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File:The scorpion king 001.jpg

Your guide to ancient history - Pro-Wrestling Style!

The first step to enjoying this film is to forget everything you ever learned about ancient history. And when we say everything, we really do mean it this time...

It is the year 5000 BC - or thereabouts. The anachronistic Greek general Memnon is out to, you guessed it, take over the world. Which consists of African tribesmen, Amazons and the City of Gomorrah in improbably close conjunction. The leaders of the Free Peoples, including the chiefs of the aforesaid Africans and Amazons, hire the 'last of the Akkadians' a race of deadly assassins, (which would come as a surprise to Sargon of Akkadia) to kill not Memnon, but the evil sorcerer whose magic and prophecies are the ultimate source of his success.

Tropes used in The Scorpion King include:
  • Action Girl: The sorceress, despite clearly not being an actual trained fighter, still isn't afraid to pick up a sword and either defend herself or others... and isn't bad at it for an amateur, either.
  • Anachronism Stew: And how!
  • Arrows on Fire: Two words: "Catch this."
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Mathayus and Balthazar.
  • Badass Boast: 'Who dies first?'
  • Bare Your Midriff: The Sorceress, of course.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: One hopes Memnon has fire insurance. But it wouldn't help. He was the one who set his palace on fire. They'd figure he was just trying to get the money by torching his place.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Mathayus. King? He just wants the guy who killed his brother.
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: The Sorceress is prepared for surprises while bathing.
  • Continuity Nod: Memnon's mooks wear the same red turbans (down to the metal logos) as Imhotep's mooks in The Mummy Returns.
  • Cowardly Sidekick
  • Dead Little Sister: His dead brother.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Philos. There'd be more, but every other character falls down on the "deadpan" bit.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: You just know when Balthazar and Mathayus break their swords on each other they are going to end up as friends.
  • Evil Overlord: Memnon.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Several times. Memnon should consider floor lighting.
  • Flaming Sword: Rule of Cool is in full effect when Memnon runs his swords through an oil torch to light them on fire.
  • Godiva Hair: The sorceress of course, when Mathayus surprises her in her bath.
  • Happily Ever Before - The only hint of the events that happen to the main character in The Mummy Returns is the sorceress saying "Nothing lasts forever." Other than that, the ending is pretty cheery. Stephen Sommers, the writer and director of The Mummy Returns has said that he considers the Scorpion King in his film to be an Identical Grandson of Mathayus, who Sommers felt was too heroic to turn into the bloodthirsty character seen in The Mummy Returns.
  • Historical Domain Character
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: "No one goes into The Valley of the Dead! That's why they call it the Valley of the Dead!"
  • Last of His Kind - Mathayus again. The Akkadians are apparently wonderful assassins, but very bad at self preservation.
  • Mook Horror Show: The sandstorm sequence.
  • Ms. Fanservice - Every single woman in the movie. But, as the biggest example, the Sorceress.
  • Non Actor Vehicle - Both films - the first for The Rock (who was beginning to make a name for himself in Hollywood at the time), and the second for Randy Couture.
  • Only a Flesh Wound - Matthias gets an arrow in his back during the final battle. Then, he takes it off, defeats the Big Bad and everyone (even him) forgets he was even wounded.
  • Plucky Comic Relief - Arpid is a very annoying one, as the movie doesn't need him.
  • Prequel - The first movie was a prequel to the Mummy series, while The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior is a prequel to the first movie. Younger cast, Direct to Video, no actors of note, and a really reduced budget. More specifically, Rise of the Warrior is a Prequel to a Prequel to a Sequel of a Re-make of an 80-year-old film.
  • Poor Man's Substitute - Of Conan the Barbarian, the first movie in particular. Bare-chested, manly, ripped hero? Check. Thief sidekick? Check. A villain that murdered the hero's people? Check.
  • Rated "M" for Manly
  • Redshirt Army - more like red scarf army.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent - Averted.
  • Refuge in Cool
  • Samus Is a Girl - Memnon's sorcerer (assumed to be male before The Reveal) is actually a sorceress. In the Latin American dub, they made it look like it was an old lady.
  • Schizo-Tech - Mostly thanks to Philos.
  • Scary Black Man - Michael Clarke Duncan, who else?
  • Screw Destiny - The sorceress tells Matthias that he's destined to fall at the hands of Memnon. He just tells her he'll make his own destiny, thank you very much.
  • Sequel - Believe it or not, The Scorpion King 3 is actually the proper sequel to The Scorpion King (while the Scorpion King 2 was its prequel).
  • Serial Escalation: Mathayus shoots three guys with arrows from his bow (fired all at once, of course). Not only do all three go flying, one actually hurtles backwards, smashes through the roof, and keeps going on an upward trajectory until he's out of frame. And that's in the first two minutes of the movie.
  • Sword and Sandal
  • Taking the Bullet: The Sorceress was about to take an arrow for Mathayus but as she grabbed him, he turned around and took the arrow for her.
  • Virgin Power - Subverted. Seems that sorceresses just tell their masters this so they'll keep their hands to themselves.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?? - The movie itself, since it makes no attempt at all to be even anything close to historically accurate instead running on pure Rule of Cool.
  • You Fail Biology Forever - The poisoned arrow Matthias was stabbed with would not have been much of a threat (well, aside from the whole getting stabbed thing), since the type of scorpion the venom was taken from, an emperor scorpion, chosen because they are huge and look creepy, is actually only slightly more dangerous to something the size of a human than a bee. With scorpions, the bigger they are, the less dangerous their venom, since they will use their claws to kill prey and their size to frighten off predators. Mathayus would have been in much greater danger from dying from blood loss or infection than from the venom.
  • Wife Husbandry
  • You Fail History Forever - So apparently Viking warriors are well known for having blood feuds with assassins from Akkadia before the pyramids were built. Also, Greek warlords apparently regularly commandeer what appears to be Babylonian warriors so they can base their capital cities in modern day Iraq. Also, those iron swords sure look nice in 5000 BC.
    • One of those, at least, is justified. A Greek is commanding Babylonians for the same reason why an Akkadian is commanding them by the end; because the Babylonians religiously adhere to Asskicking Equals Authority, as stated in the intro sequence. That probably isn't historically accurate either, but then in narrative terms they aren't actually Babylonians, just a made-up Proud Warrior Race.
    • Memnon was the name of an Egyptian king, not... wherever Memnon was supposed to be from.
    • Good thing noone remembered that magic black powder or how effective it was.
  • You Fail Physics Forever - If the first five minutes of The Scorpion King do not have you in tears of laughter, you have no sense of humor. To clarify, Mathayus shoots three mooks (at the same time) with three arrows shot (at the same time) from his bow. The center mook is sent flying, flipping head over heels for at least 15 meters, smashes through the wall, and KEEPS flying for another 10 meters.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Averted: Mathayas gives his word that he won't kill Horse-Thief and will obey his commands in exchange for Horse-Thief saving him from ants (it makes sense in context). Afterwards, Mathayas uses the camel and essentially forces Horse-Thief to walk, causing him to protest that they had a deal, and Mathayas tells him that he's upholding the deal, as he is not going to kill him... at least, he won't kill him yet.