REVIEW: THE SCORPION KING 4: THE QUEST FOR POWER

CAST

Victor Webster (Mutant X)
Ellen Hollman (Spartacus)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner)
Eve Torres (Supergirl)
Ian Whyte (Clash of The Titans)
Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Will Kemp (Reign)
Michael Biehn (The Terminator)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Flash 90s)
Brandon Hardesty (Bart Got a Room)
Esmé Bianco (Game of Thrones)
Don Wilson (Cybertracker)

Mathayus and his partner Drazen (who is under the Akkadian’s tutelage) infiltrate the palace of Skizzura to find and acquire an artifact known as the Urn of Kings for King Zakkour of Al-Moraad. In the process, they are discovered and a short fight ensues, revealing Drazen to be a traitor who was really after the Urn.Mathayus returns to Zakkour, who tells him that the Urn’s inscription will show the way to use the powers of Lord Alcaman, a powerful sorcerer who once controlled the entire known world. Under the instructions of the King, Mathayus follows Drazen to the kingdom of Norvania in the Northern Forests to deliver a peace treaty. Drazen gives the Urn to his father King Yannick who shatters it to retrieve the Golden Key of Lord Alcaman, which has the true inscription written on it. Mathayus arrives in Norvania and is accosted by the king’s guards. The soldiers are unable to best Mathayus, who allows himself to be arrested so he can enter the King’s castle. In jail, Mathayus meets another inmate, Valina Raskov, who convinces Mathayus to pay her to meet the king. She explains that she is a member of the original royal bloodline and Drazen wishes to cement his father’s rise to power with her public execution. Drazen appears with guards and takes Mathayus to be tortured, suspecting his peace treaty is a pretense. However, King Yannick believes Mathayus, releases him, and invites him to a dinner banquet. Drazen assassinates his father with black scorpions to cast blame on Mathayus and stall the treaty. Before dying, Yannick gives the Key to Mathayus, who resists capture and flees with Valina, who has feigned an illness to escape her cell, uses the ensuing chaos to leave the castle.In the process, Mathayus suffers an arrow wound to the shoulder (as he did when fighting King Memnon), forcing the pair to go to Valina’s father, Sorrell Raskov, an eccentric scholar and inventor who is unwilling to retake his place as ruler. Sorrell is shown the Key and explains how it will allegedly unlock Alcaman’s palace, where a worthy man can take the Lord’s crown and rule the world. Drazen arrives and forces them to give up the key, leaving them to die as he burns the house. The heroes escape and follow Drazen to Glenrrossovia, a village in Sorrell’s notes on the Key’s code. Drazen begins terrorizing the villagers to find the palace. After enlisting a local boy to steal the key, they take it to the Temple of the Goddess, presided over by High Priestess Feminina. They discover the Key inserts into a symbolic hole in a Goddess statue, located in the Temple’s underground sanctuary. The sanctuary is pushed through the earth, revealing stained glass that reveals the next direction of the journey.After a fight in Gorak’s lair with her opponent Chancara, Valina finds her dungeon friend Roland and has him join their party so they can find a map of the Tugarin Forest in which Alcaman’s palace is hidden in a mountain and guarded by a dragon. They are trapped by Chief Onus who leads the native Tugarin pygmy tribe and attempts to sacrifice them to the spider-like “creatures of the forest.” But Mathayus’ bellow causes the creatures to retreat, and the tribe to embrace them. Despite warnings of the beast, the heroes proceed towards the mountain, where they find the dragon is really a mechanical contraption.Finally, they arrive at Alcaman’s palace and open the hidden door into the mountain. Roland proves to be a traitor in Drazen’s service and the usurper’s men surround and fill the throne room of Alcaman. Mathayus and Valina fight the attackers, but Sorrell receives a mortal wound from Drazen. Armed with Sorrell’s notes, Mathayus proceeds deeper into Alcaman’s palace, rigged with traps that kill those with Drazen and finds the Crown of Alcaman believing its power to be the only hope of healing Sorrell. Putting it on, he is covered in fire, but does not burn. As he prepares to return to his comrades, Drazen overpowers him and takes the Crown. Drazen is judged unworthy and the Crown freezes him to death. Mathayus shatters Drazen’s frozen body and revives Sorrell, who finally believes in magic, with the Crown.The group leaves the mountain and seals the door with the Key and Crown inside, telling the remainder of Drazen’s men that the power of Lord Alcaman was just a myth. Sorrell is crowned King once more, but gives his crown to Valina, who promises to build a kingdom based on “science and mathematics, truth and reason, and just a little bit of magic.” During the credits, Mathayus is relieved from his service to King Zakkour who allowed him to stay with Queen Valina in her service. Valina and Mathayus share a kiss as Gorak and Chancara are also present at the dinner.Scorpion King 4 is a great action adventure and with Victor Webster (who is the only actor to portray Mathayus twice). It’s a fun film for a direct to dvd release.

