Wrestler-turned-actor Randy Couture headlines a cast of relative unknowns (except for Tim Wu) in this prequel to the Dwayne Johnson Scorpion King film.
“The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior,” tells the tale of the young Akkad warrior Mathayus (Michael Copon) as he rises from being the son of a brave, but murdered scorpion soldier to the ranks of one of the greatest scorpion hero-warriors in Akkadian lore. The film follows Mathayus on his quest to revenge the death of his father at the hands of the evil king Sargon. After he joins up with a Greek poet and a band of other outcast misfit fighters he confronts the Minotaur, journeys to the Underworld for the legendary Sword of Damocles while staving off the wiles of the goddess Astarte and eventually confronting Sargon, the sorcerer king and killer of his father.
“The Scorpion King 2: Rise of the Warrior” was inevitable. It had to come along at some point and it is probably a good thing that six years have past since the first film in 2002. What made this film worth watching for 109 minutes wasn’t the acting. Apart from the role of Ari, the Greek poet played by Simon Quarterman and Wu’s character, the performances from the remaining cast were B-Movie at best, and in some cases, like that of Couture, just plain amateurish. No, what allowed me to continue watching the film until the closing credits was its director Russell Mulcahy (“Resident Evil: Extinction,” “Highlander”) and a pleasant enough script from screenwriter Randall McCormick (“Titan A.E.”). Mulcahy was able to turn what should have been a totally dreadful movie into a watchable film that didn’t make me feel like I had completely wasted an hour and a half of my time.
This film is a notch up in quality from what is typically seen on a Saturday night from the SCI FI Channel. It had some pretty good visual effects shots, but also some god-awful ones as well. Whoever did the CGI for Couture’s metamorphosis into a black scorpion needs to find a new line of work. The most enjoyable part of the film for me was the devil-may-care attitude and great quips from Quarterman, the banter between him and Wu (all done in Chinese) as well as some of the pretty fair sword fighting segments.
For the most part, fans of this kind of mythological action movie should find it enjoyable enough to fork out the money to buy it and find the time to watch it. It certainly wasn’t the worst film I have ever seen and was a far cry from the best, but it was watchable and kind of fun.
~ Samuel K. Sloan
Out of 5 possible stars the SoSF SCORE =