DVD review | The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption – Diminishing returns ‘r’ us

Born as an opportunistic spin-off from 2001’s The Mummy Returns, the Scorpion King franchise is now, remarkably, on its second sequel.

Original star The Rock is long gone, of course, and so too is the rollicking tongue-in-cheek silliness of the Mummy movies: the humour here is as lumbering as the war elephants that feature in the equally heavy-footed battle scenes. The plotting is similarly galumphing.

Strapping hero Mathayus (now played by Canadian actor Victor Webster) has lost his kingdom and his queen and is now a soldier of fortune. This we learn in flashbacks.

In the here and now, he’s sent by Egyptian king Horus (a coasting, almost visibly bored Ron Perlman) on a quest to rescue kidnapped princess Silda (Krystal Vee) from Billy Zane’s hammy villain, Talus.

Scorpion King 3 - Krystal Vee and Selina Lo

Mathayus and his loutish sidekick Olaf (Bostin Christopher) wander unscathed through several scrappily staged battles but face sterner opposition after Talus gets his hands on the Book of the Dead and unleashes a trio of Ghost Warriors – played by MMA champ Kimbo Slice, ex-wrestler Dave Batista and British-born actress Selina Lo.

Vee and Lo lithely show off their martial arts chops, Zane gleefully camps things up and director Roel Reiné, doubling up as his own cinematographer, creates one or two striking shots on what was clearly a low budget, but the storytelling is so ham-fisted that you really need to be a confirmed fan of the action fantasy genre to sit through all the boring stuff in between.

Released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 27th February by Universal Pictures.

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