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REVIEW: THE SCORPION KING 3: THE BATTLE FOR REDEMTPION

CAST

Victor Webster (Mutant X)
Bostin Christopher (Unbreakable)
Temuera Morrison (Spartacus: Gods of The Arena)
Krystal Vee (THe Lazarus Papers)
Selina Lo (28 Weeks Later)
Kimbo Slice (Blood and Bone)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Billy Zane (Zoolander)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)

A handful of years after giving Mathayus the prophecy that his peaceful kingdom wouldn’t last forever, Cassandra dies. Mathayus allows his kingdom to fall apart in the aftermath of the deadly plague which claimed his wife’s life and he believes his reign of nobility to be over. Mathayus then becomes a mercenary once more, just as he was prior to his war with Memnon. Talus is the younger brother of Horus, a powerful king of Egypt wishes to conquer his brother’s kingdom since Horus was made the king over him. In order to do so Talus, along with his army, goes to the Far East to steal the Book of the Dead from Ramusan, a king who is an ally of Horus. To stop Talus, Horus hires Mathayus and pairs him up with the Scandinavian warrior Olaf. In turn, Talus kidnaps Ramusan’s daughter, Silda. Ramusan then tells Mathayus that if he can save his daughter, he will have the right to wed her and once again raise a kingdom.Before Mathayus manages to rescue Silda, she is whisked away by the ninja army of the mysterious “Cobra”. Talus hires Mathayus and Olaf to bring back the princess as well as Cobra’s head. They wind up in an exiles’ camp led by Cobra, who turns out to be Silda herself. Talus then arrives at Ramusan’s palace and takes the Book of the Dead while injuring Ramusan. With this, he reanimates the dead warriors Zulu Kondo, Agromael and Tsukai. In a test to see their strength, Talus orders them to kill his best men which they do easily. Tsukai and Zulu Kondo are ordered to attack the exiles’ camp. Working together, Mathayus, Olaf and Silda’s ninjas manage to defeat Zulu Kondo in battle. However, Tsukai manages to escape.Mathayus and Olaf return to Ramusan’s palace, now Talus’ headquarters. They pretend to have rescued Silda and present a severed head supposedly belonging to Cobra. Talus still intends to marry Silda and takes her to his sleeping chambers. Mathayus attacks Talus, who is saved by the timely intervention of Tsukai. Mathayus pursues Talus while Silda faces Tsukai. At the same time, Olaf attempts to get the Book of the Dead but has to fight Agromael. While Talus faces the wrath of the ninjas, Mathayus somehow finds the ailing Ramusan and together they use the Book of the Dead to prevent Tsukai and Agromael from killing Silda and Olaf, respectively.With Ramusan dying in his daughter’s arms and Talus left to face the wrath of the ninjas, Tsukai and Agromael bow down to Mathayus as the new ruler of Ramusan and Talus’ kingdoms. When Horus arrives at the city gates, he is greeted by Mathayus, who has taken up the mantle of Scorpion King once more. During the credits, it’s revealed Mathayus and Silda shared a kiss on the night of their earlier party, though Silda appears to leave the prospects of a relationship with him behind as she bestows him the artifact which could one day be used to contact Anubis.Unlike the second film this is set after the first movie. Victor Webster takes over the role of Mathayus and does a great job of it. There is a lot of action and fighting in this movie, and it works out well enough. The fight scenes are well choreographed and are set at a high pace full of adrenaline. I liked what I saw. The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption is a decent enough action movie that will entertain most people.

