Pro-wrestler The Rock (né
Dwayne Johnson) makes his starring-role debut as the warrior he played (briefly) in The Mummy Returns
. For this, he’s discreetly transformed from a villain to a hero uniting ancient tribes (about 3,000 B.C.) in rebellion against a wicked king (Steven Brand). The king reigns with the unwilling assistance of a beautiful sorceress (Kelly Hu) who has eyes for the hero (and costumes that stretch the limits of the film’s PG-13 rating). The Rock may not be an actor (although compared to, say, Steven Seagal, he’s Anthony Hopkins), but he has real star quality; he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he lets us in on the joke. Meanwhile, director Chuck Russell keeps the hokum moving at a rollicking pace—it’s all kid stuff, but good fun, and over in a snappy 94 minutes.