Starring: Victor Webster, Ron Perlman, Billy Zane, Bostin Christopher, Dave Bautista, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, Selina Lo
Director: Roel Reine
2012 | 105 Minutes | PG-13
“There is no army, your highness.” – Mathayus
“Just us.” – Olaf
It has been a while since I have seen the original Scorpion King and I never saw Scorpion King 2 so maybe I am making a mistake in watching its sequel but it is on Netflix right now so I decided I had better watch it before I had to pay to watch it somewhere.
Known simply as Mathayus (Victor Webster), The Scorpion King is now nothing more than a mercenary. He now teams with a Germanic Teuton named Olaf (Bostin Christopher) and the warrior princess Tsukai (Selina Lo) to defend a kingdom from the evil king Talus (Billy Zane) and his undead warriors.
The beginning of the movie feels very low budget. It is mostly the tiny, cheap sets that never come close to the epic scope intended. The director seems to be trying to use wide landscape shots to make the sets appear bigger but in reality all of the sets were very small in scale. Army camps seemed to only be a few tents. The couple times where the action was taking place in a city or palace things seemed too plain or run down to be believable as a kings domain.
The action is really, really poorly choreographed and executed. One scene in particular has Mathayus and Olaf using guerrilla tactics (or as I’m sure they thought of it, Gorilla). Olaf sneaks up on two guards and breaks both of their necks at once. The problem is, he never had a good grip on either person’s neck so it was completely unbelievable. He then picks up spears and throws them. The spears are thrown in a way that would send them about 6 feet but it cuts away and then shows the spears going much further before both connect with their targets. Then Mathayus shoots some arrows that have the same effect. I imagine throwing a spear would be tough but is it that hard to shoot a real arrow from a real bow and make it look real?
It does pick up later when, during a big battle, Talus’ army launches fiery balls from catapults. I actually think much of the explosions and fire were real. Not CG. Slo-mo ensues and I started to care about The Scorpion King 3 for the first time.
There’s also some crazy ninja battles that seem to come out of nowhere. I have no idea if whatever part of the world this takes place in could even possibly have ninjas but it was pretty sweet so I didn’t question it.
The acting is pretty hammy by every single person involved. If they had been smarter, they would have been better off doing away with much of the “character building.” It all fell pretty flat anyway.
Of special note is Billy Zane. I can’t be certain what he felt this role was calling for but what he gave it was some of the most over the top acting in recent memory. Nicolas Cage would blush.
Former WWE champion Dave Bautista and former UFC fighter Kimbo Slice both have small roles. They are both undead warriors raised by King Talus. Neither is really given much of a chance to act but they look good on screen as worthy adversaries for the Scorpion King.
Mathayus really should have had an awesome signature weapon. In the first movie he had a scorpion shaped dagger and a sweet sword. Here he has the most basic sword imaginable. Any great medieval hero needs a great weapon. Conan, He-Man, William Wallace – all had their signature swords. In fact, every other character in The Scorpion King 3 had signature weapons. Olaf even had a huge extra sword on his back that he never used. He always used his big club.
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption is pure low budget sword fighting action. It starts really bad and gets better as it goes along. Never Great. The story was a little hard to follow but I’m not sure if that is because I haven’t seen or don’t remember the previous movies or if it is simply because of poor storytelling. I did finally find myself getting into the movie after a while but it could have been a lot better. I would say The Scorpion King 3 is worth watching if you are a fan of The Mummy and Scorpion King movies but it probably isn’t a movie fans will go back to again and again.