Starring: Victor Webster, Ellen Hollman, Will Kemp, Rutger Hauer, Michael Biehn, Barry Bostwick, M. Emmet Walsh, Lou Ferrigno, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Roy “Big Country” Nelson, Royce Gracie, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva, Eve Torres
Director: Mike Elliott
2015 | 104 Minutes | PG-13
“Careful, Mathayus, you are a pawn in a game of kings.” – Drazen
“No, I’m a warrior with a code of honor.” – Mathayus
My last experience with The Scorpion King was less than spectacular. Still, with a cast like this I couldn’t NOT give it a shot.
Mathayus (Victor Webster), the Scorpion King, races against time tracking down a powerful treasure, before his former friend Drazen – now an evil ruler – finds it first.
Victor Webster is no Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson but he has made an effort to make the Scorpion King character his own and I give him credit for that. He certainly strikes an imposing figure and, on the whole, I found his Scorpion King to be an enjoyable character in THIS sequel.
As you can see in the cast listing above and their prominent positions on the DVD/Blu-ray covers, there are a fair number of MMA fighters and wrestlers involved, as well as action legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson. Royce Grace doesn’t really do any jiu jitsu but Roy Nelson does deliver a few of his signature overhand rights. Antonio “Big Foot” Silva doesn’t do much more than roar and charge like a bear. Wilson fares about the same. It’s too bad these MMA legends and Don “The Freakin’ Dragon” Wilson only make brief appearances. It’s a shame really…
Former WWE Diva Eve Torres also makes a short appearance in a “cage” fight with Valina, even performing a few wrestling moves including her signature standing moonsault. She, of course, is married to a member of the MMA royal family, Rener Gracie.
The Scorpion King 4 succeeds in many of the ways that The Scorpion King 3 failed. First off, it finds the right balance of action, adventure and comedy. The jokes are pretty basic, rarely getting much more than a smile or slight chuckle out of me but they’re never offensively unfunny… that is until we meet Valina’s father. He’s a kooky dude and takes us down that groan enduring jokey road. Not so much to ruin the movie but his silliness definitely wasn’t needed or appreciated.
The sets far exceed what was seen in The Scorpion King 3. The last movie in The Scorpion King series suffered from claustrophobic, cheap feeling sets but #4 seems to have pumped a chest full of gold into this area. It never once feels like movie making on a budget, even though it probably was.
The action isn’t dark or gritty or even all that violent. There are certainly enough of people getting killed but there isn’t a drop of blood for the majority of the movie. We only get a couple spots right at the end. Sort of like they figured out how much blood was allowed in a PG-13 movie and held off on showing it until the very end. There is a decided family-friendly approach to the proceedings but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t plenty exciting. The choreography is better than average and the movie never goes more than a few minutes between fights.
I haven’t seen the original Scorpion King in a long time. I have never seen The Scorpion King 2, though I should really seek it out for completionist’s sake. But The Scorpion King 4 is actually a pretty decent lower budget medieval adventure movie and it is a HUGE improvement over the previous movie in the series. I actually think most fans of the genre would have a good time with it.