The Scorpion King: Book of Souls (2018)

When I talked about The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, I had a number of people very surprised that they made 4 of these movies. Well hold on to your butts, but there’s actually 5 (so far). We’ve gone many different directions in this franchise, from the first feeling similar in tone to The Mummy Returns, the second being the Young Adventures of Mathayus, the third and fourth feeling like unconnected SyFy original movies, and then this one taking itself very seriously. And that could have been interesting, if I weren’t exhausted all the way down to my soul by this franchise.

Once upon a time Anubis made a sword that steals the souls of those who die by it. The only way to stop such a terrible weapon is this movie’s subtitle and MacGuffin: the Book of Souls. While the evil Nebserek is empowered by the sword and seeks the head of the last Akkadian, Mathayus leads a quiet life as a blacksmith. But everyone he knows is killed and he almost dies as well, but he’s rescued by the Nubian princess, Tala. They travel to a magical realm to find the Book and encounter the half-naked Amina and her incredibly annoying clay golem bodyguard, Enkidu. Turns out Amina is actually the Book! Just… go with it. The four find out that the only way to destroy the sword is for it to be plunged into Amina’s heart, an idea no one likes. They all get captured by Nebserek’s troops, but turns out Mathayus is a demigod or something so he breaks free and kills Nebserek. He regretfully kills Amina, and then goes on his own, forever alone (despite having a new sidekick every movie).

On one hand this was actually not a bad movie. The effects were better than usual, the story was basic but enjoyable, and the only exceedingly annoying character was the golem (who died). On the other hand, this is the fifth Scorpion King movie and I’m just tired by it all. Movies 2 through 4 sapped all good will I had towards Mathayus, so when he has a halfway decent movie I still can’t find it enjoyable. Also I feel like it was a huge missed opportunity that Anubis was involved with this story, but there wasn’t a nod towards Mathayus’ eventual heel turn and bargain with the god. But that’s not the end goal anymore; these are just action movies starring progressively whiter guys set in Earth’s ancient history, but with magic. There’s no character growth, overall story arc, or anything suggesting there won’t be a Scorpion King 6. Hell, The Mummy franchise got rebooted, but the next year this film was still made. Can you imagine if Spider-Man: Homecoming got bad reviews, so Sony made The Amazing Spider-Man: Sinister Six spin-off that had been hinted at the end of Andrew Garfield’s run? All bets are off with this franchise!

MUMMY FUN FACT! There is but one movie left in Mummy Mondays. The curse is almost lifted! Soon, the corn will be ripe enough to harvest…


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