We’ve reached the point of Mummy Mondays where we’re talking about a sequel AND a prequel to a spin-off to what is effectively a reboot. Cue the Inception noise. This movie is… certainly something I spent almost 2 hours watching.
Years before he would become the Scorpion King, young Mathayus is furious that the ruthless Sargon (Mr. Randy Couture and his cauliflower ear) has killed his father with dark magics. Turns out you can’t trust a white guy who calls himself Sargon of Akkad! Anyway, Sargon becomes king after the death of Hammurabi (we’ll get to that), and Mathayus heads to Egypt with his old friend Layla to find a weapon to defeat the tyrant. They meet the Greek poet Aristophanes, AKA Ari, who convinces them that the Sword of Damocles is a better weapon against Sargon than the Spear of Osiris (a cute reference to The Mummy Returns). They
defeat the Minotaur with the help of some soldiers and then enter the Underworld, where they encounter the goddess Astarte. They successfully steal the sword from her, but we find out that Sargon was getting his dark powers from her. And she’s PISSED. As Layla and Fong–a Chinese man they rescued and then repeatedly lied to–try to stop Sargon’s troops from setting his subjects on fire, Mathayus fights Sargon, who turns into an invisible scorpion. Ari sort of betrays Mathayus for a second, but the good guys win and Mathayus and Layla end up together.
…except that Mathayus cannot settle down, so he leaves everyone behind to go on more adventures. I’m sure someone making this thought there would be more of The Young Adventures of Mathayus, but that never manifested. To be continued never, since The Scorpion King 3: The Battle for Redemption takes place after he’s become the Scorpion King.
This feels like a lame made for TV movie; it was direct to DVD, so close. What really bothered me was all the anachronisms. Look, I don’t really care that Layla mentions the pyramids while The Scorpion King clearly said the story took place before they were built. I care that this movie says that Hammurabi was an Akkadian, when he was OBVIOUSLY Babylonian. Hell, Hammurabi was born well after the Akkadian empire had fallen, and nearly 500 years after Sargon died! And then there’s Astarte, or as the Akkadians would most likely know her, Ishtar. Like… why not call her that? Why use her Greek name? Ishtar even has a tale in The Epic of Gilgamesh where she unleashes the Bull of Heaven,
a perfectly serviceable replacement to the Minotaur. It just feels like someone did a couple seconds of searching on Internet Explorer (it was made in 2008, after all) and then called it a day.
MUMMY FUN FACT! This is the last time that Mathayus will be played by a person of color. The Rock is half-black/half-Samoan, and Mathyus’ actor in this movie–Michael Copon, AKA the Blue Ranger from Power Rangers Time Force–is half-Filipino. Look, not all these Mummy Fun Facts are going to be winners.
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