Friday, August 15, 2008

How I Would Make It Better: The Scorpian King

This will serve as a bit of an intermission to The Chronicles of Ehav Ever. If you have read this blog long enough you know I love movies. I also wish I had the ability to make my own because I have some really good ideas. So here is something I enjoy, and that is the idea of improving previously made movies. There are a number of movies that if done the right way could have been a lot better than they were. So this is the second installment of how I would improve it.


In an ancient time, predating the pyramids, the evil king Memnon (Steven Brand) is using the psychic powers of his sorceress Cassandra (Kelly Hu) to foretell his great victories. In a last ditch effort to stop Memnon from taking over the world, the leaders of the remaining free tribes hire the assassin Mathayus (Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock) to kill the sorceress. But Mathayus ends up getting much more than he bargained for. Now with the help of the trickster Arpid (Grant Heslov), tribal leader Balthazar (Michael Clarke Duncan) and an unexpected ally, it's up to Mathayus to fulfill his destiny and become the great Scorpion King.

Another review states the following:
Capitalizing on his brief cameo in The Mummy Returns, Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. World Wrestling Federation star the Rock) stars as Mathayus, an Akkadian assassin in the age preceding Egyptian pharaohs, who vows to avenge his brother's murder by an undefeated warlord (Steven Brand) prophesied to become the desert-ruling Scorpion King. Their battle for supremacy comprises most of the film's brisk 95-minute running time, punctuated by comic relief from Mathayus's obligatory sidekick (Grant Heslov), romance with a beautiful sorceress (Kelly Hu), and alliance with a massive Nubian (Michael Clarke Duncan) on the eve of their climactic showdown. There's no rhyme or reason to the film's depiction of ancient civilization (the costuming is particularly ludicrous), but the Rock demonstrates adequate action-star potential, and director Chuck Russell (The Mask) wraps it all in a slick, professional package. --Jeff Shannon

The Scorpion King Trailer

How I Would Improve It

When I first heard about the making of this movie I was excited. When I saw the first trailer I couldn't wait to go and see it. I liked, what appeared to be, a diverse cast from different cultures which was one of the appealing aspects for me. I was also a fan of the up and coming star the rock as well as a fan of the Mummy.

When I first saw The Scorpion King I thought it was good. I rushed out to buy the DVD when it came out in order to support it, because I love ancient movies with a good mix of cultures in it. Yet, over time I began to feel like the movie wasn't that good after all. So now I begin to think of how I would have improved it.

The first thing I would have done is made the movie more edgier. I may have gotten rid of Michael Duncan Clarke, since I to me he doesn't add edginess to the movie, but then again I may have just simply rewritten many of the characters. The movie is about ancient times so it makes no sense that there was not some big battle scene between two standing armies. I loved the scene at the beginning of the Mummy II where the two armies charged each other. I would have had one of these in this movie. I am not sure if I would have kept the Rock as the main character. More than likely I would sense his presence, especially at that time, would be a part of the movie being a money-maker.

Some of the elements of the theatrical version didn't make sense, mainly because there were about 5 or 6 deleted scenes that actually helped the movie make more sense. One example, there is a deleted scene that explains why Mathayus (The Rock) did not kill the sorceress. In the deleted scenes the sorceress mentions that she knows that Mathayus has never killed a woman before. She asks will she be his first. He chooses not to kill her. In the theatrical release there is no explanation given as to why he didn't kill her. He is supposed to be a mercenary so you would figure filling women would be no problem. There is also no explanation why it was thought that he and his Akkadian brothers could kill a sorceress who could see the future.

So the major changes I would have made are the following.

Change #1: I would get rid of the captive sorceress who can see the future. That just made no sense to me. If she could see the future, how could she have been kept captive by Memnon? I also don't like the idea of seeing the future since there is no real way to fight that. I would have made the sorceress more of a semi-evil character. Should would not have been a damsel in distress. She may have been someone who felt she was a servant of destiny, and her interests changing based upon a misguided view of fate.

Change #2:
Instead of a PG-13 rating I would have gone for an R rating since it would have included ancient battles. I also would have maybe added a quest element to the film. Since it is based on the Mummy movies there was a mystical element between life and death. I also would have made a tie in with the introduction to the Mummy Returns.

Change #3: Instead of there being one main villain, Memnon, I would have made it a family of villains. Each one would have been the master of a different weapon technique. I would have used the age old, "Find him and kill him motif." This before the triumphant return of for an all out war between two giant armies. The following intro to the Mummy II The Mummy Returns is something of the scale of battle I was expecting from the Scorpion King.

Battle Scene – The Mummy II

Change #4:
The Soundtrack for the Scorpion King did not make sense at all. Instead of going for the type of music that matches the setting of the movie they chose rock songs. This made the music useless with setting up the scenes.

Change #5: I would have had the move show Mathayus traveling to the various locales in the Middle East and East Africa, maybe to raise up an army to fight Memnon. This would have been great for him to interact with these other cultures and kingdoms in an attempt to raise up an army for the final battle.

Change #6: The entire premise of the movie for me would have been about destiny. Every character would have been vying for their plan in this one prophetic destiny concerning the rise of a Scorpion King. Each person, for good or for bad, would have been doing the best they could to secure their place in the legend. Thus, this would lead to the downfall of some and the rise of others. I would have also added an element of hidden back stabbing right near the end as some people see their chances at destiny slipping away or coming to fruition. I would have also made the Mathayus (The Rock) be the one person who doesn't believe in destiny and prophecy, but both would still affect his life against his will. Essentially, his actions and circumstances would still cause his destiny to occur as a part of this larger prophecy. From there I would have tied into the first scene of the Mummy II, where Mathayus, against his own views of destiny, ends up trying to conquer various kingdoms thus locking himself into the destiny that is in the movie the Mummy II.


With a number of key changes the Scorpion King could have been an epic film like Sparticus and Ben Hur. I just found out that they did a part 2, but it was direct to DVD and it looks horrible.

Scorpion King 2 Trailer

Taking out the epic and prophet elements of an ancient movie makes it worthless. Much of the ancient world was based on the concept of epic battles for supremacy and the idea of prophet truth. The minute they took this out of the Scorpion King it was destined to be a worthless movie.

Yet, in the end this movie could have been a lot of better if they had Ehav Ever working on. The Chronicles of Ehav Ever will continue next week.

1 comment:

aoc gold said...

O Sailor, Come Ashore

(Part I)

O sailor, come ashore

What have you brought for me?

Red coral , white coral,

Coral from the sea.

(Part II)

I did not dig it from the ground ,

Nor pluck it from a tree;

Feeble insects made it

In the stormy sea.

~by aoc gold