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The Scorpion King



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

The film is set 5,000 years ago, in the infamous city of Gomorrah: An evil ruler is destroying nomadic tribes of the desert, aided by the visions of a powerful sorcerer. The nomads hire a professional assassin (wrestler Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock), to do away with the sorcerer, but things get a tad complicated when the assassin finds out that his intended victim is a beautiful woman (Kelly Hu). Rather than kill her, he abducts her, while the evil ruler's henchmen are predictably in pursuit. Also with Michael Clarke Duncan, Ralf Moeller and Bernard Hill. [1:29]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man caresses a woman's face, they kiss, lie back, and we see them sleeping together, presumably after having had sex (we see the man's bare chest and the woman's bare side). Men and women kiss and fondle each other in a scene where a large group of people is celebrating something. A man is shown sleeping with two women (we see his bare chest). A man says to a woman "I thought you'd lose your powers if you..." and rolls his eyes suggestively. We see a few scenes where women caress and proposition men (prostitutes at a market, harem women, and as a distraction). A nude woman in a bath stands up, her hair covering her breasts. The women invariably wear bikini-type tops that expose cleavage and bare abdomens, and mostly short leg-baring skirts; the men wear mostly outfits that reveal their bare chests and legs. A woman wears a gold bikini, and in another scene she wears a bikini-type outfit (the bottom is really just a patch with fringe) and another scene shows her in a robe that is slit all the way up the sides. Some women do a belly dance in front of a crowd of people.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - There are many scenes of battles, usually featuring a single man fighting large numbers of armed soldiers. The weapons of choice are swords, hatchets, knives and other bladed weapons that are thrown. A huge crowd of people kneels before an army and are summarily slaughtered (we hear the arrows being fired and hear the squishing sounds as they hit). A man with bloody wounds is held with a knife to his throat and we hear the squishing and gurgling when his throat is slit. A man holds up another man's severed head. A man is hit in the chest many times with arrows and falls to his knees. Two men are killed when they are stabbed in the abdomen, a man is stabbed with a spear (we hear a crunch and a moan), one man is stabbed with a poison-tipped arrow, another man is stabbed in the abdomen (we hear a crunch), a man is hit in the back with an arrow and a man is hit in the chest with an arrow and is thrown over a wall and into a plume of flames. A man fights many other men with a hatchet and a sword, and there is a lot of metal clanging, and bodies flipping, and lots of squishing and grunting. A man fights two guards with punches and kicks; one is hit in the back by many arrows. A man hits several men with arrows that have spiked balls at the tip, a man's neck is wrapped with a rope and he is shoved off a perch to hang. A man, followed by a huge wave of sand, charges on a camel toward a group of guards on horseback and as they are all blinded by the sand storm he slashes several of the men (we hear crunching and squishing). A man slides across an elevated rope, he hits one man hard and when he lands on the ground he fights with several other men with swords. Two men are hit by thrown balls-on-chains and they fall hard to the ground. A man straddling a chandelier on the floor is lifted and crashes into the ceiling. Two men begin to fight with swords but they both break so they resort to punching, kicking and shoving; one man's head is pounded into a post several times, he's thrown to the ground and stepped on, is hit in the head with a bucket, and nearly pierced by a spear (we see some blood on the mouth of one of the fighters). Three men fight with sticks in a training session: two men are knocked hard on the backs, chests and legs (we hear really loud cracks) and end up lying on the ground, and another man is shot at with an arrow, which he catches with his hands. A boy is caught, his arm is held down on a table, and a man raises a hatchet and brings it down in order to cut off his hand, but the hatchet is deflected by an arrow. Two men fight with swords -- one uses flaming swords: one is slashed on the arm and chest. A woman stabs a man in the foot with a sword and another in the abdomen. In several scenes a man is shot at by many guards with arrows and we hear them whizzing through the air. A man uses a huge metal gong as a shield and rolls it out of a room and over a balcony; we see people on the street running after it hits the ground. Some soldiers follow a man into a cave and they disappear one by one: Two are taken by quicksand, one is grabbed around the neck and pulled up, two are dragged into a "waterfall" of sand, we see one man impaled in the chest and several others are killed by a man hiding in the shadows and swinging his weapon. A man pulls an arrow out of his leg (we hear crunching and squishing). A woman has a few visions that show villages burning and many people dead, and we see some close-ups of a boy with an arrow in his chest and many other prone people, some with bloody wounds. A woman puts her hand in two pots; one is empty and another contains a cobra, which she uses to threaten a man. A woman straddles a man lying on the ground, leans over his mouth, a bright vapor floats out of his mouth and into hers, and she falls unconscious. A man is pinned to a pole by a pitchfork, a rope is wrapped around his neck, his hands are tied and he is punched in the face a couple of times. A man falls onto an anthill and is quickly swarmed by fire ants. Two men are buried, to the neck, in the sand and fire ants charge toward them; a man kills a few ants with his chin, one crawls in his mouth, he crunches it and spits it out and one man blows fire at the ants to make them retreat. A man with his sword drawn chases a boy. Two men are hit on the head with a branch. A man catapults himself, crashes through a window (wooden latticework) and lands hard on the floor. A man jumps from a balcony and crashes into a woman's bathing chamber below; the woman draws a knife and cuts his arm. A man is shown hanging by his feet and begs for his life. A man is punched in the face a couple of times and is rendered unconscious each time. Cobras lunge at a man and he slashes their heads off with a sword, and another lands on his chest and prepares to snap at his face but is thrown off. Two tigers fight over a hunk of meat. We see a few scorpions after their tails have been crushed, and their poison is rubbed on an arrow tip. A huge explosion throws many people and lots of rubble through the air -- there are a couple of small explosions as a man experiments with some powder. A woman tries to run from a man but her ankle is tied and she falls hard to the ground, she struggles with the man and he shoves her to the ground. A man has scars on his cheeks and forehead and a man has a badly scarred face.

PROFANITY 1 - 1 anatomical term, 1 mild obscenity. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The past, barbarism, brutality, greed, power, sorcery, destiny, mercenaries, symbols, gods.

MESSAGE - Mayhem can never bring peace.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol.)

Special Keywords: S3 - V6 - P1 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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