Actor and martial artist Victor Webster (MUTANT X) takes on the role immortalized by former pro wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in this third installment of the MUMMY spin-off series. This installment features perhaps the most martial arts action of the trilogy thanks in part to protégés of legendary Thai stuntmaster Panna Rittikrai.
Ever since defeating the evil Memnon, the Scorpion King Mathayus had lived a peaceful existence. However, a battle ensued and Mathayus has lost both the kingdom he once protected as well as lost his wife, the sorceress Cassandra. Kidnapped by a group of plunderers, Mathayus manages to escape. However, he has felt regret and sorrow for the actions that cost him practically his entire life. His one hope is to die well as a mercenary.
King Horus (Ron Perlman), one of greatest rulers of the world, asks for Mathayus’ assistance for a threat that can destroy the kingdom. Horus’ brother Talus (Billy Zane) wants possession of the Book of the Dead, an ancient artifact that can conjure up warriors from the past, in an effort to claim what he feels belongs to him. Mathayus must team up with a lowly Viking warrior, Olaf (Bostin Christopher) to head to King Ramusan (Temeura Morrison), who holds possession of the Book of the Dead for safekeeping.
When Mathayus and Olaf successfully and discreetly assist Ramusan’s army in a battle against Talus’ army, Mathayus is shocked to learn that Ramusan no longer has gold, but makes a proposition. Ramusan’s daughter Silda (Krystal Vee) has been kidnapped by Talus in hopes of making her his bride. If Mathayus rescues Silda, he will be allowed to marry her in hopes to unite the kingdoms and make the world safe again. Mathayus agrees and thus, begins a new quest which may bring Mathayus a sense of redemption that he will need due to his feeling guilty about his past.
Originally thought to be another prequel like its predecessor, RISE OF A WARRIOR (2006), this is actually a sequel to the 2002 film that starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the role he reprised in the sequel THE MUMMY RETURNS (2001). As Johnson went on to bigger and better things, a new replacement was needed to carry the mantle of Mathayus, the Akkadian warrior who became the Scorpion King. After former Power Ranger actor Michael Copon played a young Mathayus in RISE OF A WARRIOR, Victor Webster was chosen to play the elder Mathayus in this film.
Webster handles the role pretty well to be quite honest. Now sporting a massive beard, Webster combines Johnson’s comic taunts with a sense of guiltiness in the character of Mathayus. This is due to the fact that he had lost everything dear to him. His on-screen chemistry with sidekick Olaf, played by Bostin Christopher, is exactly the type of buddy relation expected in this genre of action film. Ron Perlman makes the most of his limited screen time as King Horus as does Temuera Morrison (who worked with this film’s director Roel Reine previously on THE MARINE 2 (2009)), who plays King Ramusan.
When it comes to Billy Zane’s performance as the villain Talus, one can only love or hate him. Talus tends to be a smart aleck at times and plays more like a laughable villain as opposed to Memnon (the original film’s antagonist) or Sargon (the prequel’s antagonist). While Memnon and Sargon tend to be more seriously-minded villains, Talus brings more sarcasm and one of the greatest corny lines of all time.
Filmed in Thailand, this installment is perhaps the most martial arts heavy of the trilogy. The stunts and fights were coordinated by Kawee “Seng” Sirikanerut and Supoj “Jim” Khaowwong. Some great highlights come from the ninja group known as the Cobra Gang, who take it upon themselves to be at first possible rivals of Mathayus only to become their allies. They even act as mentors as sorts to Mathayus and Olaf. Members of the Cobra Gang themselves are portrayed by stars of the 2010 Thai action thriller BANGKOK KNOCKOUT as they kick and flip their way in their action scenes. Reine even did his own cinematography and did a great steadicam angle of Mathayus taking on various members of the Cobra Gang.
Aside from Zane’s laughable villain, two main antagonists were wasted in the film. When Talus does find the book and summon three ghostly warriors, they include MMA champion Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson as an African ghost named Zulu Kondo. He was pretty much wasted much like Bob Sapp was in ELEKTRA (2005). The other is Agromael, a Shao-Kahn lookalike played by former pro wrestler Dave Bautista. Bautista, who proves he is quick with his hands, only engages in one good short fight and then resorts to being Olaf’s avdersary and uses an axe-like weapon.
Despite its flaws, THE SCORPION KING 3: BATTLE FOR REDEMPTION, is not a bad installment. Victor Webster makes a suitable replacement as Mathayus and the action is not too bad. If you can get past Billy Zane’s laughable villain, then it is pretty decent for a straight to DVD release. Worth at least a rental, but only if you liked the other installments.