The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior finds itself in an odd position. This movie, being a prequel to a Dwayne Johnson movie, which in and of itself is a spinoff of a sequel to a Brendan Fraser movie, has issues with identity. Stealing the formula of the previous film, in The Rock’s absence Randy Couture, UFC champion and Joe Rogan impersonator, is the Villain. With the rest of the cast composed of such household names as Michael Copon, Karen Davi, and Simon Quartermain. With this star-studded cast and no money, the movie makes some spectacular decisions, leading to an overall hilarious viewing experience.
Mathayus (Michael Copon) of the Akkadian Empire is born to a famous mercenary, who gets murdered by King Sargon (Randy Couture). This leaves Mathayus fatherless, with his white mother and black brother. Sargon has superpowers and he killed Mathayus’ father with black smoke that turns into scorpions. Six years later, after rigorous training, Mathayus is out for revenge. Mathayus and his friends travel to the Ancient Greek Underworld to get the sword of Damocles, the only weapon powerful enough to kill Sargon. After defeating Astarte, the goddess of love and death, in the underworld they all return to the Akkad for revenge. Mathayus kills Sargon with the sword only after Sargon turns into an invisible scorpion. With Sargon dead, the empire has been rescued, and Mathayus’ Father has been avenged.
The writing overall is terrible, but most of the actors try valiantly to deliver their lines. Although, Randy Couture stands out among the crowd as by far the worst actor. Delivering such lines as, “there is no place for timidity now that the scorpion rides on your shoulder,” with so little charisma they could have replaced him with a tree and no one would have noticed. He is consistently terrible throughout the whole movie to the point of becoming comedic.
The creative choices in the movie left me dazed and confused. The costume design is straight out of a BDSM catalog, with everyone being clad in copious amounts of leather, chains, and buckles. The Sword of Damocles, the sword so powerful it can kill gods, looks right out of a LEGO set. With a handle as thick as a pringles can painted silver, and a tinfoil blade. This movie looks like it was made with 285 dollars.
The directing is passable with nothing too egregiously wrong with it, but it must have gone to the Taken School of Action because there are about 50 cuts per-second in any action scene alongside strange 360 shots of the hero’s head, and never actually showing any of the blows. It is uninspired but does not directly take away from the viewing experience of the movie.
The pacing of the movie is a real issue. Within the first thirty minutes, Mathayus fights in a pit, his dad dies, he trains, he gets a job, he betrays Sargon, his brother dies, he flees to another city, and finally he goes to Greece. This section spans six years worth of stuff. After the first thirty minutes though, the movie slams to a halt in the Underworld. Making a point they can only stay in the underworld for one hour, the next forty-five minutes are spent there. Then the final thirty is reserved for the climax.
The saving grace of the movie is a character named Fong. They find Fong as a prisoner in Ancient Greece, not speaking any English. Fong has a real glow up, going from being chained up about to be killed, to catching a flaming arrow out of the air and throwing it back at the man who shot it. Fong steals the show, and while he may unfortunately be an Asian stereotype, he is the best character.
This movie is weird and strange and frankly bonkers. But despite all of the bizarre choices and bad acting, this movie was genuinely entertaining to watch. Not entertaining because it was good, but fun because it is bonkers. My friends and I had a fantastic time watching this movie. I thoroughly recommend this movie to anyone willing t
This movie is weird and strange and frankly bonkers. But despite all of the bizarre choices and bad acting, this movie was genuinely entertaining to watch. Not entertaining because it was good, but fun because it is bonkers. My friends and I had a fantastic time watching this movie. I thoroughly recommend this movie to anyone willing to listen.
Final rating: Fong/10
Categories: October 20, 2020, owen carpenter, review