REVIEW: THE SCORPION KING 2: RISE OF A WARRIOR

CAST

Michael Copon (Power Rnagers Time Force)
Karen David (Red Lights)
Simon Quarterman (Westworld)
Tom Wu (Kick-Ass 2)
Andreas Wisniewski(Mission Impossible)
Randy Couture (The Expendables)
Natalie Becker (The World Unseen)

Mathayus aims to avenge the death of his father at the hand of Sargon, now king of Akkad, by taking service in his Black Scorpions squad. After completing his training he is tasked by Sargon to kill Noah, Mathayus’s own brother. He saves him and escapes the city, but a magic arrow follows them and kills Noah.Mathayus boards a ship to Egypt, accompanied by his childhood friend Layla. He intends to get the Spear of Osiris in Egypt, which he believes will be able to pass through Sargon’s black magic protection. A fellow traveller, Greek poet Aristophanes (Ari), tells Mathayus and Layla that the Spear only kills Egyptian creatures, but the Sword of Damocles will work. The trio travels to Greece, where they can enter the Underworld to retrieve the Sword of Damocles. On the way, they fall into a cell and are surrounded by men left as sacrifices for the Minotaur. Some of the sacrifices are mercenaries who owe allegiance to Mathayus’ father, so they help him and Layla to defeat the Minotaur, with help from a Chinese captive named Fung.The enlarged group travel to the Underworld, where they are attacked by the goddess Astarte. Layla and Astarte fight, while Fung and Ari search for and find the sword. Astarte tries to send Layla to hell, but Mathayus frees her, and they all escape to the human realm. Astarte orders Sargon to get her sword back, and he asks for more dark powers. The group reach Akkad, where Sargon turns on a machine that dumps oil into the water supply. The oil and water begin to flow through statues into the city, which is then set on fire.170913-the-scorpion-king-the-rise-of-a-warrior-the-scorpion-king-2-rise-of-a-warriorUsing the Sword of Damocles, Mathayus fights through to Sargon but finds his own father, who turns out to be Sargon in disguise. Sargon uses the confusion to disarm Mathayus and they begin fighting. Ari picks up the sword then hands it to Sargon, revealing that he had been bribing Ari with riches. More chaos and fighting ensues in the city and we learn that the sword that Ari gave Sargon was a fake and easily shattered. Ari bursts in and gives Mathayus the real sword. When Sargon states Mathayus owes him his loyalty as a black scorpion, Mathayus burns off his scorpion tattoo with the sword as Sargon retreats into the shadows.image-w1280Sargon turns into a giant near-invisible scorpion and continues his attack. Mathayus impales the Scorpion King Sargon with the Sword of Damocles. Fung and Layla put out the fires in the city. Astarte tells Mathayus that she will show him no mercy, but Mathayus tells her that she will have him one day. Mathayus awakens in a bed after being nursed by Layla, who then tells him that he has won the right to be king, but he decides for now to head off on a life of adventure, knowing one day he shall be the Scorpion King.qvrftRbABC89H8tRLchLVHIufmOWith Scorpion King 2 being a prequel to a film that itself was a prequel to another film may be confusing. It’s not as good as the first (replacing The Rock would never be easy). It is still a good film and good enough sequel/prequel for a direct to dvd release.

REVIEW: THE SCORPION KING

CAST

Dwayne Johsnon (Fast & Furious 8)
Steven Brand (Hellraiser 9)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Grant Heslov (True Lies)
Bernard Hill (Lord of The Rings)
Michael Clarke Duncan (Sin City)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Ralf Moeller (Pathfinder)
Branscombe Richmond (Commando)
Roger Rees (The New World)
Tyler Mane (Halloween)

