpion King from that film. However, it has almost no other connection to the Mummy movies.

The ancient world is being overrun by a conqueror named Memnon. With the help of a sorceress named Cassandra, he is taking over kingdom after kingdom. The remaining rulers band together to stand against him. They hire an assassin named Mathayus (The Scorpion King) and his brother to kill the sorceress, thus potentially giving them a chance to fight Memnon.

Mathayus eventually has the opportunity to kill the sorceress at Memnon's camp, but hesitates when he sees her. He is then ambushed and his brother is killed by Memnon. Through the help of a comedic horse thief, Mathayus is able to escape. He begins to seek revenge on Memnon in the city of Gamorrah. This time it's personal.

Along the way The Scorpion King steals the sorceress away from Memnon, reunites the remainders of the conquered kingdoms, and leads an assault on Memnon's forces. But will he live to see another sequel???

"The Scorpion King" is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and some sensuality.

The Movie:
If you'd like to see my thoughts on this film, check out my review from when it initially hit theaters: The film is still dumb fun and just as entertaining as it was when I first saw it. I don't have anything more to add to it as far as the story is concerned.

This is my second DVD review for this site. After the first one, people wanted me to comment on the sound and picture quality. To be quite honest, I don't have a discerning eye or ear when it comes to these things. The movie either looks and sounds good or it doesn't. About all I can say is that it is a great transfer.

The Extras:
First off, the menus are kinda cool. They don't blow you away like the menus on some of the top of the line DVDs, but they are stylish nonetheless. They feature some sword swinging animation and some scenes from the film. Here's a rundown of some of the highlights and lowlights on the DVD:

Enhanced Feature Commentary with The Rock: Fans of The Rock will be really happy with this feature. During the film, The Rock jumps in with comments on the action. Occasionally a symbol will appear on the screen and when you select it, the scene plays with a shot of The Rock in the lower corner providing commentary. It's a cool feature, but a pain for two reasons. First, all you see is The Rock staring at a monitor looking awkward with headphones on. The video footage of him doesn't add much. Second, once his commentary is over, the scene starts back at the beginning and you have to watch it all again. The rewinding gets tedious and makes the movie length significantly longer than it would normally be. The Rock's commentary ranges from interesting and funny to totally pointless. It opens with The Rock saying something like, "Thanks for buying or renting this DVD. If you rented it….you're cheap. Go buy a copy." He follows with other funny comments throughout the film. However, he does throw in the occasional pointless comment like , "Ouch!" or "Oooh!" when someone gets hit.

Outtakes: The outtakes are always fun on a DVD, and these are no exception. One features The Rock repeatedly dropping a bag of coins thrown to him. Another features Michael Clarke Duncan totally unable to get on a horse. Another features a half naked Kelly Hu raising out of the bath….with hair falling all in her face. The scenes are rounded out with the infamous accidental blow from The Rock to the face of Michael Clarke Duncan. What's funny is to see everyone continue to play their roles straight despite the scene going horribly wrong.

Alternate Versions of Key Scenes: In the final cut of The Scorpion King, a sub-plot about a prophecy was eliminated. The Sorceress reveals a prophecy that basically predicts that Mathayus will kill Memnon and rule as King. Any scene that referred to this was removed from the movie, but they end up on the DVD in this Alternate Versions feature. You have the option of watching the scenes by themselves or added back into the movie. There's also one brief scene when Mathayus and the Sorceress first meet where she mentions that he does not kill women, but this was cut as well. Finally there's an alternate opening to the film where we first see The Scorpion King killing bad guys in the snow.

Spotlight on Location: The Making of The Scorpion King: This is pretty much your standard promotional video on the making of the film. It is basically a summary of all the other behind the scenes features on the disc which include the following - Ancient World Production Design, Preparing the Fight, The Rock and Michael Clarke Duncan, Working with Animals, and The Special Effects. It does reveal a few interesting bits of trivia. The Gomorrah set was built entirely on the Universal backlot and utilized old sets from Spartacus. They also go into detail about the problems with the camels and the joke Michael Clarke Duncan played on The Rock after accidentally getting hit by him on the set. It's all pretty amusing and well worth checking out. The rest of the extras are rather uninteresting with the exception of "The Hulk" teaser which is included on the disc. This will be a cool addition to your collection.

The Bottom Line:
This is a fun disc. If you have the Mummy movies on DVD, then you'll want to add this to your collection to complete the story.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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