With great reluctance, I offered to review The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior. A direct-to-DVD release, the action-thriller had very little going for it, but considering the fact that it’s “from the producers of The Mummy” and stars UFC champion Randy Couture, it had to be great, right? Wrong.
The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior is your pretty typical direct-to-DVD movie, which means it’s pretty damn bad. While the production values are decent enough for a film like this, you can tell from minute one that this movie was made simply to coincide with the theatrical release of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, though why it isn’t being released until August 19th is beyond me. Cash was in the mind of Universal Studios – not quality – and it shows throughout the film.
The movie features a young Mathayus (Michael Copon), the character who will grow up to be the Scorpion King as portrayed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King. Long after his father is murdered by a ruthless king (Couture) who has magical powers, Mathayus grows up to be a great warrior and vows vengeance – though killing the king is going to be harder than first thought.
The acting is the first thing that clues you into the fact that you’re watching a cheap production. Copon is pretty bad, and Couture is especially painful to watch. Combined with the clunky screenplay, the actors are barely able to pull off a line without sounding like they’re reading from a teleprompter. Worse still is that the characters – especially Layla, played by the beautiful Karen David – spit out lines that sound like they were written for an MTV reality show; rather modern-sounding jokes and interchange really kill the mood, if there ever was one to begin with.
The action isn’t anything to scream about, and that’s assuming you have the patience to make it to the action. At an hour and 49 minutes, The Scorpion King 2 feels overly long, and while there are plenty of action sequences, they are all relatively small and unimpressive. I could only watch 20 minutes at a time before turning it off to shift my attention to something much more interesting, like preliminary trials in the Olympics.
Basically, there’s no love to be had for The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior. Despite the fact that it’s directed by the guy who did Highlander, the movie lacks action, excitement and, more importantly, quality.