“Before the time of the pyramids,” a horde from the East invades the ancient world, led by the ruthless Memnon, who by their law, is king for being their greatest warrior. His many victories come from the help of a sorcerer who predicts the outcomes of battles, leaving only a few free tribes to oppose him.Mathayus, his half-brother Jesup, and friend Rama, the only three true remaining Akkadians, are hired by King Pheron of the last free tribes to kill Memnon’s sorcerer for twenty blood rubies, upsetting Pheron’s son Takmet, as it is the last of their treasury, and Nubian King Balthazar, who dislikes the Akkadians. The Akkadians manage to sneak into Memnon’s camp, but are ambushed by Memnon’s guards, having been tipped off by Takmet who killed his own father and defected to Memnon’s side. Jesup and Rama are hit by arrows, but Mathayus manages to sneak into the sorcerer’s tent, where he sees that the sorcerer is actually a sorceress, Cassandra. Mathayus is ambushed and meets Memnon himself, who brutally executes Jesup in front of him, and is about to kill Mathayus too. Cassandra, however, tells Memnon that the gods wish Mathayus to survive the night, and to defy them will incur their wrath and cost him his victories. Memnon has Mathayus buried to his neck in the desert to be devoured by fire ants at dawn, but he manages to escape with help from a horse thief, Arpid.Deciding to finish his mission and avenge his brother, Mathayus sneaks into Memnon’s stronghold, Gomorrah, and manages to enter Memnon’s palace with help from a street urchin. He briefly meets Memnon’s court magician, Philos, who hides him and then directs him to the courtyard where Memnon is training. Mathayus tries to shoot Memnon from the watchtower, but is forced to save the street urchin from having his hand amputated for theft by shooting the axe out of Takmet’s hand, alerting the guards to his presence. Mathayus only barely manages to escape Gomorrah, abducting Cassandra along the way, knowing that Memnon will come for her.Cassandra tries to escape from Mathayus and even tells him that she has been Memnon’s prisoner since she was a child. Sympathetic, Mathayus allows her the choice of leaving, but warns her of worse dangers and that she is likely safer with him. Meanwhile, Memnon sends his right-hand man Thorak and a group of guards to kill Mathayus and retrieve Cassandra, but Mathayus manages to slay them all under the cover of a sandstorm and in a cave, while dueling and fatally stabbing Thorak in the abdomen. With his dying breaths, Thorak manages to stab Mathayus in the leg with a scorpion blood-laced arrow. Cassandra, however, uses her magic to save Mathayus’ life. As an insult and a warning, Mathayus sends Thorak’s blood-stained pendant to Memnon.Mathayus, Arpid and Cassandra then run into Philos, who had earlier managed to flee from Memnon’s palace and has perfected an explosive powder he was working on. However, they are ambushed by the rebels, now under the rule of Balthazar. Though Mathayus defeats Balthazar in a fight and earns his grudging respect and sanctuary, Cassandra has a vision of Memnon and his army slaughtering the entire rebel camp. She informs Mathayus and then prophesies that when the moonlight reaches Memnon’s palace, the King on High will become the invincible Scorpion King, and Memnon believes himself to be the one destined to become the Scorpion King. Furthermore, she informs Mathayus that if he faces Memnon, he will most likely die from being shot, but Mathayus assures her that he will make his own destiny and they sleep together.The next morning, however, Cassandra returns to Memnon in order to stall him and possibly kill him. Mathayus, with help from Balthazar, Arpid, Philos and the army of rebels, launches an all-out assault on Memnon’s stronghold, facing Memnon personally before he can kill Cassandra, while Balthazar confronts and kills Takmet, avenging Pheron, and takes on the full force of Memnon’s forces alone. The battle rages on until Mathayus is shot by a guard as in Cassandra’s vision. As Memnon takes his place in the House of Scorpio to become the Scorpion King, Cassandra kills the guard while Mathayus retrieves his bow, pulls the arrow out of his shoulder and uses it to shoot the exhausted Memnon, sending him off the edge of the roof just as Philos and Arpid use the explosive powder to destroy the palace’s foundation stone, bringing down the bulk of Memnon’s forces. Memnon is consumed by the flames as he falls to his death. With the battle over, the remnants of Memnon’s army bow before Mathayus, who by their law is their new king, the Scorpion King.

In the aftermath, Mathayus and Balthazar share a good-natured farewell as the latter returns to his own kingdom. Cassandra tells Mathayus that she sees a period of peace and prosperity coming, but warns him that it will not last forever. Undeterred, Mathayus decides that they will make their own destiny.

The Rock does alright in his first starring role; he’s packing the physicality and presence of a Big Action Star, the action comes at a steady enough paste that the movie never has a chance to drag anywhere throughout its lean hour and a half runtime, it never takes itself too seriously, there are entire battalions of scantily-clad women. .t Chuck Russell and company set out to make a straight-ahead, fun, mindless action/adventure flick, and that’s exactly what they did.

REVIEW: THE MUMMY RETURNS

CAST

Brendan Fraser (Bedazzled)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Arnold Vosloo (G.I. Joe)
John Hannah (Spartacus)
Oded Fehr (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)
Patricia Velásquez (Mindhunters)
Freddie Boath (The Pillars of The Earth)
Alun Armstrong (Van Helsing)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad)
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas)
Shaun Parkes (The River)
Aharon Ipalé (Charlie Wilson’s war)

