The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012)

I Will Rise Again, Like a Bad Idea

I’m extremely apprehensive going into this movie.  Generally speaking, sequels that get worse do so exponentially as the movies go along.  The Scorpion King was solid, number two was awful, so what could number three possibly be?  It doesn’t really matter, does it?  It’s been requested!  Eric wanted this movie reviewed, so I’m gonna do it!  Today’s movie has some big names in it, but ones that I have seen both in great movies and in complete shit.  It also has a WWE wrestler and a MMA fighter in it.  Now I’m nervous again.  Today’s movie is The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, written by Brendan Cowles, Shane Kuhn, and Randall McCormick, directed by Roel Reine, and starring Victor Webster, Bostin Christopher, Billy Zane, Krystal Vee, Ron Perlman, Temuera Morrison, Selina Lo, Dave Batista, and Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson.

Mathayus (Victor Webster) is having a hard time dealing with the death of his wife, Cassandra (Kelly Hu), and also dealing with being played by three different people.  He gets through his days as a mercenary now.  Egypt is now divided into three kingdoms, ruled by Horus (Ron Perlman), Talus (Billy Zane), and Ramusan (Temuera Morrison).  Talus is looking to steal the Book of the Dead from Ramusan, and Horus wants to stop him from doing that.  Horus hires Mathayus and sticks him with a fat guy named Olaf (Bostin Christopher), just in case there was ever a time when people weren’t saying things.  They get to Ramusan and manage to stop a raid from Talus.  As payment, Ramusan offers Mathayus his daughter, Silda (Krystal Vee), to marry, but Mathayus must first rescue her.  In an attempt to rescue her, they are beaten to the punch by some ninja looking dudes that take Silda to the camp of Rebel leader, Cobra.  But they soon find that Cobra is actually just Silda, and she enlists their help in stopping Talus.  Meanwhile, Talus takes over Ramusan’s palace and retrieves the Book of the Dead, using it to summon three ghost warriors, Tsukai (Selina Lo), Agromael (Dave Batista), and Zulu Kondo (Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson).  Mathayus, Olaf, and Silda must work together to overcome Talus, his army, and his three mystical warriors to stop his campaign to rule all of Egypt.

Your plan backfired, Eric!  This movie wasn’t that bad.  Should you watch it?  Nah.  But after watching SK2, this one was actually a step up.  But, since I only watched SK2 in order to watch this movie, I guess you still did your damage.  The story of this movie is slightly worse than The Scorpion King, but it’s hindered a little bit by lack of fun.  In this movie’s case, it’s kind of intentional.  Mathayus is so mopey for the first 2/3 of the movie because of his loss of Cassandra and his kingdom that he’s got no time to be fun.  Around the end of the movie, it gets slightly more fun.  There are, of course, lots of things done in the writing that make no sense.  At one point, Mathayus and Olaf wake up to find out they are completely surrounded by tigers.  Their solution?  Walk away.  This could have been something cool.  Hell, it could have been SOMETHING.  Instead, it just served no purpose whatsoever in the movie.  The dialogue, on the other hand, is probably the worst that’s it’s been in this series so far.  Some of the regular exposition is fine, but their little “witty comments” are almost all loses.  When Mathayus and Olaf get robbed in the beginning and are beating up the robbers, he actually throws out “Crime doesn’t pay.”  When one of them falls in the fire and is running while on fire, he says “I’ll take mine rare.”  When sparring with Mathayus, Silda kicks him in the stomach and says “I take your breath away.”  And finally, when Talus is reaching his inevitable end, he claims “I will rise again, like a bad idea.”  Speaking of bad ideas: all of those lines.  And more, I’m sure.  The look of the film has it’s ups and downs.  For some ups: no shitty CG creatures.  They probably couldn’t afford good CG for this movie and so they didn’t do any.  They had some great settings, some impressive animals in the movie, decent enough fights, and the effects on the three ghost warriors were pretty cool.  They had another nondescript sword, but it was more tolerable because it wasn’t some super fancy mystical sword.  But it was a little tiny and not impressive.  Ladies?  There was also a scene where the ninjas attacked Olaf and Mathayus by jumping out of the water, and that looked pretty cool.  The problem was that they jumped out of the water that Olaf was peeing in a moment before, so dude basically just got piss all over him.  But some parts of the movie were filmed with something that seemed to be a handheld camera.  Handheld camera footage has it’s place, mainly in found footage type movies.  In most other movies, it’s just nauseating.  We’re trying to watch a fight, get a cameraman without Parkinson’s!

The performances are mostly okay in this movie.  Victor Webster wasn’t nearly as fun as The Rock was, but he was pretty good.  He was mostly brooding with a little bit of snark to him now and then, but all in all he was okay.  Krystal Vee was good looking, but delivered dialogue in a very wooden way a couple of times.  Billy Zane never really seemed like he was taking this gig seriously, acting pretty hammed up for most of his time, but he did have some parts where he was pretty good.  But when you pull off someone’s ear and start talking into it, I stop taking you seriously.  Ron Perlman and Temuera Morrison weren’t in the movie very long, but they performed their parts adequately.  Bostin Christopher, however, was in the movie a lot, and really worked on my nerves.  Not only was he a fat white guy that I imagine would get winded swinging a sword, but he also would not shut up.  He just kept talking and talking and not saying anything remotely interesting or necessary.  I know the Scorpion King movies have gotten into the habit of having someone around as “comic relief”, but you also have to make them funny.  Here’s the biggest shock of the movie: Kimbo Slice was actually good.  I don’t get it either!  You can kind of understand it from a WWE person like the Rock because they have to do a lot of talking at the camera, but from a MMA guy?  He had very little dialogue, but he had a great look for his part in the movie and I liked everything he did in the movie.  Add in some fiery red eyes and a flaming hammer and it works.  Speaking of WWE people, I was not impressed with Dave Batista.  From what I’ve seen of him in the WWE, he doesn’t do a lot of talking anyway, and he keeps that up here, but he didn’t work for me.  But he was better than Selina Lo.  She was really good looking, but very stiff in her delivery and I was thrown off by the fact that she would randomly scream in battle, but not when actually fighting people.  You can get by that by muting whenever she’s on screen.  Then it’s all good.

The Scorpion King 3 is far superior to The Scorpion King 2, but sadly both pale in comparison to the first movie.  The story is better, the dialogue is mostly awful, the performances are good enough, but some of the fights are good if you don’t get sick watching the shitty hand camera stuff.  But, even though this movie is better than SK2, you don’t need to watch it.  I don’t know why you would consider it, but you can stop it now.  You’re all set.  The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption gets “I’ll take mine rare” out of “I take your breath away.”

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