The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption

It is always hard to know where to start with a film like Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption (particularly as the first was nothing to write home about), this is purely down to the fact that it isn’t very good at all. There are many reasons why this film out and out fails on all Direct To Video levels, which at 100 minutes running time is probably one of the most boring DVD experiences Filmwerk has encountered for quite sometime. When a high point for the film is MMA fighter Kimbo Slice growling and setting hapless extra fodder on fire, you know that this film (even by DTV standards) is beyond enjoyment.

The story or lack their of acts as a prequel to the previous entry (itself a prequel sequel, which is starting to becoming a little too convoluted to explain) as we follow Mathayus (after the events of the first Scorpion King, but before The Mummy Returns) as his prophecy to lead his people and conquer a continent slowly starts to come true. After the death of his wife Cassandra, Mathayus decides to become a mercenary once again, this time becoming involved with two battling warlords. This is textbook fantasy film writing and unsurprisingly brings little new or inventive to the table.

For a Direct To Video sequel (prequel) Scorpion King 3 is probably the lowest of the low right now (that includes Steven Seagal’s most recent DVD release), both in terms of quality and basic production design. Almost nothing in this film works, nor is it even enjoyable on a trashy c-grade (let alone b-grade) level. The always-worthwhile Ron Pearlman turns up briefly and Billy Zane is the resident crazed bad guy (although at times he sounds suspiciously unlike himself). One highlight (which I might add is probably the only plus point) is that Victor Webster is an enjoyable martial artist and shows a little promise. Let’s hope that any future roles he might have, give him more to play with besides swinging a sword, as he’s a charming presence at times.

Director Roel Reine did a passable job on recent DTV efforts, such as the Steven Seagal feature Pistol Whipped (one of his best in years). While Marine 2 (which although provided nothing new or even exciting) was an enjoyable Friday night action romp which held a few moments of 80s style action violence. In Scorpion King 3 it’s as though he has almost forgotten how to direct and orchestrate an action sequence. The quality of the costumes themselves are verging on secondary school drama performance and even though a big battle happens on a lush open field, it does not mean it’s an epic masterpiece where you continue to slow down and speed up the footage Mr Reine.

Those that were disappointed with last years slight dull Conan The Barbarian will find Scorpion King 3 to be worse than Marcus Nispel’s sword and sorcery feature. Not only is this feature dull and lifeless, but also it doesn’t even have moments that so bad they are enjoyable. It wants to have its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, but unfortunately it seems content just to blow a raspberry at the audience instead. Unsurprisingly this is film will most likely find its way to the budget bins of motorway service stations for a couple of pounds. 

Extras for this release are slim only really for the die-hard fans of this damp squid. For those that are interest in such things, the viewer is treat to a few behind the scenes videos (mainly of Victor Webster learning the fight sequences) and a handful of trailers. Baring Webster’s performance there is very little about this feature that charms in a B-Movie feel. One for a desperate rainy day and instantly forgettable, but honestly just give it a miss.

Dominic O’Brien

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