In 3067 BC, the Scorpion King leads his army on a campaign to conquer the world. After fighting for seven years, his army is defeated while attacking Thebes and exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere, where his men die of heat exhaustion. After vowing to give Anubis his soul for the power to defeat his enemies, an oasis forms to hide the Scorpion King’s pyramid and he is given a legion of jackal warriors in return. The Army of Anubis sweeps across Egypt, but once their task is finished, Anubis claims the Scorpion King’s soul and his army.In 1933, Rick and Evelyn O’Connell explore a ruined mortuary temple in ancient Thebes with their son, Alex, where they find the Bracelet of Anubis. In London, the bracelet locks onto Alex, showing him a vision directing him to Ahm Shere. Alex has seven days to reach the oasis, or the bracelet will kill him when the sun’s rays shine on the Scorpion King’s pyramid.Evelyn is captured by an Egyptian cult who resurrect Imhotep; they wish to use his power to defeat the Scorpion King, giving him command of Anubis’ army to take over the world. The cult, led by Baltus Hafez, the British Museum’s curator, includes a warrior named Lock-Nah and Meela Nais; the latter being a reincarnation of Imhotep’s love interest Anck-su-namun. Rick sets out to rescue Evelyn, accompanied by her brother Jonathan and the Medjai Ardeth Bay.Hafez attempts to sacrifice Evelyn but a fight ensues between Rick and Imhotep. Imhotep calls on the help of mummified soldiers to kill Rick and the others. After freeing Evelyn, they flee on a double-decker bus with the soldiers in pursuit. After defeating them, Alex is kidnapped by Lock-Nah, and along with the cult travels to Egypt. The O’Connells pursue them to rescue Alex, along with Rick’s associate from his past adventures, Izzy, a pilot, who provides the group with transportation.The bracelet gives Alex directions to Ahm Shere that Imhotep follows and they travel there by train. At each location, Alex leaves clues for his parents, who follow in Izzy’s dirigible. Imhotep uses the Book of the Dead to give Meela Nais the soul of Anck-su-namun, but by doing so he allows Evelyn to unlock the memories of her previous life as Princess Nefertiri, the bracelet’s keeper and Pharaoh Seti I’s daughter. Lock-Nah finds Alex leaving clues, so Imhotep makes a wall of water that attacks the dirigible, causing the O’Connells to crash into the jungle of Ahm Shere. Izzy stays with the dirigible in hopes to repair it. By nightfall, the O’Connells attack the cult, and both groups are attacked by pygmy mummies. Rick retrieves Alex while Ardeth Bay kills Lock-Nah. They escape the pygmies, who kill the cult except for Baltus. Imhotep and Anck-su-namun escape unharmed.Rick and Alex eventually make it to the pyramid before sunrise, where the bracelet detaches from Alex’s arm. Ardeth regroups with the Medjai in case Anubis’s army rises. Anck-su-namun soon stabs Evelyn, killing her, and escapes with Imhotep. Rick, determined to avenge the death of Evelyn, pursues Imhotep. Baltus puts on the bracelet and revives the army. Anubis takes Imhotep’s powers, wanting Imhotep to fight as a mortal. Rick finds Imhotep summoning the Scorpion King and fights him. The Scorpion King interrupts them, and Imhotep lies to him that Rick was sent to kill him. At the same time, the Medjai battle Anubis’s army of jackal warriors. While Rick and the Scorpion King fight, Baltus is killed. Jonathan and Alex steal the Book of the Dead from Anck-su-namun and use it to resurrect Evelyn, who confronts Anck-su-namun while Alex and Jonathan go to help Rick.The scepter Jonathan has been carrying extends into a spear that can kill the Scorpion King. The Medjai defeats Anubis’ army, but have only defeated the vanguard; the full army charges toward them. Rick kills the Scorpion King, using the scepter, sending him and his army back into the Underworld, which causes the oasis to be sucked back into the pyramid. Rick and Imhotep hang above a pit that leads to the underworld. Evelyn risks her life to save Rick, but Anck-su-namun abandons Imhotep, who, heartbroken, chooses to fall to his death. Anck-su-namun, while escaping, falls into a pit of scorpions and is stung to death. The O’Connells reach the top of the pyramid, which is sinking into the desert. Izzy arrives with a modified dirigible and rescues the O’Connells just as the oasis and the pyramid disappears completely. They depart into the sunset, with Ardeth Bay saluting them, before riding off.A  fresh element to the movie is an interesting  sub-plot about Evy. Her bizarre visions are actually flashbacks from her past life as Nefertiri. Although unnecessary to the movie overall, it does provide some moments of revelation that intertwine with the history of Imhotep’s forbidden love, Anck Su Namun. Although this movie feels like it’s just a bigger and better version of the first film, that’s certainly not a bad thing. Hell, what made the first film so memorable was its highly entertaining blend of action, adventure, special effects, and comedy. Even better, it was all wrapped up in engaging Egyptian folklore.