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  Film Reviews: Headcount Isn’t Always The Answer: The Scorpion King  

Saturday, April 20
Headcount Isn’t Always The Answer: The Scorpion King
Scorpion King
Ah, the Summer Blockbuster Season (SBS) is finally here! While the official start of SBS is traditionally Memorial Day Weekend, major studios now race to release SBS packs much like Department Stores that start decorating for Christmas at Halloween. Heck, even Spider Man and Star Wars: Episode II will be out before the start of the season – only Undercover Brother is taking it’s rightful place at the front of the SBS by opening Memorial Day Weekend. Husband and I wanting a film that would have lots of fighting, bad lines, hot chicks (his idea!) and a lot of leather chose The Scorpion King for our Friday night fare.

Most of you might be thinking that The Scorpion King was a WWF vehicle from start to finish – what with “The Rock” starring and Vince McMahon helming the film as a producer. Yeah, even the fight scene between Michael Clark Duncan and The Rock seemed a bit WWF-esque, but as the story began to unfold I realized that this film was pure propaganda put out by Corporate America. Read carefully, my friends, and you will see that The Scorpion King is not a simple tale of oppressors rising up against a tyrant king. The film is nothing but an attempt to brainwash hardworking men and women into believing that corporate downsizing is good for you!

The story centers around Mathayus’ (The Rock) journey from leader of outcast tribe to paid assassin, to protector of the people, to the Scorpion King. His enemy both as oppressor of his tribe, target and nemesis is Memnon. They are two men that have names that start with the same initial and, much like Corporate America, the only way for the “little guy” to defeat his enemy will be to rise to power along the same path as his enemy. Memnon represents all that we envision a successful corporation to be – ripe with plenty of employees, abundant celebrations, clear cut rules and guidelines, a leader that protects his employees from all outside threats, a great R&D department and that one really hot assistant that everyone wants to date. Mathayus, on the other hand, is what corporate life really is – limited headcount, virtually no supplies, an oppressive workload and having no choice but to work with any loser insane enough to fill out a job application. This is where the brainwashing begins. Memnom’s army of thousands is nothing against six buff guys with access to a sword, curtains and a sandstorm. Memnom’s celebrations end cold after a minor social faux pas, while Mathayus crew is content to have the Comedic Sidekick (I swear, that is how he is credited) arm wrestle Queen Isis’s female warriors for ten minutes. In the end, it is the lean, understaffed, take-on-all-tasks company that is the one we all want to be a part of! Watch out for any supervisors, managers or Vice Presidents that try to engage you in conversation about how great of a movie The Scorpion King was – if you say you liked the film, you survive downsizing, but are forced to work much longer hours.

Husband, of course, disagrees with my assessment of the film. He says the film was just “mindless entertainment.” Husband also claims that The Rock has no corporate agenda. Husband did not take seriously my theory that since the WWF trades publicly on the NYSE that The Rock is an integral cog in this Corporate Conspiracy. Husband thinks that I need more sleep and that I should not see these kinds of films after reading Michael Moore books.

Recommendation: Definitely worth the Matinee price for a fun two-hours.

Annoying Theater Goer: Honestly, this was the best-behaved audience we’d seen a film with since “Black Hawk Down.” Instead, I shall tell you the tale of WWF-stereotypes come to life. First, we had the Triple H wanna-be sitting next to us – I swear he flexed when he got up to go to the bathroom. Husband and I then had to explain some basic mocking etiquette to fellow-theater-goers as we left the movie. While we were pointing and quietly mocking the “Full Rock Regalia (FRR)” fan in front of us (the “Layeth The Smacketh Down T-Shirt with the sleeves cut off was the best), the fellow-theater goers were mocking so loudly that the FRR was trying to leave the theater even faster! We stepped back, enjoyed a moment with them and all agreed that quiet mockery meant longer mockery.

Main Reason To See This Film: Did we mention the fights, explosions, sexy babes, leather and buff guys? All that, PLUS one-liners, camels with attitude and the best use of muslin and rope to make a sorceress costume!

Main Reason Not To See This Film: Precocious Child Alert (PCA)! The PCA is by far the worst thing about the SBS. The PCA is usually there to give young children someone to identify with and root for beyond the main character. The PCA solves problems through cleverness, a heart of gold and strict non-violence. This PCA even went so far as to offer The Rock an alternative route through the palace to avoid killing 50 additional guards!

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Nudity: No.

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