ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

The Scorpion King (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: April 19, 2002
CAP Score: 43
CAP Influence Density: 2.19

MinMax: -78

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

THE SCORPION KING (PG-13) -- ...another "What were the MPAA thinking!?"

Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Director(s): Chuck Russell
Producer(s): Sean Daniel, James Jacks, Vince McMahon, Kevin Misher, Richard Luke Rothschild, Stephen Sommers
Written by/Screenplay: Story: Jonathan Hales, Stephen Sommers. Screenplay: David Hayter, William Osborne, Stephen Sommers
Cinematography/Camera: John R. Leonetti
Music: John Debney
Film Editing: Michael Tronick
Casting: Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller
Production Design: Ed Verreaux
Art Direction: Greg Papalia

Those of you who subscribe to our free enewsletter received an advance notice about The Scorpion King a few hours after its opening. You already know the its scoring distribution plus a couple key elements in the show. You already know this is another R-13, another "What were the MPAA thinking!?" You know also that the young girls in the audience (early to mid teens) squealed with glee and comments of delight when the scorpion king and the sorceress were nude together. And you know that I don't wonder what was on the minds of the young lads in the audience as a young lad in the movie tossed a coin into a "fountain" and "yes-s-s-s-sed" with gratitude for his wish being answered as a nude woman pops up out of the water. But that is not all. More later.

Mathayus (Dwayne Johnson) and two more men who turn out to be no more than opportunities to proving more onscreen killing are hired for 20 blood rubies by an ousted ruler who lost his kingship because of his failure to save his people from Memnon (Steven Brand), the evil ruler who is destroying the lives of everyone in his path to world domination. Their wages were 20 blood rubies. There is little more to say about the story but a lot to say about the programming and its content.

Memnon's abilities to be so successful in destroying so many people and tribes was the sorceress [Rev. 21:8, which pretty much covers the whole show], Cassandra (Kelly Hu). And her powers would be lost once she had sex with Memnon, which he planned to take once he had conquered all he wanted to conquer and no longer needed Cassandra's power. Along the way, Mathayus picks up Balthazar (Michael Clarke Duncan, the "gentle giant" of The Green Mile), the leader of a clan sworn to defend all against Memnon. Together, Mathayus and Balthazar plus some necessaries storm Memnon's castle and save the world.

Kelly Hu was the quintessential displayer of female skin. And that she did. All of it a couple times. A lot of it almost all the time. Her main outfit was bare from the ankle to the shoulder, essentially two panels of fabric, one in the front and one in the back loosely thonged to her. Other actresses were hired to display much of their -- uh -- selves as well but sporadically and briefly. While there were no issues of foul language noted, the violence was massive. The number of sword or arrow killings and murders are uncountable.

I will not spend a lot of time summarizing this film and will let the listing in the Findings/Scoring section, the heart of the CAP analysis model speak for the content of this movie. Please inspect it for a full accounting of the application of the CAP analysis model to this movie.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable [vile], and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [practitioners of witchcraft, magic], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    The Scorpion King (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • hanging
  • multiple murders
  • period warfare deaths/violence
  • threat to kill
  • many sword fights
  • decapitated head
  • order to kill
  • deaths by sinking sand
  • stabbings
  • attempted behanding of a young boy
  • deaths by incineration
  • death by fall
  • fighting
  • blade/impalement injuries
  • deaths by explosion

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • theft by adolescent
  • son enjoying killing and beheading his father, keeping his father's head as a trophy
  • display of catching arrows coming directly at body trunk

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • inappropriate touch
  • excess cleavage, repeatedly
  • many, many instances of dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, including full side nudity and occasional revealings of gender-specific features
  • flash nudity
  • sexual talk
  • prostitutes making sex offers
  • nudity, repeatedly
  • portrayal of young boy wishing for and getting a nude woman
  • woman straddling prone, face-up man
  • nude man and woman together, ostensibly for intercourse
  • man and two women together in bed

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drunken revelry
  • drinking, multiple

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • worship of gods
  • visions by sorcery, repeatedly
  • sorcery to draw arrow poison out of man

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • murder by sword
  • murder by cutting throat
  • multiple murders
  • murder by knife
  • murder by arrows
  • murder by lance

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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