starring The Rock, Steven Brand, Kelly Hu, Michael Clarke Duncan
screenplay by David Hayter and Wil Osborne and Stephen Sommers
directed by Chuck Russell
by Walter Chaw I stopped marking the rip-offs perpetrated in The Scorpion King once Kelly Hu's jiggle priestess recreated a scene entire from Mike Hodges's legendary craptavaganza Flash Gordon. Sadly, The Scorpion King doesn't have the benefit of a Queen soundtrack to push the "just bad" into campy. It steals the rolling gong gag from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the cave murders and human bow-hunting of Rambo III, the feral kid of The Road Warrior, and its overriding ethos, apparently unintentionally, from Sergio Aragonés's comic book barbarian "Groo." If you manage to stifle a chuckle when Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock) suffers all manner of horrendous falls and physical mortifications with a confused expression that all but screams "did I err?"...well, you're a better man than I.