Full disclosure, this was the last film in Mummy Mondays that I was looking forward to. I had never seen a Scorpion King movie before this, and I wasn’t all that excited to do so. This movie was the exception for two very big reasons: Mr. Billy Zane and Ron Perlman! Motherfuckin’ the Collector from Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight and the good Hellboy! Even if this movie was awful, at least I had those two keeping me afloat.
Set after The Scorpion King, the Sorceress is dead and Mathayus has lost his kingdom. How? Uh… a plague, or something? It’s left vague. Now a mercenary full of one-liners, he accepts a task from King Horus (Perlman). Is Ron Perlman supposed to be Egyptian? Is anyone in this movie supposed to be? Best not to dwell on that. Anyway, Horus’ evil brother, Talus (Zane), wants the Book of the Dead from King Ramusan (Temuera Morrison, AKA Jango Fett), an ally of Horus’. Mathayus teams up with the obnoxious Teutonic warrior Olaf, and together they manage to rescue Ramusan’s daughter, Silda. But she’s grabbed by a bunch of ninjas! This movie went there! Turns out she’s the ninja leader named Cobra, but that doesn’t really matter because Talus gets the book. He summons the warriors of the book, one of whom is Dave Bautista two years before Guardians of the Galaxy. They’re kind of like ghosts, or something? Also vague. One warrior is defeated super easily, but the other two put up more of a fight. In the end Talus is killed and after saving the day, Mathayus defies Horus and becomes King of the… generic Asian people. If his people and Silda die off screen between this and The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, I’m gonna be pissed.
So how was the movie? Not very good! With that out of the way, let’s gush about Billy Zane. He had a much bigger role than Ron Perlman, who it really felt like he was on set for a day or two. By comparison, we get several scenes with Zane in differing locations, and he’s delightfully hammy. Not as cartoonish as in Demon Knight, but he’s sometimes putting in more than minimal effort into his acting! With direct-to-DVD films like this, “more than minimal effort” is actually high praise. Compare that to Journey to Promethea, a made-for-TV movie Zane sleepwalked through and was so forgettable that when I saw it on his IMDB page, I asked myself, “Is that the generic fantasy movie where he never really left the throne room?” As it turns out, it was! I saw that movie at the end of 2018 and can tell you literally nothing else about the plot! At least here he was amusing enough that I might remember this film two years from now.
MUMMY FUN FACT! Our Mathayus this time was played by Victor Webster. He’s mostly known for TV work, being a series regular on the generally forgotten Mutant X and 44 episodes of Days of Our Lives. But for this fun fact, the important point is that he’s the only actor to play Mathayus twice in the Scorpion King franchise, tying The Rock if we include The Mummy Returns.
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