The Scorpion King (12)

Review byTim Minor

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Feature commentaries; Outtakes; Alternate versions of key scenes; Making of; Production design; Shooting a fight sequence; The Rock and Michael Clarke Duncan; Costume design; Working with animals; The special effects; 'I Stand Alone' Godsmack music video; Trailers; DVD-Rom features.

Now I remember why I don't go to see action-adventure films. Without exception, they feature muscle-bound men reciting a string of appalling one-liners, defeating the bad guy and getting the girl before the overblown finale. So could The Scorpion King be any different? You bet your last shekel it isn't!

Set 5,000 years ago, we find ourselves in a world dominated by the evil Memnon who sweeps across the mountains, enslaving the unfortunate, and filling folk full of dread with his barbarians and his merciless precision, etc, etc.

It is, basically, the classic story of the fight between Good and Evil - set it in the 21st Century and you could even call it Star Wars. There's the evil empire (Memnon and his mates) about to conquer the known universe; the Allies (the small tribes who grudgingly unite to fight back) and the Jedi Knights, sorry, the Akkadian Assassins, from where our hero is sired.

The power behind Memnon's throne is a Seer who can predict the future, thus enabling Memnon to never lose in battle. So a plan is hatched to slay the Seer and our assassin hero is set the task of scuppering Memnon's plans for world domination? But the Seer turns out to be a beautiful girl and, well, you can guess the rest, given that all the components needed for an action-adventure are in place to appeal to the kids!

The Rock stars as the aforementioned Scorpion King and does so athletically. Cast from the same mould that gave us Schwarzenegger and Stallone, The Rock is physically impressive and intellectually unchallenging - just the way I like all my beefcakes.

To be fair, The Scorpion King has its fair share of action. Born of The Mummy and The Mummy Returns you can be pretty sure of what to expect. It also has beautiful girls in skimpy costumes so you can be sure to expect a largely male audience.

The cast performs the majority of their own stunts, resulting in some long and impressive fight scenes with few cutaways. And let's be honest, if this is what you're going for, you won't be disappointed.

If the WWF's choreographed title bouts set you on the edge of your seat then get yourself along to The Scorpion King now.