I promised you that if someone purchased me a copy of The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption on Blu Ray, I’d let you know my thoughts, and, guess what. Someone did!
The first thing about the cover art you should realize is that the main character, The Scorpion King, made popular by professional wrestling legend Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) is not the primary focus of the cover. At the center is Billy Zane, an actor best known for hitting Marty McFly over the head when he returns to the altered 1985 in Back to the Future Part II. Ron Perlman, an actor who has never turned down a script, is the secondary focus of the cover. And all the way at the bottom, is the Scorpion King, Mathayus, who, it shouldn’t surprise you, isn’t played by The Rock, but is played by a somewhat unknown actor, Victor Webster, who shares a similar hairline to The Rock. Throw a beard on him and put him on the bottom of the cover art, and, who knows? Maybe they’ll trick some people into thinking The Rock is still in it. (Even though there was a sequel to the first film in which The Rock didn’t appear.)
There are stickers all over my copy, and each one deserves some attention. (I’m focusing a lot on the cover because, well, there’s not much content to comment on)
The Blu Ray edition comes with a DVD and Ultraviolet digital copy, meaning you can enter the code into Flixster and watch this movie anywhere. When I went to redeem my digital copy, it actually even gave me an iTunes digital copy of the movie. So that’s four different ways I can watch this. They’re practically giving it away.
At the top, they try to reassure you that the company that produced The Mummy (where The Scorpion King was introduced) were responsible for this movie. I want to know how many of the same actual people are involved, and I’m not gonna count it myself.
Also depicted on the cover are Kimbo Slice, now professional fighter popularized by online street fights, Dave Bautista, ex-professional wrestler and six time World Heavyweight Champion, and some hot woman who was supposed to be reminiscent of the queen from the first film. There’s a sticker to point out Batista and Kimbo, in case you didn’t see them.
Let’s talk about the actual content.
The loading time for this disc was atrocious. I normally have significant trouble loading Universal Blu Rays on my player, but this one takes the cake. On the first attempt, it took 3 minutes after pressing play to get to a “Fresh Preview from the Internet,” then got stuck at a black screen for 7 minutes until I decided to reboot and try again. Again, it took 3 minutes to the preview, then 4 additional minutes after skipping to get to the main menu. It took me 17 minutes to even start the film.
The movie starts with a flashback to the first movie, with the sorceress from the first movie. Then the film spends 3 minutes with a narrative of the set up for the plot with music, a map, and short cutscenes in between. This was absolutely ridiculous and made the movie seem like a high schooler wrote it. After that, it’s a pretty formulaic plot to follow.
Throughout the film, we meet the cast of characters, from Ron Perlman’s king to a brute named, Olaf, who could very well be Balls Mahoney from ECW. The only recognizable actor not already mentioned above is the guy who played Jango Fett in Star Wars episode 2. It took 1 hour and 6 minutes for Batista and Kimbo Slice to make it into the film, and I don’t even understand why they were even there, honestly. They both come out of columns, and Batista is wearing a replica of Shao Kahn‘s helmet, except the top teeth part only comes down to Batista’s eyes. At the same time these two guys appear, an asian woman in a Sindel costume appears as well. Thank God for Mortal Kombat. All three are supposed to be supernatural creatures with special powers. Kimbo gets killed quickly in the most ridiculous way possible. (No real spoilers here) There is also a band of ninjas with their leader named, Cobra.
The chemistry between actors is non-existant. It’s like they’re all phoning it in. The “humor” dispersed throughout the movie is a whole lot of campy and cheesy jokes with a lot of burps mixed in.
Many ridiculous things happen in the film. The Scorpion King seems to be afraid of normal-looking tigers and actually saying that they’re way bigger than he’s ever seen. At another point in the film, in the middle of a fight sequence, with hundreds of actors in the frame, from a distance, someone looks on through a telescope and actually identifies the Scorpion King in the crowd.
There are lots of strange scene transitions in the film as well. At one point, someone connects with a roundhouse kick and the scene switches in progress to a horse running and naying. It is really difficult to explain.
The sound effects were second rate and horrible. The costumes and set pieces look fake and plastic at various points in the film. The action scenes are incomprehensible and shaky, and there is a huge overuse of slow motion when things connect. That was the most fun part, because I like to yell “OHHHHH” when this happens.
I give the film a 1/5 overall. It’s passable as a film, I guess.
The special features are somewhat useless (as they many times are), but provide a small amount of entertainment value. Here’s a listing of all of the special features, a brief description of each, and a rating.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (12 min) – none of the scenes establish anything you don’t already learn in the story. There was a fun scene with Mathayus eating bugs, but that was about 30 seconds. (1/5)
- Deleted shots montage (4 minutes) – a musical montage of unfinished action shots from the deleted scenes and cutting room floor pieces from the film. If you want to see people connected to wires, and the choreographed mess ups, this is your jam! (0/5)
- Gag reel (2 minutes) – Exactly what it says it is, but it’s pretty telling that they had 2 minutes of “funny” stuff. It actually wasn’t funny at all. Goes to show how fun this movie was to film. (1/5)
- Making of documentary (13 minutes) – This was pretty much a snoozefest aside from the part where the director explained how he shot the action. To fill you in, he basically set up cameras in various locations and let people just do their thing, and, as long as they stayed within the frames, he kept the shots. Yeah, that explains the incomprehensible and shaky fight scenes. (2/5)
- Preparing for battle documentary (5 minutes) – Basically more of the making of the film with an emphasis of how they trained (i.e. not at all) and stuff. (2/5)
All in all, this blu ray should be avoided. Oddly enough, I enjoyed it just about as much as I did The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, which doesn’t say much. There was just too much garbage attracting me to wanting to own this title.