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Movie Review – The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior

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Somewhere some Hollywood executive is thinking that it was a fantastic idea to make a prequel to the first Scorpion King movie. With all the box office The Mummy franchise generates, this straight-to-DVD movie seems like a no-brainer right? Oh, man, that Hollywood executive couldn’t be more wrong.

The first Scorpion King movie, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is a guilty pleasure of many. It’s a fun movie to watch, and he has a bit of charisma, which goes a long way on a horrible script and empty story. It’s mindless action, with a few witty (I use that term loosely) quips from The Rock, and it’s fairly well made. Also, the first Scorpion King movie was a prequel to The Mummy series, so Scorpion King 2 is a prequel to that prequel, and just as redundant as it sounds.

Just as the title states, the movie is about the rise of the boy who will one day become The Rock in the next movie. The young Mathayus (Baby “The Rock”) witnesses his father’s murder by a magical black cloud (it was nice to see the Smoke Monster from Lost get a cameo) filled with black scorpions. He is enraged and vows to avenge his father’s death. Somehow he connects the black cloud of scorpion death, with the evil and atrociously acted Sargon.

Randy Couture of UFC fame tries his hand at acting here. Sargon is big, muscled, and has the emotion of wet cardboard. Every line of dialogue that comes out of Sargon’s mouth is said with the exact same tone and intonation as every other line of dialogue. Happy, angry, sad, confused, it’s all the same.

Young Mathayus grows up fast, and I mean fast. He goes from being a tiny little twerp to a fine hunk of man flesh that looked like he just stepped out of The O.C. in a matter of one tricky camera movement. He has become a member of the elite fighting commandos called the Black Scorpions. When he returns home he finds out that Sargon has killed the previous king and usurped the throne. He again vows revenge for his father’s death, but not until after he visits the king’s harem.

After a brief spat in the palace Mathayus flees and becomes a fugitive in his own lands. Travels to Egypt with a pretty little lady friend named Astarte, played by a hot girl of little importance other than she too looked like she stepped off a set, this time Laguna Beach, and into this movie. She even talks like it too, which is even more annoying. Along the way they meet up with various characters, a poet who knows far more about nothing than anyone would ever care about and a group of fighters that somehow knew Mathayus’ Father.

Deep into the Underworld they travel…sorry, did I lose you? Are you sitting there saying, Underworld? Do you mean the real Underwold? Like Hell? Why are they going to the Underworld in the first place? Now you know what it’s like to watch this movie. It pinballs from one absurd plot point to the other without any reasoning at all, except that of the poet’s, but he’s far too whiny for any of us to care about.

The special effects here are not much more fantastic as those from a creature feature on the Sci-Fi channel, or that of 1959’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. The giant scorpion at the end should be used in CGI classes across the country on what not to do when animating a giant scorpion. Most of the time the scorpion is invisible, obviously to save as much money as possible, with an invisible giant scorpion all the special effects team had to do was blow up a few pillars of rock and send debris flying in all directions. But, when it’s actually shown it makes the scorpion at the end of the second Mummy movie look like it was created by Pixar.

I really wanted to like this movie. The first Scorpion King is a laughfest yes, but it’s fun to watch. This movie is painful. Couture may be able to beat people’s heads in in real life, but one of the things he cannot do is act. It’s like watching a train wreck that is so gruesome you have to look away. You’re not even morbidly interested to see how it turns out.

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  • justin

    Okay, first of all, you better watch your back because this wrestling guy, Couture, is gonna be after you. I’d bet good money you’re one of only a handful of people who actually reviewed this movie.
    Next, I was always under the impression that The Mummy series was a spoof on something else. I mean, Brendan Frasier is bad enough, but Brendan Frasier in a trilogy? List that on ‘things I never thought would happen in my lifetime.’
    Finally, I’d think after five movies the whole “Mystical Egyptian” meme is pretty much played out. They’d be better off pulling a George Lucas and letting this series simmer on the back burner for, oh, I don’t know, thirty years or so, and then resurrecting it with whatever Hollywood hype will exist circa the year 2040. Don’t tell me Brendan Frasier doesn’t have that “destined for the Lifetime channel/Mark Hamill” vibe about him. It’s kismet!

  • http://lucasthelegomaniac.home.services.spaces.live.com/default.aspx Lucas

    So was the smoke monster from Lost also carrying the Boo Box from Hook? That is cool!

  • Aaron

    EXACTLY Lucas!

    Actually a movie about The Somke Monster vs. The Boo Box would’ve been a hundred times more exciting.

  • soul

    I liked the movie. I liked the plot, the actors, the characters and everything about it.
    And about the Underworld, I think it’s reasonable why it’s included in the plot. The reviewer just don’t want to mention why.

    I liked it.
    Losers are those who don’t.