The Scorpion King 3: The Battle For Redemption (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The Scorpion King 3: The Battle for Redemption is the third film in the Scorpion King franchise although it is the first sequel to the 2002 film as the second film was actually a prequel. With the death of his queen Cassandra, Mathayus, the Scorpion King (Webster) forsakes his kingdom for the life of a mercenary. Mathayus is hired by King Horus (Perlman) to aid him in his upcoming war against his evil brother Prince Talus (Zane) who wants Horus’ kingdom for himself. Mathayus is joined by the Germanic warrior Olaf (Bostin Christopher) and sent first to aid Horus’ closest ally King Ramusan somewhere in an unnamed Far East Asian kingdom.
While the pair manage to help Ramusan’s troops defeat Talus’s initial invasion (in the most underwhelming castle assault you’ve ever seen on film), Ramusan now needs the pair to rescue his daughter, Princess Silda (Krystal Vee) who has been captured by Talus who is holding her for ransom in return for the ancient Book of the Dead that will grant Talus great powers.
Wow, where do I begin with Scorpion King 3? It’s clear that no one involved with the production from the writers, to the directors, to the wardrobe people have ever picked up a history book much less read one. To start, the Scorpion King was supposed to be a pre-dynasty Egyptian King and yet he’s also described as an Akkadian, whose nation was in what today is modern Iraq . Ok so maybe I’ll let them off on that one but the fact is that there is almost nothing in Scorpion King 3 that looks remotely Egyptian or Middle Eastern in style or substance. In fact the film is all over the map. Horus, who has an Egyptian sounding name, rules a kingdom that strangely looks populated mainly by white, western Europeans. His soldiers are dressed as Mongol warriors but his personal guard is dressed like Roman Legionnaires. Oh, and add ninjas into the mix, too because there’s a secret group called Cobra who is also trying to protect the Princess. Apparently the wardrobe department got a good deal on costumes and decided to go with it and authenticity be damned!
The Scorpion King was said to have ruled around 3300 BC but the first Germanic tribes wouldn’t appear for another 1500 years so the inclusion of “Olaf” only further muddles this stew of historical inaccuracies. Now maybe I’m being nit-picky here but it really wouldn’t have taken much of an effort to at least get the history somewhat accurate. Things like this stand out in a big way. It’s shoddy filmmaking from director Roel Reine but what do you expect from the guy who gave us such classics as “Death Race 2” and “The Marine 2”. Apparently he’s going for the title of King of bad sequels.
Making matters worse is that you cannot even enjoy it as a fun action film. The choreography is as bad as the actors and stunt people give each other love taps with their weapons. Olaf and Mathayus engage in a knock-down fist fight early on yet neither has a scratch or a bruise to show for it. As mentioned the assault on Ramusan’s castle is laughable as were talking about 60 soldiers on each side fighting inside a castle that is smaller than the average suburban middle class home.
In the entire morass there are a few faint beacons of positive light. Billy Zane just goes all out and has a lot of fun in his role as Talus. He gleefully over-dramatizes every line he has but at least he has some life. More than you can say for Perlman who looks like he’s about to nod off. Does he have a contract that says he has to be in every film made? There’s also some great eye-candy in the forms of Krystal Vee and Selina Lo who have the film’s best fight scene. And a word about Victor Webster in the starring role…he might not be much of an actor but he has a good look…tall, well-built. I’d have loved to seen him play Conan the Barbarian…at least over Jason Mamoa.
Audio Commentary with Director Roel Reine
Deleted/Extended Scenes (13:00) Mostly extended scenes. We do get a lot more of the fight between Olaf and Agromel (Played by former WWE wrestler Dave Batista) which was cut drastically short.
Deleted Shot Montage (4:14)
Gag Reel (2:12)
Swords and Scorpions: A Making of (13:18) – Standard making of documentary with interviews with cast and the director.
Preparing for Battle (6:00) – A look at the films action sequences and the preparation and training that the actors went through.
Mania Grade: C-
DVD: The Scorpion King 3: The Battle for Redemption
Starring: Victor Webster, Ron Perlman, Billy Zane, Bostin Christopher, Krystal Vee
Written By: Randal McKormick, Shane Kuhn, Brendan Cowles
Directed By: Roel Reine
Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment
Original Year of Release: 2011
Extras: See Below